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Random Game Callback, July 23, 1926
2006-07-23 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The St. Louis Cardinals jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and had little trouble disposing with the New York Giants, picking up a 6-1 win at home in Sportsman's Park.

For the Giants, it helped to have your name start with "Mc" this day. Manager John McGraw started pitcher Hugh McQuillan and catcher Hugh McMullen. Rogers Hornsby was the player/manager for the Cardinals. Hornsby took over the managerial duties after Branch Rickey decided to stay in the front office in 1925. Hornsby had lefthander Bill Sherdel on the mound.

The Cardinals got a run in the first without hitting the ball out of the infield. Left fielder Ray Blades led off with an infield single. One out later, Hornsby reached on a throwing error by third baseman Fred Lindstrom and first baseman Jim Bottomley reached on a throwing error by second baseman Frankie Frisch. Blades scored on that play.

St. Louis got three more runs in the third on consecutive run scoring doubles from right fielder Billy Southworth and third baseman Les Bell.

The Giants notched their lone run in the sixth when left fielder Irish Meusel doubled home Lindstrom. Other than that, Sherdel wasn't tested much.

Southworth singled in a run in the seventh and Bell drove in a run with a scoring fly ball in the same inning to make the final score, 6-1.

The Cardinals were tied for third on this day with Chicago, 3 1/2 games behind first place Cincinnati. Defending World Series champion Pittsburgh was in second.

However, the Cardinals would go 22-8 in August and led Cincinnati by a 1/2 game going into the last month of the season. Pittsburgh was a game back. The Cardinals played their last home game on September 1 and had to finish the season with 24 road games.

But in 1926, the other "western" teams in the NL were spending much of September on the road. The Cardinals would go 13-11 on their long road trip and that would be enough to edge out Cincinnati by two games. The Cardinals would stay out on the East Coast and open the World Series against New York at Yankee Stadium, where they would split the first two games. They finally returned home to St. Louis on October 5, but the Cardinals dropped 2 of 3 to the Yankees and had to return to Yankee Stadium for the final two. And the Cardinals became the second team to win a seven game series by winning the final two games on the road. The 1909 Pirates pulled off the feat at Detroit. The 1979 Pirates were the last team to do it. It's also happened in 1934, 1952, 1958, and 1968.

Although Hornsby managed the Cardinals to their first World Series win, he was far from universally loved. He didn't hit particularly well by his standards, hitting just .314 with 11 home runs. Catcher Bob O'Farrell won the MVP award, edging out Hughie Critz of Chicago. Under the rules of the time, Hornsby was ineligible for the award anyway.

More importantly, Hornsby alienated Rickey. For starters, Hornsby refused to make a late season stop for an exhibition game, depriving Rickey and the Cardinals of some cash. Rickey didn't care for that much. Hornsby was also openly dismissive of Rickey's advice. When the season ended, Rickey sent Hornsby to the Giants in exchange for Frisch and pitcher Jimmy Ring. The deal was complicated by the fact that Hornsby owned stock in the Cardinals. Because of this, baseball instituted a rule prohibiting players and managers from owning part of a club.

Sources: New York Times, Retrosheet,

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