The 1931 World Series featured the two-time defending champion Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals beat the Athletics in seven games, a rematch and reversal of fortunes of the previous 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 had spent seven seasons in the minor leagues. He led his team for the 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 had been banned by Major League Baseball in 1920, but those still using it at that time were "grandfathered", or permitted to keep throwing it for the balance of their big-league careers. One of those who "wet his pill" still active in 1931 was Burleigh Grimes, with two Series starts, two wins and seven innings of no-hit pitching in Game 3. "Wild" Bill Hallahan started and won the other two for the Cards, and saved Game 7.
The Athletics had captured their third straight American League pennant, winning 107 games (and 313 for 1929–31). But this would prove to be the final World Series for longtime A's manager Connie Mack. As he did after the Boston "Miracle Braves" swept his heavily favored A's in the 1914 Series, Mack would break up this great team by selling off his best players, this time out of perceived economic necessity rather than pique and competition from the short-lived Federal League. It would be the A's last World Series appearance in Philadelphia and it would be 41 years—and two cities—later before the A's would return to the Fall Classic, after their successive moves to Kansas City in 1955 and Oakland in 1968. This would also be the city of Philadelphia's last appearance in the Series until 1950. It was also the last World Series until the 2017 edition in which both teams who had won at least 100 games in the regular season went the maximum seven games.
|1931 World Series|
|Umpires||Bill Klem (NL), Dick Nallin (AL), Dolly Stark (NL), Bill McGowan (AL)|
|Hall of Famers||Umpire: Bill Klem |
Cardinals: Jim Bottomley, Frankie Frisch, Burleigh Grimes, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines (dnp).
Athletics: Connie Mack (mgr.), Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Waite Hoyt, Al Simmons.
|Radio announcers||NBC: Graham McNamee, Tom Manning, George Hicks|
CBS: Ted Husing
|1||October 1||Philadelphia Athletics – 6, St. Louis Cardinals – 2||Sportsman's Park||1:55||38,529|
|2||October 2||Philadelphia Athletics – 0, St. Louis Cardinals – 2||Sportsman's Park||1:49||35,947|
|3||October 5||St. Louis Cardinals – 5, Philadelphia Athletics – 2||Shibe Park||2:10||32,295|
|4||October 6||St. Louis Cardinals – 0, Philadelphia Athletics – 3||Shibe Park||1:58||32,295|
|5||October 7||St. Louis Cardinals – 5, Philadelphia Athletics – 1||Shibe Park||1:56||32,295|
|6||October 9||Philadelphia Athletics – 8, St. Louis Cardinals – 1||Sportsman's Park||1:57||39,401|
|7||October 10||Philadelphia Athletics – 2, St. Louis Cardinals – 4||Sportsman's Park||1:57||20,805|
|WP: Lefty Grove (1–0) LP: Paul Derringer (0–1)|
PHA: Al Simmons (1)
The A's scored four runs in the third, enabling Lefty Grove to win Game 1 despite giving up 12 hits, three by Pepper Martin.
|WP: Bill Hallahan (1–0) LP: George Earnshaw (0–1)|
Pepper Martin's two hits and two stolen bases, scoring both Cardinal runs, supported Hallahan's three-hit shutout.
|WP: Burleigh Grimes (1–0) LP: Lefty Grove (1–1)|
PHA: Al Simmons (2)
Grimes pitched a two-hitter and contributed a two-run single in the fourth. He had a shutout until Al Simmons hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth.
|WP: George Earnshaw (1–1) LP: Syl Johnson (0–1)|
PHA: Jimmie Foxx (1)
George Earnshaw pitched a brilliant two-hit shutout, walking one and striking out eight. Simmons RBI double in the first inning was all Earnshaw needed. Martin had both Cardinal hits.
|WP: Bill Hallahan (2–0) LP: Waite Hoyt (0–1)|
STL: Pepper Martin (1)
Martin was a thorn in the A's side in the series, getting three hits and four RBI to lead St. Louis to a 5-1 victory. Through five games, Martin leads all regulars with a .667 (12-18) average.
|WP: Lefty Grove (2–1) LP: Paul Derringer (0–2)|
The Athletics broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the fifth, Grove winning his second game of the series with a five-hitter, tying the series.
|WP: Burleigh Grimes (2–0) LP: George Earnshaw (1–2) Sv: Bill Hallahan (1)|
STL: George Watkins (1)
A two-run home run by George Watkins in the third gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead, but the Athletics scored two in the ninth, Hallahan getting the last out, saving the victory for Grimes.
