Harry David Brecheen (October 14, 1914 – January 17, 2004), nicknamed "The Cat", was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played most of his career for the St. Louis Cardinals. In the late 1940s he was among the team's stars, in 1946 becoming the first left-hander ever to win three games in a single World Series, and the only pitcher ever to win consecutive World Series games. He later leading the National League in several categories in 1948.
His career World Series earned run average of 0.83 was a major league record from 1946 to 1976. From 1951 to 1971 he held the Cardinals franchise record for career strikeouts by a left-hander, and he also retired with the fourth-highest fielding percentage among pitchers (.983), then the top mark among left-handers.
Harry Brecheen with the Orioles (as pitching coach) in 1955
|Born: October 14, 1914|
Broken Bow, Oklahoma
|Died: January 17, 2004 (aged 89)|
|April 22, 1940, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 13, 1953, for the St. Louis Browns|
|Earned run average||2.92|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma and nicknamed for his fielding ability, he was acquired by the Cardinals in 1938 after two minor league seasons, but did not get a chance to start for the team until 1943. He was nicknamed "The Cat" because of his ability to cover bunts.
He appeared in three innings in 1940. Exempted from military service during World War II with a 4-F classification due to a spinal malformation and a boyhood ankle injury, he pitched in the 1943 and 1944 World Series. In 1943, Brecheen pitched in 29 games, starting 13 of them. He went 9–6 with a 2.29 earned run average in 135 innings pitched. The next season, he went 16–5. He won game four of the 1944 World Series against the St. Louis Browns. He was key to the Cardinals' upset win over the Boston Red Sox in the 1946 World Series. He won three games during the series. He recorded his finest season in 1948, posting a win–loss record of 20–7 with 21 complete games and led the league in earned run average (2.24), strikeouts (149) and shutouts (7).
A two-time All-Star, his overall career record was 133 wins and 92 losses, with 901 strikeouts. After breaking Bill Sherdel's club record for career strikeouts by a left-hander in 1951, he held the mark until Steve Carlton surpassed it in 1971. His 25 career shutouts remain the Cardinal record for left-handers. His career World Series ERA of 0.83 stood as the record (with at least 25 innings) until Jack Billingham broke it in 1976 with a mark of 0.36.
Playing his entire career for St. Louis teams, Brecheen ended his career in 1953 as a playing coach with the St. Louis Browns; it was that team's final season in the city before their move to Baltimore. He won his only start of the 1944 Series, which matched the city's two teams.
During his career, he had a 133–92 win–loss record with a 2.92 earned run average.
Following his playing career, Brecheen remained with the Browns when they became the Baltimore Orioles, and was their pitching coach from 1954 to 1967. While coaching the Orioles pitchers for the next 14 years, the Orioles’ staff ranked in the top four in ERA. He trained many young pitchers including Billy O'Dell, Jack Fisher, Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Steve Barber, Chuck Estrada, Jerry Walker and Milt Pappas; He changed 36-year-old Hoyt Wilhelm into a starter in 1959. The knuckleballer led the league with a 2.19 era while winning 15 games and losing 11; With Brecheen's help, washed up Phillies legend Robin Roberts, made a comeback with the Orioles. Brecheen was let go after the 1967 season after too many promising Orioles pitchers turned up with arm troubles during his long tenure. He was voted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. He died at age 89 in a nursing facility in Bethany, Oklahoma.
| St. Louis Browns pitching coach
| Baltimore Orioles pitching coach
The 1943 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 62nd season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 52nd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 105–49 during the season and finished 1st in the National League. In the World Series, they met the New York Yankees. They lost the series in 5 games.1943 World Series
The 1943 World Series matched the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals against the New York Yankees, in a rematch of the 1942 Series. The Yankees won the Series in five games for their tenth championship in 21 seasons. It was Yankees manager Joe McCarthy's final Series win. This series was also the first to have an accompanying World Series highlight film (initially, the films were created as gifts to troops fighting in World War II, to give them a brief recap of baseball action back home), a tradition that still persists.
This World Series was scheduled for a 3–4 format because of wartime travel restrictions. The 3–4 format meant there was only one trip between ballparks, but if the Series had ended in a four-game sweep, there would have been three games played in one park and only one in the other.
Because of World War II, both teams' rosters were depleted. Johnny Beazley, Jimmy Brown, Creepy Crespi, Terry Moore and Enos Slaughter were no longer on the Cardinals' roster. Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Red Ruffing and Buddy Hassett were missing from the Yankees, and Red Rolfe had retired to coach at Dartmouth College.
