May 26, 1933: Chuck Klein homers in 13th to hit for the cycle but Phillies fall to Cardinals

This article was written by Mike Huber

In a “valiant effort to prevent defeat,”1 Philadelphia’s Chuck Klein hit for the cycle, capping off his offensive performance with a home run in the top of the 13th inning, but the Phillies’ pitchers could not hold the lead, allowing a tying run in the bottom of the inning and then surrendering a walk-off run to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 14th.

The two teams had been playing well in recent games. The Cardinals (19-16) were hot, winners of five of their last six games, holding down third place in the NL standings. Philadelphia (13-23) had won five of its last seven but was still in the cellar, 10½ games behind the league-leading Pittsburgh Pirates. The Friday afternoon game kicked off a four-game series between the two teams. A threatening weather forecast held the paid attendance at Sportsman’s Park to an estimated 500.2

Dizzy Dean and Jumbo Elliot faced each other on the mound. In his rookie campaign (1932),3 Dean had established himself as a workhorse, leading the NL in innings pitched (286) and batters faced (1,203) and winning 18 games. His endurance was again on display in this game. Elliott had led the NL in games (52) and wins (19) in 1931, but in 1932 his appearances went down (to 39), and his earned-run average was up (to 5.42). However, through 10 games in 1933, he had respectable stats (2-3, 2.62 ERA).

Philadelphia “treated Dean to a barrage of extra-base hits”4 to start the game. Chick Fullis led off the game with a triple to deep center. After Dick Bartell struck out, Klein tripled down the left-field foul line, bringing Fullis home. Don Hurst traded places with Klein, stroking the third triple of the inning (into right field) and giving the Phillies a quick 2-0 lead. They had a chance for another run, but Pinkey Whitney grounded to shortstop Leo Durocher, who threw home for a play on the running Hurst, and Hurst was tagged out in a 6-2-5-1 rundown.

The Cards responded in the home half. Frankie Frisch singled with one out and stole second base. He scored on Ripper Collins’s two-out double, making the score 2-1.

Pepper Martin started the third inning with a long home run, his fifth of the season, tying the game, 2-2. Both pitchers then posted scoreless frames until the sixth, when Collins opened the bottom of the inning with a single. Ethan Allen sacrificed him to second, and Collins scored on Joe Medwick’s single into left field.

The game went into another scoreless stretch. In the bottom of the eighth, Frank Pearce entered in relief of Elliot. Pearce was a rookie who had been splitting time as a starter and reliever for the Phillies. In four starts, he had allowed 16 earned runs in almost 29 innings. As a reliever, however, he had not allowed a run in four appearances. He gave up a two-out single to Allen before Medwick grounded out to first to end the inning.

The Phillies still trailed as the ninth inning began. Dean retired Hurst on a fly out to right. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the shivering fans were edging their way towards the exit gates”5 when Whitney launched his second home run of the season, over the left-field wall, and the score was tied. Allen singled with two outs, but Dean stranded him by retiring Neal Finn.

The Cardinals failed to score in their turn at bat, so the game moved into extra innings. Dean retired the side in the top of the 10th, and while Pearce allowed a single to Frisch and a walk to Collins, St. Louis also came away empty in the bottom of the 10th.

Klein led off the 11th for Philadelphia. After his first-inning triple, he had singled in the third but was erased on a double play. Through regulation, Klein had flied out twice, in the sixth and eighth frames. Now, he doubled to put the go-ahead run at second base. Dean struck out Hurst before intentionally walking Whitney. With Hal Lee batting, Klein took off for third base but was caught stealing. End of threat.

Pearce retired the St. Louis batters in order, taking the game to the 12th, and Philadelphia mounted another threat. Spud Davis singled and advanced to second when Finn’s sacrifice bunt turned into a single. Al Todd ran for Davis. Pearce also bunted, but his sacrifice attempt resulted in a popout to the pitcher Dean. In his haste to double off a runner, Dean threw the ball away and both runners advanced into scoring position. Dean then walked Fullis to load the bases with only one out.

Bartell lifted a fly ball to center. Ethan Allen made the catch and fired a strike to the plate, beating Todd trying to tag from third base, for an inning-ending double play. Two Phillies runners had been cut down on the bases in the last two innings, and the score remained tied.

Once again Pearce retired the Cardinals in order. After Philadelphia had failed to capitalize on two walks, two singles, a double, and a wild throw over the previous two innings, the Phillies took a more direct path to the scoreboard in the 13th: Klein blasted his 10th homer of the season, to deep right, and the Phillies led for the first time since the Cardinals had overcome their first-inning salvo. With one out, Whitney singled but was picked off first base, and Philadelphia wasted another opportunity.

