- January 16, 1910
- 6' 2"
- 182 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 9-28-1930 with SLN
- Allstar Selections:
- 1934 MVP
- Hall of Fame:
Dizzy Dean in action!
In a nutshell:
In the 1937 All-Star Game, Earl Averill lined a pitch off Dizzy Dean's toe. The injury seemed minor at the time, but the star hurler rushed back too soon, favored his foot, and hurt his valuable right arm. Ineffective, Dean won less than 20 games the remainder of his career. Nonetheless, he gained Hall of Fame status based on his 120-62 record from 1932-1936. In addition, he was a stud out of the bullpen, saving 29 games in 75 relief appearances over that same stretch, often in crucial games. His 1934 season remains one of the greatest ever by a starting pitcher.
Pitches he threw:
Fastball, change of pace, curveball
None really, though Don Newcombe scores well on stats alone. Satchel Paige and Pedro Martinez compare to Dean in bravado and showmanship.
Earl Averill hit the ball off Dean's toe that ended up short-circuiting the pitchers' career... Paul Derringer beat out Dean for the final roster spot on the 1931 Cardinals.
Best Season: 1934
In addition to all of the pitching stats he put up, Dean batted .246 with two homers and a .339 slugging percentage. Taking into account his regular season pitching performance, the fact that he pitched almost every big game for the team down the stretch, and his World Series performance, it was one of the best seasons ever by a pitcher.
Paul Dean and Dizzy are the only brothers to combine for 40 wins as teammates in a single season. In 1934, Dizzy won 30 and Paul "Daffy" Dean won 19 for the World Champion Cardinals.
April 16, 1938: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Chicago Cubs for Curt Davis, Clyde Shoun, Tuck Stainback, and $185000 cash.
#17 (1932-1937), #22 (1938-1941), #31 (1947)
In 1950 Dean began working on the Game of The Week, a job in which he proved perfectly suited and extremely popular. He lasted as a television and radio broadcaster for two decades. He was often controversial or downright frank. One story has it that Dean saw a young couple "necking" in the bleachers during a game. He was reported to have said (on air), "that young feller is kissing her on the strikes and she's kissing him on the balls."
A New York Times article titled "Medwick Pops Off, Dean the Target," from April 28, 1938, reads:
Joe Medwick was hardly in camp an hour, before he fell into Gas House Gang character yesterday in Cincinnati with a blast at Jerome Herman Dean. It seems that Dizzy, in a chapter of his life story, recently published in a New York paper, said that Medwick was the Cardinal who started that row with Jack Miley and Irv Kupcinet a year ago this spring in a Tampa hotel. In the same story, Dizzy said he wasn't in the fight at all."'He's right in one respect,' Medwick wrote to Chicago newspapers. 'He wasn't in the fight after fists started to fly. He usually does a crawfish act about that time. He starts a fight and then somebody else had to protect him. That's what we did at Tampa, and it's true he was running away. The same thing in the fight with the Giants. He tried to bean somebody and when the Giants rushed him, he ran and let us fight his battles. Dean was about to be taken apart in that Tampa hotel when I entered the lobby and saved his life. That Kupcinet was too much for Dizzy. In fact, any man-sized boy is too much for Dizzy. You notice any time he throws a bean ball it's at some little fellow. If he ever gets into trouble while with the Cubs, watch him hide behind Hartnett. The trouble with Dizzy that he can't take it, and he got to thinking maybe Kupcinet, who lives in Chicago, might look him up and take him apart.'" The Cardinals felt good to hear somebody talk in Gas House Gang terms. Perhaps Medwick was just what they needed in more ways than one.
This anecdote is from Leo Durocher's autobiography, Nice Guys Finish Last:
The setting was before the first game of the 1934 World Series, which Dizzy Dean was scheduled to start. The Tigers were on the field taking batting practice when Dean and his teammates arrived on the scene. He (Dean) walked down to the field in his regular street clothes and jumped into the batting cage in front of Hank Greenberg, the big gun for the Tigers. 'I'll show you how to hit the ball, Mo,' he said. There was never anything vicious about Diz, though. Greenberg just laughed at him. Diz hit a couple of good drives, and then Greenberg stepped in and hit one a ton and a half. 'That's the way to hit the ball, Mo,' Dean said. [Dean was] outrageous, but never vicious.
Thanks to SABR member Bill Hickman for the excerpt from Durocher's Nice Guys Finish Last.
- 1953 Hall of Fame, All Star, Baseball History, Dizzy Dean, Gas House Gang, St. Louis Cardinals