Cardinals pitchers Howie Pollet, Max Lanier and Mort Cooper ranked 1–2–3 in the National League in ERA in 1943 at 1.75, 1.90 and 2.30, respectively.1944 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1944 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 63rd season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 53rd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 105–49 during the season and finished 1st in the National League. In the World Series, they met their town rivals, the St. Louis Browns. They won the series in 6 games.1945 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1945 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 64th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 54th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 95–59 during the season and finished 2nd in the National League. The Cardinals set a Major League record which still stands, for the fewest double plays grounded into during a season, with only 75.1946 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1946 St. Louis Cardinals season was a season in American baseball. It was the team's 65th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 55th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 96–58 during the championship season and finished tied with the Brooklyn Dodgers for first in the National League. St. Louis then won a best-of-three playoff for the pennant, 2 games to none. In the World Series, they won in 7 games over the Boston Red Sox. They won on Enos Slaughter's "mad dash" that gave them a 4–3 lead in the 8th inning of game 7.1946 World Series
The 1946 World Series was played in October 1946 between the St. Louis Cardinals (representing the National League) and the Boston Red Sox (representing the American League). This was the Red Sox's first appearance in a World Series since their championship of 1918.
In the eighth inning of Game 7, with the score 3–3, the Cardinals' Enos Slaughter opened the inning with a single but two batters failed to advance him. With two outs, Harry Walker walloped a hit over Johnny Pesky's head into left-center field. As Leon Culberson chased it down, Slaughter started his "mad dash". Pesky caught Culberson's throw, turned and—perhaps surprised to see Slaughter headed for the plate—supposedly hesitated just a split second before throwing home. Roy Partee had to take a few steps up the third base line to catch Pesky's toss, but Slaughter was safe without a play at the plate and Walker was credited with an RBI double. The Cardinals won the game and the Series in seven games, giving them their sixth championship.
Boston superstar Ted Williams played the Series injured and was largely ineffective but refused to use his injury as an excuse.
As the first World Series to be played after wartime travel restrictions had been lifted, it returned from the 3-4 format to the 2–3–2 format for home teams, which has been used ever since. It also saw the return of many prominent players from military service.1947 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1947 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 66th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 56th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 89–65 during the season and finished second in the National League.1948 Major League Baseball season
During the 1948 Major League Baseball season which began on April 19 and ended on October 11, 1948, the Boston Braves won the NL pennant and the Cleveland Indians won a 1-game playoff against the Boston Red Sox to take the AL pennant.1948 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1948 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 67th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 57th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 85–69 during the season and finished 2nd in the National League.1949 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1949 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 68th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 58th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 96–58 during the season and finished second in the National League.1950 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1950 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 69th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 59th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 78–75 during the season and finished 5th in the National League.1953 St. Louis Browns season
The 1953 St. Louis Browns season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Browns finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 54 wins and 100 losses, 46½ games behind the AL and World Series champion New York Yankees in their 52nd and final season in the Gateway City. After the season, the Browns moved to Baltimore, where they play today, and became the Baltimore Orioles.1973 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1973 followed the system in place since 1971, except by adding the special election of Roberto Clemente, who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and
elected Warren Spahn.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.
It selected three people: Billy Evans, George Kelly, and Mickey Welch.
The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Monte Irvin.Brecheen
Brecheen is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Harry Brecheen (1914–2004), American baseball player
Josh Brecheen (born 1979), American politicianEddie Stanky
Edward Raymond Stanky (September 3, 1915 – June 6, 1999) was an American professional baseball second baseman, shortstop and manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Braves, New York Giants, and St. Louis Cardinals between 1943 and 1953. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.It took Stanky eight years to reach the major leagues at age 27, after starting out at Greenville, Mississippi, in the East Dixie League, where he was a teammate of future St. Louis Cardinals star Harry Brecheen, whom Stanky would manage in St. Louis in 1952.Galveston Buccaneers
The Galveston Buccaneers were a Minor League Baseball team that existed from 1931 to 1937. Based in Galveston, Texas, United States, they played in the Texas League. Their home ballpark was Moody Stadium. Notable players include Del Pratt, Beau Bell, Wally Moses and Harry Brecheen. In 1934, they were the league champions.From 1933 to 1935, the Buccaneers were in the playoffs for the Texas League title. In 1933, they were the runners-up in the Championship Series to the San Antonio Missions. In 1934, Galveston captured only its third Texas League crown; the other titles were in 1890 and 1899. In 1935, the Buccaneers finished third with an 86–75 record but were defeated in the first round of the playoffs.Murry Dickson
Murry Monroe Dickson (August 21, 1916 – September 21, 1989) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball during the 1940s and 1950s. He was known for his vast array of pitches and deliveries — one of his managers, Eddie Dyer, nicknamed him "Thomas Edison" for his inventiveness — and for the longevity of his career.
