In the 1931 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Athletics in seven games, a rematch and reversal of fortunes of the 1930 World Series.

The same two teams faced off during the 1930 World Series and the Athletics were victorious. The only day-to-day player in the Cardinals' lineup who was different in 1931 was the "Wild Horse of the Osage", Pepper Martin—a 27-year-old rookie who spent seven (7) years in the Minor Leagues. He led his team during this series in runs scored, hits, doubles, runs batted in and stolen bases, and also made a running catch to stifle a ninth-inning rally by the A's in the final game.

The spitball pitch was banned by Major League Baseball in 1920, but those who were grandfathered in were permitted to continue using it in their arsenal. One of those still pitching who "wet his pill" was Burleigh Grimes, who had two starts, two wins, and seven innings of no-hit pitching in Game 3.

The Athletics had captured their third straight American League pennant—winning 107 games—tallying their three year total to 313 wins. However, this would prove to be the final World Series for Athletics' manager Connie Mack. As with the loss in 1914, Mack would break up this great team by selling off the best players, this time out of perceived economic necessity rather than pique. It would be 41 years and two cities later before the A's would return to World Series action, the club having moved to Kansas City and then to Oakland in the meantime.

By Tom Hannon

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Burleigh Grimes, Connie Mack, Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals


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