Despite going 0-6 in Games 6 and 7, Pepper Martin was the leading hitter of the series with a .500 (12-24) batting average.
|St. Louis Cardinals||5||3||2||2||0||3||1||1||2||19||54||4|
|Total attendance: 231,567 Average attendance: 33,081|
Winning player's share: $4,468 Losing player's share: $3,023
The 1931 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing first in the American League with a record of 107 wins and 45 losses. It was the team's third consecutive pennant-winning season and its third consecutive season with over 100 wins. However the A's lost the 1931 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. The series loss prevented the Athletics from becoming the first major league baseball team to win three consecutive World Series; the New York Yankees would accomplish the feat a mere seven years later. The Athletics, ironically, would go on to earn their own threepeat in 1974, some forty-three years after the failed 1931 attempt.
1931 was also the A's final World Series appearance in Philadelphia. Their next AL pennant would be in 1972, after they had moved to Oakland.1931 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1931 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 50th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 40th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 101–53 during the season and finished first in the National League. In the World Series, they beat the Philadelphia Athletics in 7 games.1932 Cincinnati Reds season
The 1932 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 60–94, 30 games behind the Chicago Cubs.Andy High
Andrew Aird High (November 21, 1897 – February 18, 1981) was an American professional baseball third baseman, scout, and coach. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Brooklyn Robins, Boston Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and Philadelphia Phillies between 1922 and 1934.Born in Ava, Illinois, he played third base in the Major Leagues for 13 seasons (1922 through 1934) for the Brooklyn Robins, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. High was relatively small for a third baseman, at 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m) tall and 155 pounds (70 kg). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. His brothers Hugh and Charlie also played in the big leagues.
Andy High appeared in 1,314 games played in the Majors and made 1,250 hits, including 195 doubles, 65 triples and 44 home runs. In his best season, 1924 with Brooklyn, High collected 191 hits and batted .328. He was a member of three National League champions as a St. Louis Cardinal, in 1928, 1930 and 1931. In 34 World Series at bats, High collected ten hits, batting .294. In the decisive Game 7 of the 1931 World Series, High, batting leadoff, had three hits in four at bats and ignited a pair of two-run rallies, scoring twice and helping the Redbirds build a 4–0 lead; their foes, the defending world champion Philadelphia Athletics, could not recover, and St. Louis won the world title.
High was later a player/manager in the minor leagues from 1934–36. He coached for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937–38 and then became a scout and, eventually, director of scouting for the Dodgers until his retirement in 1963. During his quarter-century scouting career, the Dodgers won nine NL pennants in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, and three World Series titles.Bill Hallahan
William Anthony Hallahan (August 4, 1902 – July 8, 1981) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball during the 1920s and 1930s. Nicknamed "Wild Bill" because of his lack of control on the mound—he twice led the National League in bases on balls—Hallahan nevertheless was one of the pitching stars of the 1931 World Series and pitched his finest in postseason competition.
He also was the starting pitcher for the National League in the first All-Star Game in 1933, losing a 4–2 decision to Lefty Gomez of the American League and surrendering a third-inning home run to Babe Ruth in the process.Charlie Gelbert (American football)
Charles Gelbert (December 24, 1871 – January 16, 1936) was an American football player, nicknamed "The Miracle Man" because he did so much with so little. He was a four-year starter for the Penn Quakers, from 1893 to 1896, and played guard and end. During his time at Penn, the school's football teams won consecutive national champions with undefeated seasons in 1894 and 1895. He also earned All-American honors from Walter Camp in 1894, 1895, and 1896. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1960. In 1912, Jack Kofoed, writing in the Philadelphia Record, named Gelbert to his all-time All-America team.