Although Dickson would lead the National League in defeats for three successive seasons (1952–54), he pitched the St. Louis Cardinals to the 1946 NL pennant by beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in the decisive Game 2 of the league playoffs. Then, during the 1946 World Series, he started Game 7 against the Boston Red Sox, a game the Cards would ultimately win for the world championship.
Born in Tracy, Missouri, Dickson entered professional baseball and the vast Cardinal farm system in 1937. After three outstanding minor league seasons with the 1939 Houston Buffaloes (winning 22 games to lead the Texas League) and the 1940–41 Columbus Red Birds, Dickson joined the Cardinals for good in 1942. He compiled a 14–5 record for the Cards in 1942–43 (both clubs reaching the World Series) before joining the U.S. Army for military service in the European Theater of Operations during World War II.In 1946, he returned to the Major Leagues and won 15 games for pennant- and world title-bound Cardinals, none bigger than his defeat of the Dodgers in the 1946 National League tie-breaker series. The two teams had finished in a dead heat after the 154-game regular-season schedule; according to National League bylaws of the time, they would play a best-of-three series to determine the league champion. St. Louis won the opening game behind Howie Pollet, and in Game 2, in Ebbets Field, Dickson shut down the home club until the ninth inning, and the Cards racked up an 8–4 victory and the league pennant. Dickson led the league in winning percentage (.714) that season. He lost Game 3 of the 1946 World Series to the Red Sox, but pitched seven strong innings in the Series' final game, with Harry Brecheen getting the win after St. Louis rallied in the eighth stanza.
Dickson compiled an over .500 won-loss record only once in the next eight years, but it was a notable effort. His contract was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates on January 29, 1949. In 1951, Dickson won 20 games (losing 16) for the seventh-place Pirates, who won only 64 contests for the entire season. He had 19 complete games that season, and 21 in 1952, when he won 14 and lost 21 for a last-place Pittsburgh team that won only 42 games all year. (Thus Dickson accounted for 31 percent of Pirate victories in 1951, and a full one-third of the team's wins in 1952.) He then dropped 19 decisions in 1953 and 20 more in 1954, his first season as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Late in his career, however, Dickson experienced renewed success with a return to the Cardinals (1956–57) and as a relief pitcher in the American League for the Kansas City Athletics and New York Yankees (1958–59). He retired from the game at age 43 with a career mark of 172 victories, 181 losses (.487) and an earned run average of 3.66 over 18 seasons, 625 appearances and 3,0521⁄3 innings pitched.
Dickson died at age 73 from emphysema in Kansas City, Kansas.Red Munger
George David "Red" Munger (October 4, 1918 – July 23, 1996) was an American professional baseball player, a right-handed pitcher who spent a decade in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals (1943–44; 1946–52) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1952; 1956). The native of Houston, Texas, stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg).
Munger pitched a complete game, 12–3 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 1946 World Series at Fenway Park. He gave up nine hits, including a home run by future Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, but only one run was earned. Munger's victory in his only World Series appearance was the only Cardinal win not registered by teammate Harry Brecheen, whose three triumphs propelled the Redbirds to a seven-game World Series championship over the Red Sox.A three-time National League All-Star, Munger worked in 273 regular-season Major League games during his career, winning 77 and losing 56 (.583) with an earned run average of 3.83. He struck out 564 batters in 1,2282⁄3 innings pitched. In 1944, he won 11 of 14 decisions in 21 games, 12 as a starter, with a 1.34 earned run average. He entered the United States Army for World War II service during the middle of that campaign, and did not qualify for the National League's ERA title. He also missed the 1944 World Series, which delivered another Cardinal championship.
Munger took a regular turn in the Cardinal starting rotation from mid-1946 through 1950, then was traded to the Pirates in May 1952. Pittsburgh sent Munger to their top minor league affiliate, the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League, and he responded with 17- and 23-win seasons in 1954–55. During the latter year, at age 36, he registered 25 complete games and an ERA of 1.85. The standout season brought Munger to the Major Leagues for one last campaign, as a relief pitcher and occasional starter for the 1956 Pirates. All told, as a minor leaguer, Munger won 152 games; as a professional, he compiled a 229–174 (.568) record during a career that stretched from 1937 to 1958.
Munger died in 1996, in Houston, aged 77.Slaughter's Mad Dash
The Mad Dash, or Slaughter's Mad Dash, refers to an event in the eighth inning of the seventh game of the 1946 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox.