A retired marketing director and professor of economics, Mel R. Freese lives in Savannah, Tennessee. He is also the author of Charmed Circle (1997), Magic Numbers (1998) and Glory Years of the St. Louis Cardinals (1999).
St. Louis Cardinals in the 1940sby Mel R. Freese
Though very few teams can accurately be called dynasties, the 1940s Cardinals certainly made a strong case. Detractors argue that World War II made the 40s an asterisk decade, with a huge loss of talent and significant changes to the ball and to the game itself. During that era, though, the Cardinals dominated the National League, winning four pennants and three
Though very few teams can accurately be called dynasties, the 1940s Cardinals certainly made a strong case. Detractors argue that World War II made the 40s an asterisk decade, with a huge loss of talent and significant changes to the ball and to the game itself. During that era, though, the Cardinals dominated the National League, winning four pennants and three World Series titles, and their rosters included names like Musial and Slaughter.
This is the history of the Cardinals during the 1940s, a decade that saw many of the greatest St. Louis clubs while war and integration significantly altered the game. Chapters follow the Cards year-by-year, covering each season with description, statistics and analysis. Interwoven throughout are the stories of wartime changes, including the loss of general manager Branch Rickey; the death of Judge Landis; the Pacific Coast League's demand for major league status; the first attempt at a players' union; and Mexican League talent raids. An appendix offers complete individual hitting and pitching statistics.
- McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
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The 1940s were undoubtedly the greatest decade of St. Louis Cardinals baseball, even exceeding the successful 1930s, 1960s and 1980s. Mel R. Freese's year-by-year approach is most appropriate for an era that occurred so long ago that few contemporary readers would be old enought to have remembered first hand. However, the narrative suffers from an over reliance on just one source (i.e., The Sporting News) as well as a tendency to refer to players merely by their surname. This becomes confusing when "Cooper" or "Walker" is used in several instances, since both Mort & Walker Cooper as well as Harry & Dixie Walker played in the decade. Also, the narrative would have been enhanced if supplemented by illustrations. Little insight is provided regarding certain allegations about the Brooklyn vs. St. Louis rivalry of the times (Durocher allegedly ordered his Dodgers to throw at Musial, while Dodger die-hards maintain that St.Louis beanballs shortened Ducky Medwick's career after he had been traded from St. Louis to Brooklyn). Nevertheless, this is the only volume yet undertaken on this particular decade of Cardinal history, so it is, by default, a "must read" for those enamored with the history of the most successful National League franchise, without engaging in the debate about the quality (or lack thereof) of WWII major league baseball.