However Gelbert also played football at the professional level. From 1898 until 1899, he played for the Duquesne Country and Athletic Club. A year later, he was in the line-up for the 1900 Homestead Library & Athletic Club football team. In 1902, he played for the Philadelphia Phillies of the first National Football League. After the Phillies season ended, he played for the "New York team" during the 1902 World Series of Football The team was heavily favored to win the five team tournament, and featured professional football stars Blondy Wallace, Walter E. Bachman and Ben Roller. However, the team was eliminated in the opening match in a 5-0 loss to the Syracuse Athletic Club.
Gelbert also took part in gymnastics. It was said that his acrobatic play would help his defensive play in football when facing off against much larger men. Outside of football he worked as a veterinary surgeon in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Finally, Charlie was the father of Charlie Gelbert, an infielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, who would go on to win the 1931 World Series.Chick Hafey
Charles James "Chick" Hafey (February 12, 1903 – July 2, 1973) was an American player in Major League Baseball (MLB). Playing for the St. Louis Cardinals (1924–1931) and Cincinnati Reds (1932–1935, 1937), Hafey was a strong line-drive hitter who batted for a high average on a consistent basis.
Hafey was part of two World Series championship teams (in 1926 and 1931) as a Cardinal and also made history with the first hit in an All-Star game, starting in left field and batting cleanup for the National League in the 1933 game. He was selected by the Veterans Committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. In 2014, the Cardinals inducted him into their team hall of fame.Dib Williams
Edwin Dibrell Williams (January 19, 1910 – April 2, 1992) was an American second baseman and shortstop in Major League Baseball who played from 1930 to 1935 with the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox. Born in Greenbrier, Arkansas, he played in the 1931 World Series with the Athletics. He died at age 82 in Searcy, Arkansas.
He compiled a .267 batting average (421-1574) with 198 runs, 29 home runs, and 201 RBI in a six-year, 475 game career.Dick Nallin
Richard Francis Nallin (February 26, 1878 – September 7, 1956) was an American football player and coach and baseball player and umpire. He served as head football coach at Villanova College—now known as Villanova University—in 1899, compiling a record of 7–2–1. Nallin was a Major League Baseball umpire from 1915 to 1932 for the American League. He umpired the 1927 World Series and 1931 World Series. During his umpiring career, he was home plate umpire for three no-hitters: Ernie Koob's on May 5, 1917, Bob Groom's the very next day, and Charlie Robertson's perfect game on April 30, 1922. As of the end of the 2010 season, only two other umpires have called balls and strikes for two no-hitters in the same month: Bill Dinneen in September 1923 and Bill Deegan in May 1977. He was also the home-plate umpire during Ty Cobb's final game on September 11, 1928.Flint Rhem
Charles Flint Rhem (January 24, 1901 – July 30, 1969), born in Rhems, South Carolina, was a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals (1924–28, 1930–32, 1934 and 1936), Philadelphia Phillies (1932–33) and Boston Braves (1934–35).
He helped the Cardinals win the 1926 World Series, 1931 World Series, and 1934 World Series and 1928 and 1930 National League pennants.
He finished 8th in voting for the 1926 National League MVP for having a 20–7 Win–loss record, 34 Games, 34 Games Started, 20 Complete Games, 1 Shutout, 258 Innings Pitched, 241 Hits Allowed, 121 Runs Allowed, 92 Earned Runs Allowed, 12 Home Runs Allowed, 75 Walks Allowed, 72 Strikeouts, 1 Hit Batsmen, 5 Wild Pitches, 1,068 Batters Faced, 1 Balk and a 3.21 ERA.
In 12 seasons he had a 105–97 Win–Loss record, 294 Games, 229 Games Started, 91 Complete Games, 8 Shutouts, 41 Games Finished, 10 Saves, 1,725 ⅓ Innings Pitched, 1,958 Hits Allowed, 989 Runs Allowed, 805 Earned Runs Allowed, 113 Home Runs Allowed, 529 Walks Allowed, 534 Strikeouts, 20 Hit Batsmen, 33 Wild Pitches, 7,516 Batters Faced, 4 Balks and a 4.20 ERA.
Rhem died in Columbia, South Carolina at the age of 68.Gus Mancuso
August Rodney Mancuso (December 5, 1905 – October 26, 1984), nicknamed "Blackie", was an American professional baseball player, coach, scout and radio sports commentator. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals (1928, 1930–32, 1941–42), New York Giants (1933–38, 1942–44), Chicago Cubs (1939), Brooklyn Dodgers (1940) and Philadelphia Phillies (1945).Mancuso was known for his capable handling of pitching staffs and for his on-field leadership abilities. He was a member of five National League pennant-winning teams, and played as the catcher for five pitchers who were eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mancuso was regarded as one of the top defensive catchers of the 1930s.Jim Lindsey (baseball)
James Kendrick Lindsey (born January 24, 1898, in Greensburg, Louisiana; died October 25, 1963 in Jackson, Louisiana) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher from 1922 to 1937. He helped the Cardinals win the 1930 National League pennant and win the 1931 World Series and 1934 World Series.
In 9 seasons Lindsey had a 21–20 Win–Loss record, 177 Games, 20 Games Started, 5 Complete Games, 1 Shutout, 80 Games Finished, 19 Saves, 431 Innings Pitched, 507 Hits, 261 Runs, 225 Earned Runs, 25 Home Runs Allowed, 176 Walks Allowed, 175 Strikeouts, 12 Hit Batsmen, 9 Wild Pitches, 1,943 Batters Faced, 3 Balks and a 4.70 ERA.
In 1938, he was one of three managers of the Dayton Ducks of the Middle Atlantic League.
He died in Jackson, Louisiana at the age of 65.List of World Series starting pitchers
The following chart lists starting pitchers for each Major League Baseball World Series game.Decisions listed indicate lifetime World Series W/L records as a starting pitcher; a pitcher's wins and losses in World Series relief appearances are not included here.
‡ denotes a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.Lou Finney
Louis Klopsche Finney (August 13, 1910 – April 22, 1966) was an American professional baseball player. He spent fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) playing for the Philadelphia Athletics (1931; 1933–39), Boston Red Sox (1939–42; 1944–45), St. Louis Browns (1945–46), and Philadelphia Phillies (1947) as an outfielder and first baseman.
Born in Buffalo, in Chambers County, Alabama, the left-handed-batting Finney stood 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) tall and weighed 180 lb (82 kg). Finney was of Scotch-Irish descent; he was named in memory of Louis Klopsch, a German-American immigrant and founder of The Christian Herald magazine, who died in 1910. An older brother, Hal, was also a Major League player, a catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Lou Finney's professional baseball career began in the minor leagues in 1930; the next season, he was called up to the pennant-bound Athletics in September, and he batted .375 in nine games—including back-to-back three-hit outings against the Cleveland Indians on September 14–15. He did not appear in the 1931 World Series, which Philadelphia lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, and spent 1932 with the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League, batting .351 with 268 hits.
Finney then split 1933 between the Athletics, getting into 74 games as a back-up outfielder, and the top-level Montreal Royals of the International League. In 1934, he made the Athletics for good, but the Mackmen were beginning a 13-year streak of futility that would see them plummet to the bottom of the American League standings nine times, including 1935, 1936 and 1938. Finney was the club's regular first baseman in both 1936 and 1938, batting .302 with 197 hits in the former year.
Then, on May 8, 1939, his contract was purchased by the first division Red Sox. With Boston, Finney benefited from the batting tips offered by Hall of Famer Hugh Duffy, a veteran Red Sox scout and hitting instructor. He hit .325 in part-time service in 1939, then took over as the Red Sox' regular right fielder in 1940, with Ted Williams shifting to left field. Finney batted .320 with 171 hits, and was named to the 1940 American League All-Star Team.
