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Series Wrapup

Story

Under player-manager Rogers Hornsby, who replaced Branch Rickey as skipper 38 games into the 1925 campaign, the Cardinals brought St. Louis its first pennant in a half-century of National League competition.  The Cardinals edged out the second-place Cincinnati Reds by just two games, finishing the season with a record of 89-65.  The defending champion Pittsburgh Pirates finished a close third, 4 ½ games off the pace, while the Chicago Cubs came in fourth, seven games back in the final standings.

Perhaps distracted by his off-field duties, Hornsby batted just .317, hit only 11 home runs, knocked in just 96 runs, and scored only 93 others.  Nevertheless, the Cardinals scored a league-leading 817 runs.  First baseman Jim Bottomley led the way, batting .299, scoring 98 runs, placing second in the league with 19 home runs, and topping the circuit with 120 runs batted in and 40 doubles.  Third baseman Les Bell batted .325 and drove in 100 runs.  Catcher Bob O’Farrell captured N.L. MVP honors by batting .293 and collecting 30 doubles.
 
The Cardinals also had a solid starting rotation that included 20-game winner Flint Rhem, 16-game winner Bill Sherdel, and future Hall of Famer Jesse Haines, who won 13 of his 17 decisions.  St. Louis pitchers combined for a National League-high 90 complete games.  Meanwhile, 39-year-old Pete Alexander did a fine job in his dual role of starter/reliever, winning nine games while compiling an ERA of 2.91.

Despite entering the World Series as heavy underdogs to the powerful New York Yankees, the Cardinals won the first world championship in franchise history by defeating the Yankees in seven games.  Pete Alexander proved to be the hero of the Series, coming out of the bullpen to save Game Seven after previously throwing complete-game victories in Games Two and Six.

The second-place Cincinnati Reds were perhaps the league’s most well-balanced club, finishing third in the circuit with 747 runs scored, while placing second in the league in fewest runs allowed (651).  Edd Roush and former Yankee Wally Pipp led the Reds on offense.  Roush placed among the league leaders with a .323 batting average, while Pipp finished fourth in the league with 99 runs batted in.  Pete Donohue and Carl Mays anchored Cincinnati’s pitching staff.  Donohue led all N.L. hurlers with 20 wins, 286 innings pitched, and five shutouts.  Mays finished 19-12 with a 3.14 ERA and a league-leading 24 complete games.  

The defending champion Pirates finished a disappointing third, even though they had two of the league’s top offensive performers.  Rookie Paul Waner topped the circuit with 22 triples and a .336 batting average.  Kiki Cuyler led the league with 113 runs scored, and he also placed among the leaders with 92 runs batted in, 197 hits, and a .321 batting average.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• Shortstop Tommy Thevenow led the Cardinals in hitting during the World Series, posting a .417 batting average, with a home run and four RBIs.

• By topping the senior circuit with a .336 batting average, Paul Waner broke Rogers Hornsby’s six-year stranglehold on the National League batting title.

Hack Wilson of the Chicago Cubs won his first National League home run crown by hitting 21 round-trippers.

• On December 20, the Cardinals traded Rogers Hornsby to the Giants for Frankie Frisch and Jimmy Ring.

• October 3 – After surrendering two runs to the Yankees in the second inning of Game Two, Grover Cleveland Alexander settled down to retire the final 21 batters he faced.  Tommy Thevenow collected three hits and Billy Southworth hit a three-run homer for St. Louis, as the Cardinals evened the Fall Classic at one game apiece.  Alexander went the distance to earn the victory, striking out 10 men.

• October 5 - In Game Three of the World Series, Jesse Haines pitched a five-hit shutout and hit a three-run home run, as the Cardinals beat the Yankees, 4–0, to take a 2-1 lead in the Series.

• October 10 - The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the New York Yankees, 3–2, in the decisive Game Seven of the World Series to clinch their first World Championship.  One day after picking up his second complete-game victory of the Series, 39-year-old Grover Cleveland Alexander came out of the bullpen in the seventh inning of Game Seven to protect Jesse Haines’s 3-2 lead.  Facing Tony Lazzeri with two men out and the bases loaded, Alexander fanned the Yankee slugger on four pitches, before retiring the next five Yankee batters in order.  Alexander then walked Babe Ruth with two men out in the bottom of the ninth inning, putting the potential tying run on base.  But, with Lou Gehrig at the plate, Ruth inexplicably attempted to steal second base.  N.L. MVP Bob O’Farrell gunned him down, thereby ending the game and the Series.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BRO 1838 5130 623 1348 568 .212 246 62 40 76 0 1838 .307 .285 .612 0 0 158
BSN 1715 5216 624 1444 560 .229 209 62 16 81 0 1825 .321 .288 .630 0 0 199
CHN 1714 5229 682 1453 630 .258 291 49 66 85 2040 .338 .338 .688 199
CIN 1762 5320 747 1541 692 .236 242 120 35 51 2128 .372 .308 .749 239
NY1 1790 5167 663 1435 617 .209 214 58 73 94 0 1984 .341 .272 .654 0 0 139
PHI 1825 5254 687 1479 632 .217 244 50 75 47 2048 .335 .282 .681 153
PIT 1804 5312 769 1514 707 .240 243 106 44 91 0 2101 .319 .314 .643 0 0 190
SLN 1703 5381 817 1541 756 .226 259 82 90 83 0 2234 .324 .297 .656 0 0 212

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BRO 263 71 82 1361 517 472 5932 1440 50 73.020 578 707 83 4 9 22 6
BSN 285 66 86 1364 408 455 5954 1536 46 51.080 608 718 60 9 9 23 0
CHN 269 82 72 1377 508 486 5854 1407 39 37.980 499 602 77 13 14 20 2
CIN 264 87 67 1409 424 324 5885 1449 40 45.840 535 651 88 14 8 12 2
NY1 286 74 77 1342 419 427 5690 1370 70 66.500 562 664 61 4 15 21 0
PHI 323 58 93 1336 331 454 6034 1699 68 111.470 746 900 68 5 5 31 2
PIT 288 84 69 1381 387 455 5913 1422 50 64.440 562 686 83 12 18 9 2
SLN 274 89 65 1399 365 397 5873 1423 76 75.220 570 678 90 10 6 14 2

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BRO 1655 6191 4085 1877 229 .943 0 0 0 0 12
BSN 1606 6245 4091 1946 208 .963 0 0 0 0 19
CHN 1576 6301 4133 2006 162 .945 0 0 0 0 17
CIN 1641 6545 4225 2137 183 .961 0 0 0 0 15
NY1 1607 6152 4025 1941 186 .957 0 0 0 0 15
PHI 1681 6238 3994 2019 225 .929 0 0 0 0 15
PIT 1653 6293 4144 1929 220 .935 0 0 0 0 9
SLN 1595 6310 4191 1921 198 .925 0 0 0 0 5

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1926 World Series, Babe Ruth, Bill Sherdel, Billy Southworth, Branch Rickey, Burleigh Grimes, Carl Mays, Chick Hafey, Dazzy Vance, Edd Roush, Flint Rhem, Frankie Frisch, Hack Wilson, Jesse Haines, Jim Bottomley, Jimmy Ring, Kiki Cuyler, Les Bell, New York Yankees, Paul Waner, Pete Alexander, Pete Donohue, Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis Cardinals, Tommy Thevenow, Tony Lazzeri, Wally Pipp

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