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Dizzy Dean
The Cardinals and the Yankees, 1926 : a classic season and St. Louis in seven
Paul E. Doutrich.
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2011.
The two pennant winners in 1926, the National League's Cardinals and the American League's Yankees, were a study in contrasts. The Yankees were heavily composed of ?rst- and second-generation Americans and based in New York, the epicenter of baseball; the Cardinals, on the other hand, were mostly a collection of farm boys playing at the western fringe of the major leagues. But both teams arrived battle-tested, as St. Louis had fought a long, close race with Cincinnati and New York had survived a dramatic late-season run by Cleveland. Their classic World Series meeting went seven games and produced one of the legendary pitcher-batter confrontations of baseball history.
     
Stan Musial : baseball's perfect knight ; a story told from the pages of the St. Louis post-dispatch.
 
Marceline, MO : St. Louis Post-Dispatch Books, c2010.
Celebrate the 90th birthday of Stan "The Man" Musial with the Post-Dispatch's new book! "Stan Musial - Baseball's Perfect Knight" tells the story of Stan's childhood, and his quick rise to baseball history in St. Louis. Loaded with archival photos, this book is sure to win a coveted place on your bookshelf!
     
Stan the man : the life and times of Stan Musial
Wayne Stewart.
Chicago, Ill. : Triumph Books, c2010.
Finally, here is a biography of Stan Musial that is worthy of the player himself. The author, who grew up in Musial's hometown, has spent years researching the slugger's life and career. The result is a biography broad in scope and deep in analysis. Stan the Man details not only the personality and the accomplishments of the man but artfully examines Musial's life against the backdrop of the Great Depression (which the already-impoverished Musial family endured), race and integration, and the tragedy that struck his hometown of Donora, Pennsylvania, and claimed many lives, including ultimately his father's.
     

St. Louis has often defined itself by its sports teams, and the Depression-era Cardinals' Gashouse Gang remains the standard by which local teams are measured. 

The Dean brothers

Dizzy's younger brother Paul was a good pitcher too.  In 1934, Dizzy had 30 victories, Paul 19.  The 49 victories were the most ever by a pair of brothers.

On September 21st Dizzy threw a three-hit shutout, allowing no hits until the 8th inning.  In a second game, Paul threw a no-hitter.  Dizzy was regretful:  "If'n Paul had told me he was gonna pitch a no-hitters, I'd of throwed one too."  And maybe he would have.

On the Gashouse Gang's roster of legendary baseball players, Jay Hanna 'Dizzy' Dean was the poster child, the embodiment of what fans thought baseball could be.  He pitched superbly and had a great time doing it.

Dean was born in backwoods Arkansas, on the edge of the Cardinals' sphere of influence.  He pitched briefly for them as a twenty-year-old, then hit his Hall of Fame stride in 1933, at the age of twenty-three.  For the next five years he averaged 24 victories a year and almost 200 strikeouts. 

In the 1934 World Series, he got half of the Cardinals' four victories; (his brother, Paul, won the other two).  He may have been entirely accurate when he asserted "Anybody who's ever had the privilege of seeing me play knows that I am the greatest pitcher in the world."

In Dizzy's words

Dizzy's broadcast career was colorful but occasionally controversial. The liberties he took with the English language--"he slud into third"--annoyed those charged with teaching proper grammar.

Dean remained unrepentant. In the Depression's hard times, he noted, "a lot of people...who say 'isn't'...ain't eating."  His final thoughts on the subject:  "Let the teachers learn the kids English.  Ol' Diz will learn the kids baseball."

(other memorable Dizzy Dean quotes)

In the 1937 All-Star Game, a line drive off his toe forced him to change his pitching motion, which damaged the arm he thought was indestructible.  Dealt to the rival Chicago Cubs the following year, Dean never returned to his original form. 

When his playing career ending in 1947 with the St. Louis Browns, he was able to make a very successful switch to broadcasting for CBS and NBC.  He spoke as he had pitched, with a prodigious native talent, unlimited gusto, and complete unpredictability. 

Dean was not shy and he was not humble, but he was GOOD.  As he pointed out:  "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up."

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff