Joe Medwick

Joseph Michael Medwick (November 24, 1911 – March 21, 1975), nicknamed "Ducky", was an American Major League Baseball player. A left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals during the "Gashouse Gang" era of the 1930s, he also played for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1940–1943, 1946), New York Giants (1943–1945), and Boston Braves (1945). Medwick is the last National League player to win the Triple Crown Award (1937).[1]

Medwick was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America in 1968, receiving 84.81% of the votes.[2] In 2014, he became a member of the inaugural class of the St. Louis Cardinal Hall of Fame.

Joe Medwick
Joe Medwick 1964
Medwick with the St. Louis Cardinals
Left fielder
Born: November 24, 1911
Carteret, New Jersey
Died: March 21, 1975 (aged 63)
St. Petersburg, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 2, 1932, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
July 25, 1948, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average.324
Home runs205
Runs batted in1,383
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Vote84.81% (eighth ballot)

Early life

The son of Hungarian immigrants, Medwick was born and raised in Carteret, New Jersey. He excelled in baseball, basketball, football and track at Carteret High School.[3] University of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne made arrangements for Medwick to play football there, but Medwick decided to forgo college and enter professional baseball.[4]


Medwick entered professional baseball with the Scottdale Scotties of the Middle Atlantic League in 1930. In 75 games with the Scotties, he had a .419 batting average and 22 home runs. He spent most of the next two seasons with the Houston Buffaloes of the Texas League. He played 161 games for Houston in 1931, hitting .305 with 19 home runs. He played in 139 games for the team the next year, hitting .354 with 26 home runs before being called up to the major leagues.[5]

He made his debut with the Cardinals in 1932. By 1934, he hit .319 with 18 home runs and 106 runs batted in (RBI). Though Medwick swung at any pitch near the strike zone, he was difficult to strike out. He became known as one of baseball's rising stars, but it was also noted that Medwick had a self-centered nature.[6]

Medwick's hard-charging style of play got him pulled out of the seventh game of the 1934 World Series by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis after a hard slide into third baseman Marv Owen on a triple caused Detroit Tigers fans to pelt Medwick with fruits and vegetables.[7] Landis also ordered Owen benched.[8] Medwick remains the only known player to be thrown out of a game for his own personal safety. When asked about the incident after the game, Medwick replied, "I knew why they threw them. What I don't understand is why they brought them to the ballpark in the first place."[9]

Medwick won the National League Triple Crown and the NL Most Valuable Player in 1937, remaining the last NL player to win a Triple Crown.[1] In one of the Triple Crown categories, home runs, Medwick finished the season tied with Mel Ott. On June 6 of that season, Medwick hit a home run that was later wiped out due to a forfeit, costing him the outright home run title.[10]

Medwick's 64 doubles in 1936 remains the National League record.[11] He also held the National League record with 7 consecutive seasons with 40 or more doubles until, Stan Musial had 9 consecutive seasons with 40 or more doubles.[11] In 1940, the Cardinals traded Medwick and Curt Davis to the Dodgers for $125,000 and four lesser-known players. While still a solid hitter, Medwick never excelled defensively and the Cardinals felt that he was losing some of the skills he displayed in the 1937 Triple Crown season.[12]

Six days after the trade, Medwick was nearly killed by a beanball thrown at him by former Cardinal teammate Bob Bowman.[13] Bowman blamed the incident on sign stealing by Dodgers coach Chuck Dressen. He said that Dressen would whistle each time he saw the sign for a curveball. Hearing the whistle, Medwick stepped toward what he thought was a curveball, but Bowman had decided to throw a high, inside fastball to confuse them instead. When Medwick strode forward, the ball hit him in the temple and he was rendered unconscious.[14]

Medwick helped lead the Dodgers to a pennant in 1941, but he had lost much of his dominance. He was traded to the New York Giants in 1943.[15] During a USO tour by a number of players in 1944, Medwick was among several individuals given an audience by Pope Pius XII, who had been Cardinal Secretary of State before his elevation to the papacy. Upon being asked by the Pope what his vocation was, Medwick replied, "Your Holiness, I'm Joe Medwick. I, too, used to be a Cardinal."

Late in his career, Medwick said that golf was helping him to stay in good physical condition; thirty-six holes per day allowed him to walk more than ten miles "without heavy strain".[15]

In 1946, he was signed as a free agent by the St. Louis Browns. However, after attending 1946 spring training with the Browns, he was not able to secure a spot on the regular-season roster and was seemingly out of baseball at age 34. He eventually returned to St. Louis to finish his career with the Cardinals in 1947 and 1948. In 1949 at the age of 37 Medwick was player-coach of the Miami Beach Flamingos, a Class 'B' team in the Florida International League. He had 375 at-bats in 106 games, with 121 hits for a .323 batting average. He continued playing minor-league baseball through 1952 with Class 'B' Raleigh and Tampa, but his numbers declined substantially. Medwick retired with ten appearances in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game over seventeen seasons. He finished with a lifetime .324 batting average.

Career statistics

In 1984 games played over 17 seasons, Medwick compiled a .324 batting average (2471-7635) with 1198 runs, 540 doubles, 113 triples, 205 home runs, 1383 RBI, 437 bases on balls, .362 on-base percentage and .505 slugging percentage. In 12 World Series games (1934,1941), he hit .326 (15-46) with 5 runs, 5 RBI and 1 home run. His career fielding percentage was .980.

Later life and legacy

Joe Medwick plaque
Plaque of Joe Medwick at the Baseball Hall of Fame

In later years Medwick worked as a hitting coach in the Cardinals spring training camps and minor league system, his role with the team at the time of his death. He had fallen short of the required Hall of Fame vote threshold on numerous ballots, and received no votes for the first seven years after his retirement, which is sometimes attributed to his strained relationship with teammates and the press.

Medwick was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America in 1968.[2] After his election, he said, "This was the longest slump of my career. I had gone 0 for 20 before, but never 0 for 20 years."[16] Medwick died in 1975 of a heart attack in St. Petersburg, Florida.[17] He was buried at St. Lucas Cemetery in Sunset Hills, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.

In January 2014, the Cardinals announced Medwick among 22 former players and personnel to be inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for the inaugural class of 2014.[18]

Joseph Medwick Park along the banks of the Rahway River in Woodbridge Township and Carteret in Middlesex County, New Jersey is named in his honor.[19]

See also


  1. ^ a b "MLB Triple Crown Winners". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Joe Medwick at the Baseball Hall of Fame". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  3. ^ Staff. "Ducky Medwick, Slugger For Gas House Gang, Dies", The New York Times, March 22, 1975. Accessed October 19, 2014. "Medwick was born in Carteret, N. J,. on Nov. 24, 1911, and went on to star at Carteret High School in track, football, basketball, and baseball."
  4. ^ Sperber, Murray (1993). Shake Down the Thunder: The Creation of Notre Dame Football. Indiana University Press. p. 299. ISBN 0253215684.
  5. ^ "Joe Medwick Minor League Statistics & History". Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  6. ^ Alexander, Charles (2013). Breaking the Slump: Baseball in the Depression Era. Columbia University Press. p. 89. ISBN 0231504063.
  7. ^ Heutmaker, Brent (2016). "October 9, 1934: 'A case for Judge Landis': Medwick tossed in World Series melee as Cardinals win Game 7". Phoenix, AZ: Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "October 9, 1934: 'A case for Judge Landis'".
  9. ^ Sugar, Bert (Summer 1999). "Bert Sugar Remembers". The Michigan Alumnus. Ann Arbor, MI: Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. p. 32.
  10. ^ "Philly Bottle Barrage Caused '49 Forfeit". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. July 19, 1954. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Major League Baseball Records for Doubles". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  12. ^ Lowenfish, Lee (2009). Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman. University of Nebraska Press. p. 301. ISBN 0803224532.
  13. ^ Joe Medwick Facts from The Baseball Archived September 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ McKenna, Brian (2007). Early Exits: The Premature Endings of Baseball Careers. Scarecrow Press. p. 115. ISBN 0810858584.
  15. ^ a b Rice, Grantland (August 31, 1944). "Joe Medwick on the Rebound". The Miami News. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  16. ^ Corcoran, Dennis (2010). Induction Day at Cooperstown: A History of the Baseball Hall of Fame Ceremony. McFarland. p. 91. ISBN 0786444169.
  17. ^ "Joe Medwick dies of heart attack". The Day. March 21, 1975. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  18. ^ Cardinals Press Release (January 18, 2014). "Cardinals establish Hall of Fame & detail induction process". Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  19. ^

Further reading

  • Faber, Charles F. "Joe Medwick". SABR.
  • Barthel, Thomas (2003). The Fierce Fun of Ducky Medwick. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4668-3.

External links

Preceded by
Moose Solters
Hitting for the cycle
June 29, 1935
Succeeded by
Sam Leslie
1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the second playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10 at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, the home of the New York Giants of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 9–7.

The game is well known among baseball historians for the performance of NL starting pitcher Carl Hubbell. After allowing the first two batters to reach base on a single and a base on balls, Hubbell struck out five of the game's best hitters – Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin – in succession, setting a longstanding All-Star Game record for consecutive strikeouts.

1934 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 53rd season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 43rd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 95–58 during the season and finished first in the National League. In the World Series, they defeated the Detroit Tigers in seven games, winning the last 11–0.

1934 World Series

The 1934 World Series matched the St. Louis Cardinals against the Detroit Tigers, with the Cardinals' "Gashouse Gang" winning in seven games for their third championship in eight years.

The Cardinals and Tigers split the first two games in Detroit, and Detroit took two of the next three in St. Louis. But St. Louis won the next two in Detroit, including an 11–0 embarrassment in Game 7 to win the Series. The stars for the Cardinals were Joe ("Ducky") Medwick, who hit .379, a Series-high five RBI and one of St. Louis' two home runs, and the meteoric ("Me 'n' Paul") Dean brothers, Dizzy and Paul (or "Daffy") Dean, who won two games apiece with 28 strikeouts and a minuscule 1.43 earned run average. 1934 was the last World Series in which both teams were led by player-managers.

The two teams have met twice in the World Series since 1934; in 1968 (Tigers won in seven) and 2006 (Cardinals won in five). Tiger pitcher Denny McLain, winner of Game 6 in 1968 (coasting home on the Tigers' record-tying ten-run second inning rally on the road), had gone 31–6 during the season, upstaging "Diz" with his mere 30–7 that year, who at 57 went onto the Tiger Stadium field in a big cowboy hat to be photographed with McLain moments after the walk-off hit that had given the latter his thirtieth win of the season. As of 2018, they are the last two 30-game winners in the major leagues.

The Cardinals, led by the Dean brothers, used only six other pitchers in amassing a team earned-run average of 2.34 for their 1934 Series victory,

Pete Fox played for the losing team, yet became the only player in Series history, as of 2018, to hit six doubles in a World Series.

For his top-of-the-sixth triple in Game 7, Joe Medwick slid hard into Tiger third baseman Marv Owen. They tangled briefly, and when Medwick went back to his position in left field for the bottom of the inning enraged Tiger fans, knowing the game was all but lost (the score was 9–0 by then), vented their frustrations on him, pelting him with fruit, vegetables, bottles and cushions among other things. It was a feat for him to make the catch of a fly ball instead of the orange thrown close to it. Commissioner Landis ordered Medwick out of the game, ending the ruckus. Newsreel footage shows Medwick slamming his glove against the dugout bench in disgust. It was the only time a Commissioner has ever ejected a player from any major league game, as of 2018.(Audio)

Dizzy Dean nearly took himself out of the Series on a play in Game 4. In the fourth inning, he pinch-ran and broke up a double play the hard way; i.e., by taking the errant relay throw to first flush on the noggin. The great Dean lay unconscious on the field. (He was later to protest, "Hell, it was only a glancing blow.") He was rushed to a hospital for observation, where he was given a clean bill of health. Legend has it that at least one newspaper the next day featured the headline, "X-ray of Dean's head shows nothing." Be that as it may, ol' Diz recovered rapidly enough to start Game 5 (a 3–1 loss to Tiger curveballer Tommy Bridges) the very next day.

According to Charles Einstein's The Fireside Book of Baseball, in the midst of the Cardinals' Game 7 rout, player-manager Frankie Frisch, the "Fordham Flash", called time and walked out to the mound from second base to warn Diz, "If you don't stop clowning around, I'll take you out of the game." Dizzy said, "No you won't." Frisch thought about this a moment, then retreated to second.

1937 Major League Baseball season

The 1937 Major League Baseball season.

1940 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1940 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season in second place. It was their best finish in 16 years.

1941 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers, led by manager Leo Durocher, won their first pennant in 21 years, edging the St. Louis Cardinals by 2.5 games. They went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series.

In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, this team was referenced as one of "The Greatest Teams That Never Was", due to the quality of its starting lineup. Dolph Camilli was the slugging star with 34 home runs and 120 RBI. He was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player. Pete Reiser, a 22-year-old rookie, led the league in batting average, slugging percentage, and runs scored. Other regulars included Hall of Famers Billy Herman, Joe Medwick, Pee Wee Reese, and Dixie Walker. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers scored the most runs of any NL team (800).

The pitching staff featured a pair of 22-game winners, Kirby Higbe and Whitlow Wyatt, having their best pro seasons.

1942 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1942 Brooklyn Dodgers team won 104 games in the season, but fell two games short of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League pennant race.

1943 Brooklyn Dodgers season

With the roster depleted by players leaving for service in World War II, the 1943 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season in third place.

The team featured five future Hall of Famers: second baseman Billy Herman, shortstop Arky Vaughan, outfielders Paul Waner, and Joe Medwick, and manager Leo Durocher.

Herman finished fourth in MVP voting, after hitting .330 with 100 runs batted in. Vaughan led the league in runs scored and stolen bases.

1968 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1968 followed rules revised in June 1967, which returned the BBWAA to annual elections without any provision for runoff.

In the event, the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted once by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Joe Medwick.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected two players, Kiki Cuyler and Goose Goslin.

Bob Bowman (pitcher)

Robert James Bowman (October 3, 1910 – September 4, 1972) was a professional baseball player. He was a right-handed pitcher over parts of four seasons (1939–1942) with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs. For his career, he compiled a 26–17 record in 109 appearances, most as a relief pitcher, with a 3.82 earned run average and 146 strikeouts. Bowman is most noted as being the pitcher who beaned former Cardinal teammate Joe Medwick, an incident that nearly cost Medwick his life.

Brooklyn Bushwicks

The Brooklyn Bushwicks were an independent, semi-professional baseball team that played its games almost totally in Dexter Park in Queens from 1913 to 1951. They were unique at their time for fielding multi-ethnic rosters. They played what amounts to exhibition games against barnstorming Negro league teams, minor league baseball teams, and other semi-pro teams. The Bushwicks were owned by Max Rosner, who hired many former major league to play on his club, including Dazzy Vance and others. Many of the famous players of the time came to play exhibitions at Dexter Park including Dizzy Dean, Hank Greenberg, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe Medwick. Until he became friends with Rosner, Ruth demanded upfront payments in cash before agreeing to personal appearances. The DiMaggio picture was taken during his debut year with Yankees.

The great black stars, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell and many others often opposed the Bushwicks. The team appeared on New York City television and on radio as well. The team's picture appeared in three different Spaulding Guides. A book on the Bushwicks by Thomas Barthel entitled, "Baseball's Peerless Semipros: The Brooklyn Bushwicks of Dexter Park," was published in 2009.

I Pity the Fool

"I Pity the Fool" is a soul blues song originally recorded by Bobby Bland in 1961 for his first Duke Records album, Two Steps from the Blues. Many music writers believe it was written by Joe Medwick, although Duke owner Don Robey (using the pseudonym "Deadric Malone") appears on the songwriting credits.The lyrics tell of a man, who, while pitying others for falling for a certain woman, knows that he is also shamed. After its release as a single, it became one of Bland's biggest hits and most identifiable songs. Subsequently, several artists have recorded renditions.