Finney held onto the Red Sox' right-fielder job in both 1941 and 1942, although his batting average dipped below .290 each season. With World War II raging, he spent the 1943 campaign working his Alabama farm before returning to the Majors for two full seasons (1944–45) and parts of 1946 and 1947.
In 15 Major League seasons, Finney played in 1,270 games and had 4,631 at bats, 643 runs scored, 1,329 hits, 203 doubles, 85 triples, 31 home runs, 494 runs batted in, 39 stolen bases, 329 bases on balls, a .287 batting average, .336 on-base percentage, .388 slugging percentage, 1,795 total bases and 63 sacrifice hits. He led the American League in at bats (653) in 1936 and finished 29th in voting for the 1940 American League MVP Award for leading the AL in at bats per strikeout (41.1)
Finney played and managed in minor league baseball after his final stint in MLB with the 1947 Phillies. He died from coronary thrombosis in LaFayette, Alabama, at the age of 55.Mickey Cochrane
Gordon Stanley "Mickey" Cochrane (April 6, 1903 – June 28, 1962), nicknamed "Black Mike", was an American professional baseball player, manager and coach. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers. Cochrane was considered one of the best catchers in baseball history and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.Cochrane was born in Massachusetts and was a multi-sport athlete at Boston University. After college, he chose baseball over basketball and football. He made his major league debut in 1925, having spent only one season in the minor leagues. He was chosen as the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player in 1928 and he appeared in the World Series from 1929 to 1931. Philadelphia won the first two of those World Series, but Cochrane was criticized for giving up stolen bases when his team lost the series in 1931. Cochrane's career batting average (.320) stood as a record for MLB catchers until 2009.
Cochrane's career ended abruptly after a near-fatal head injury from a pitched ball in 1937. After his professional baseball career, he served in the United States Navy in World War II and ran an automobile business. Cochrane died of cancer in 1962. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked him 65th on its list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players.Pepper Martin
Johnny Leonard Roosevelt "Pepper" Martin (February 29, 1904 – March 5, 1965) was an American professional baseball player and minor league manager. He was known as the Wild Horse of the Osage because of his daring, aggressive baserunning abilities. Martin played in Major League Baseball as a third baseman and an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1930s and early 1940s. He was best known for his heroics during the 1931 World Series, in which he was the catalyst in a Cardinals' upset victory over the Philadelphia Athletics.Martin was an integral member of the Cardinals' teams of the 1930s that became known as the Gashouse Gang for their roguish behavior and practical jokes. Martin was even referred to as the inspiration for the pre-game warmup routine of "pepper." Early in his career, he was labeled by some contemporary press reports as the next Ty Cobb because of his spirited, hustling style of play. However, because his headlong attitude on the playing field took a physical toll on his body, he never lived up to those initial expectations. After the end of his playing career, he continued his career in baseball as a successful minor league baseball manager.Sparky Adams
Earl John "Sparky" Adams (August 26, 1894 – February 24, 1989) was a professional Major League Baseball player who played with the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds.St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum
The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum is a team hall of fame located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, representing the history, players and personnel of the professional baseball franchise St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). It is housed within Ballpark Village, a mixed-use development and adjunct of Busch Stadium, the home stadium of the Cardinals. To date, 43 members have been enshrined within the Cardinals Hall of Fame.Wally Roettger
Walter Henry Roettger (August 28, 1902 – September 14, 1951) was a professional baseball player who was an outfielder in the major leagues from 1927 to 1935. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates, being a member of the 1931 World Series champion Cardinals.
In 599 games played, Roettger batted .285 (556-1949) with 192 runs scored, 19 home runs and 245 RBI in eight major league seasons. In the 1931 World Series, he hit .286 (4-14). His career fielding percentage was .986 at all three outfield positions.
|Wild card titles|
|All Star Games hosted|
|AL West Division|
|AL Wild Card (3)|
St. Louis Cardinals 1931 World Series champions
|AL Championship Series|
|NL Championship Series|
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|