Three outs from victory, Pearce’s string of retiring eight batters in a row ended when he walked Ripper Collins to start the home half of the 13th. Allen sacrificed Collins to second, and Medwick’s groundout moved the runner to third. Jimmie Wilson singled up the middle and Collins scored the tying run.

The Phillies were retired in order in the 14th. Pearce retired Durocher leading off the bottom of the inning, but then couldn’t retire Dean on a comebacker to the mound. Martin drew a walk, and Dean advanced to second base. Phillies manager Burt Shotton evidently thought that “Pearce was weakening under the strain,” so he called Ad Liska in from the bullpen. Liska retired Frisch on a fly ball to center for the second out. That brought up Ernie Orsatti, who was 0-for-6 so far in the game. Orsatti singled into left field, and the game was over. The Cards had won in a walk-off, 5-4.

Dean pitched a complete game (14 innings!), facing 54 batters. He was tagged for 14 hits and allowed two walks, but he earned his fourth win of the season. With the victory, St. Louis had started a seven-game win streak which resulted in a first-place position in the National League standings. Pearce’s record fell to 3-3. The Cardinals had a 13-hit attack in which every player had at least one hit.

Klein had collected two hits in the extra innings, but he had hit for the cycle with his 4-for-6 performance. He had scored two runs and driven in two as well. His batting average increased to .338 and his slugging percentage jumped 42 points, to .642.

A record-setting eight batters hit for the cycle in 1933 (besting the mark of seven set in 1890). Klein was the second batter to achieve the rare feat, after the Cardinals’ Pepper Martin (May 5, against the Phillies). Joining them were the Pirates’ Arky Vaughan (June 24, against the Dodgers), the Athletics’ Mickey Cochrane (August 2, against the Yankees), the Athletics’ Pinky Higgins (August 6, against the Senators), the Athletics’ Jimmie Foxx (August 14, against the Indians), the Indians’ Earl Averill (August 17, against the Athletics) and the Cubs’ Babe Herman (September 30, against the Cardinals).

Klein’s performance marked the fifth time a Phillies batter had hit for the cycle.6 This was the second time Klein had hit for the cycle. On July 1, 1931, Klein cycled against the Chicago Cubs, in a game in which his teammates turned a triple play. (This was the first time these two rare events had occurred in the same game.)7


After the game, Phillies skipper Shotton discussed Klein with the St. Louis reporters. When asked if he would be willing to part with his slugger, Shotton replied, “Will I trade Chuck Klein to the Cardinals? Why, yes, I’ll trade him for [pitchers] Bill Hallahan and Dizzy Dean. But the Cardinals won’t, so Mr. Klein will continue to play with my club.”8 Both Klein and Dean were eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Hallahan was named the National League’s starting pitcher for the inaugural 1933 All-Star Game.



In addition to the sources mentioned in the Notes, the author consulted,,, and



1 “Orsatti’s Single in 14th Tops Phillies in Bitter Contest,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 27, 1933: 15.

2 While the temperature in Philadelphia hit 88 degrees, St. Louis fans sat in a milder climate, where the high of 77 was reached at 1:15 P.M. (see St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 27:1933: 1), and the mercury dropped as the game progressed.

3 Dean had appeared in one late-season game in 1930, but 1932 was his rookie year.

4 “Orsatti’s Single in 14th Tops Phillies in Bitter Contest.”

5 “Orsatti’s Single in 14th Tops Phillies in Bitter Contest.”

6 Klein’s cycles were the fourth and fifth times in franchise history. The first three were accomplished by Lave Cross (April 24, 1894, against Brooklyn), Sam Thompson (August 17, 1894, against Louisville), and Cy Williams (August 5, 1927, against Pittsburgh).

7 The combination of a batter hitting for the cycle and a team turning a triple play in the same game has occurred only once since Klein’s game in 1931 (as of the beginning of the 2021 season). In a rare déjà vu, Boston’s John Valentin hit for the cycle on June 6, 1996, in a contest in which his teammate Tim Naehring hit into a triple play.

8 “Shotton Willing to Trade Klein – at His Terms,” St. Louis Star and Times, May 27, 1933: 9.

Additional Stats

St. Louis Cardinals 5
Philadelphia Phillies 4
14 innings

Sportsman’s Park
St. Louis, MO


Box Score + PBP:

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