Joe Medwick (blues musician)

Joe Medwick (June 21, 1931 – April 12, 1992), probably born Medwick N. Veasey though some sources suggest Joe Medwick Masters or Joe Medwick Veasey, was an African-American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. He is officially credited with writing relatively few songs, including "Further On Up The Road", but is widely believed to have written many others, including "I Pity the Fool" and "Turn On Your Love Light". He sold all rights over many of his songs cheaply to record label owner Don Robey. Medwick also recorded under various names including Joe Veasey, Joe Masters and Joe Melvin.

List of Major League Baseball annual doubles leaders

Major League Baseball recognizes doubles champions in the American League and National League each season.

List of Major League Baseball doubles records

Major League Baseball has various records related to doubles.

Players denoted in boldface are still actively contributing to the record noted.

(r) denotes a player's rookie season.

List of St. Louis Cardinals team records

The St. Louis Cardinals, a professional baseball franchise based in St. Louis, Missouri, compete in the National League (NL) of Major League Baseball (MLB). in 1892. Before joining the NL, they were also a charter member of the American Association (AA) from 1882 to 1891. Although St. Louis has been the Cardinals' home city for the franchise's entire existence, they were also known as the Brown Stockings, Browns, and Perfectos.

In 134 seasons, the franchise has won more than 10,000 regular season games and appeared in 27 postseasons while claiming 12 interleague championships, tying one other, and 23 league pennants. 11 of the interleague championships are World Series titles won under the modern format since 1903; the other championship and tie occurred in 1885–1886. 19 of the league pennants are NL pennants, and the other four are AA pennants. Their 11 World Series titles represent the most in the NL and are second in MLB only to the New York Yankees' 27.

Notable players have defined, in part, the Cardinals' success and history. Stan Musial owns the most career batting records with 22. Rogers Hornsby owns the most single-season records with 11. Bob Gibson owns the most career pitching records with 18. Silver King owns the most single-season pitching records with nine.

Pat Crawford (baseball)

Clifford Rankin "Pat" Crawford, a.k.a. "Captain Pat", (January 28, 1902 – January 25, 1994) was a major league baseball player. He graduated from Sumter High School, class of 1919. Crawford went to Davidson College. He played baseball for several semi-pro and minor league teams throughout the 1920s including a stint as the left fielder for the 1922 Kinston Highwaymen in the Eastern Carolina Baseball Association, an independent or "outlaw league" team not affiliated with the National Association. Crawford got his big break in 1929 when he made it to the majors with the New York Giants, which were still being managed by the Hall of Famer John McGraw. On May 26, 1929, Crawford hit a pinch hit grand slam off Socks Seibold in the sixth inning. Les Bell then hit a seventh inning pinch hit grand slam off Carl Hubbell. This was the only time in history that two pinch hit grand slams were hit in the same game. In 1931 and 1932, he had over 237 and 236 hits respectively for minor league Columbus, Ohio. He went in and out of the majors through the 1934 season and was named league MVP of the American Association while playing for the Columbus Senators in 1932. In 1934, Crawford found himself playing on the world champion St. Louis Cardinals. The last two games of his major league career were World Series games. His teammates on the Gashouse Gang that year included HOFers Frankie Frisch, Leo Durocher, Joe Medwick, Dizzy Dean, and Burleigh Grimes. All told, Pat had a .280 batting average in 318 major league games. He was one of the initial inductees in the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame on February 11, 1983.

Scottdale Scotties

The Scottdale Scotties were a minor league baseball team located in Scottdale, Pennsylvania from 1925 until 1931. The club was a member of the class C Middle Atlantic League. The team was primarily named the Scotties; however, the club was renamed the Scottdale Cardinals in 1931. The team was affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1929 until 1931.

The team was managed by future St. Louis manager Eddie Dyer in 1929 and 1930. Also in 1930 future Hall of Famer Joe Medwick, played as an outfielder for the Scotties.

Veterans Committee
J. G. Taylor Spink Award
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
Executives /
Inducted as a Cardinal
Inductees who played
for the Cardinals
Cardinals managers
Cardinals executives
Frick Award
Spink Award
Major League Baseball batters who have won the Triple Crown

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