Mort Cooper

Morton Cecil Cooper (March 2, 1913 – November 17, 1958) was an American baseball pitcher who played eleven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played from 1938 to 1949 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Braves, New York Giants, and Chicago Cubs.[1] He batted and threw right-handed and was listed at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 210 pounds (95 kg). He was the National League Most Valuable Player in 1942. His younger brother, Walker Cooper, also played in the major leagues.

Mort Cooper
Mort Cooper Cardinals
Born: March 2, 1913
Atherton, Missouri
Died: November 17, 1958 (aged 45)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 14, 1938, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
May 7, 1949, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
Win–loss record128–75
Earned run average2.97
Career highlights and awards


Mort Cooper 1940 Play Ball card.jpeg
Cooper in 1940

Born in Atherton, Missouri, Cooper signed for the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1933 and played for seven of their minor league affiliates until 1938, when the Cardinals promoted him to the major leagues.

Cooper debuted with the Cardinals in 1938 and had a 12–6 record as a 1939 rookie. He was 24–21 over the next two seasons before hitting his stride, helping the team to World Series titles in both 1942 and 1944.

In 1942, Cooper led the National League with 22 wins, 10 shutouts and a 1.78 ERA, earning NL Most Valuable Player honors.

At the start of the 1945 season, both Mort and his brother Walker staged contract holdouts, demanding that the Cardinals raise their salaries to $15,000 each.[2] Subsequently, Mort was traded that May to the Boston Braves after only three starts; bothered by longtime elbow problems, he ended the year only 9–4. After a 13–11 season in 1946, he began 1947 at 2–5 and was traded to the New York Giants in June. He was 1–5 for the Giants over the rest of the season, and was released in July 1948 after not pitching all year due to arm trouble.

Cooper ended his career with a single 1949 relief appearance for the Chicago Cubs in which he failed to record an out.[3] He retired with a record of 128–75, a 2.97 ERA, 913 strikeouts, and 33 shutouts in 1840​23 innings. He was selected to the NL All-Star team four times (1942–43; 1945-46). As a hitter, Cooper recorded a .194 batting average (127-for-654) with 50 runs, six home runs and 68 RBI.

Cooper gained induction into the St Louis Cardinals Hall Of Fame and Museum on April 25, 2019.


Cooper was married to Bernadine, who filed for divorce in 1945. Together, they had one son, Lonnie.[4]

Cooper lived in Houston for several years in the 1950s. He developed cirrhosis and a staphylococcal infection. He was hospitalized at St. Vincent's Infirmary in Little Rock, Arkansas, for about three weeks before he died.[1][5]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Former Cardinal star Mort Cooper is dead". Milwaukee Journal. UPI. November 18, 1958. p. 15, part 2. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "Cooper Brothers Holding Out for $15,000 in 1945". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. April 16, 1945. p. 6. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  3. ^ "Mort Cooper Released". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. May 10, 1949. p. 14. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  4. ^ "Mort Cooper's Wife Will Divorce Pitcher". St. Petersburg Times. November 8, 1945. p. 12. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  5. ^ "Mort Cooper, former Cardinal hurler, dies". The Nevada Daily Mail. November 14, 1958. Retrieved May 17, 2015.

External links

1938 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1938 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 57th season in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, and the 47th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 71–80 during the season and finished 6th in the National League.

1942 Major League Baseball season

The 1942 Major League Baseball season saw the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the New York Yankees in the World Series.

1942 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1942 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 61st season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 51st season in the National League. The Cardinals went 106–48 during the season and finished first in the National League. In the World Series, they met the New York Yankees. They won the series in 5 games.

Pitcher Mort Cooper won the MVP Award this year, with a 1.78 ERA, 22 wins, and 152 strikeouts.

1942 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1942 throughout the world.

1943 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1943 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 11th playing of the midsummer 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 13, 1943, at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, the home of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 5–3.

This was the first major league All-Star Game scheduled as a night game.

1943 St. Louis Cardinals season

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.

1944 World Series

The 1944 World Series was an all-St. Louis World Series, matching the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns at Sportsman's Park. It marked the third and final time in World Series history in which both teams had the same home field (the other two being the 1921 and 1922 World Series in the Polo Grounds in New York City).

1944 saw perhaps the nadir of 20th-century baseball, as the long-moribund St. Louis Browns won their only American League pennant. The pool of talent was depleted by the draft to the point that in 1945 (but not 1944), as the military scraped deeper and deeper into the ranks of the possibly eligible, the Browns actually used a one-armed player, Pete Gray. Some of the players were 4-Fs, rejected by the military due to physical defects or limitations that precluded duty. Others divided their time between factory work in defense industries and baseball, some being able to play ball only on weekends. Some players avoided the draft by chance, despite being physically able to serve. Stan Musial of the Cardinals was one. Musial, enlisting in early 1945, missed one season. He rejoined the Cardinals in 1946.

As both teams called Sportsman's Park home, the traditional 2–3–2 home field assignment was used (instead of the wartime 3–4). The Junior World Series of that same year, partly hosted in Baltimore's converted football stadium, easily outdrew the "real" Series and attracted attention to Baltimore as a potential major league city. Ten years later, the Browns transferred there and became the Orioles. Another all-Missouri World Series was played 41 years later, with the Kansas City Royals defeating the Cardinals in seven games.

The Series was also known as the "Trolley Series", "Streetcar Series", or the "St. Louis Showdown." Coincidentally, this World Series was played the same year Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released the musical film Meet Me in St. Louis. It remains one of two World Series played that featured two teams from the same city other than New York; the other was the 1906 World Series between the two Chicago teams. The 1989 World Series featured two teams from the San Francisco metropolitan area, but not the same city.

This is the only world series to date to not have either team credited with a stolen base.

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 Boston Braves season

The 1946 Boston Braves season was the 76th season of the franchise.

1949 Chicago Cubs season

The 1949 Chicago Cubs season was the 78th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 74th in the National League and the 34th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 61–93.

1969 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1969 followed the system reintroduced in 1968.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted once by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two, Roy Campanella and Stan Musial.

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

It selected two players, Stan Coveleski and Waite Hoyt.

Atherton, Missouri

Atherton is an unincorporated community in Jackson County, in the U.S. state of Missouri.

Bill Voiselle

William Symmes Voiselle (January 29, 1919 – January 31, 2005) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1942 through 1950, Voiselle played for the New York Giants (1942–47), Boston Braves (1947–49) and Chicago Cubs (1950). He batted and threw right-handed.

While born in Greenwood, South Carolina, Voiselle grew up in the nearby town of Ninety Six. He received special permission from the National League to wear the number 96 on his jersey as a way to honor his hometown. At the time, this was the highest number ever worn in major league baseball.

Voiselle debuted with the Giants in 1942 and reached the big leagues full-time in 1944. Nicknamed "Big Bill", in his rookie season, he led the NL in innings pitched and strikeouts, and finished third with a career-high 21 wins. He made his only All-Star appearance that season and finished fifth in MVP voting. To top it off, The Sporting News named him the National League Pitcher of the Year in the first season of the award.

Voiselle suffered a minor sophomore jinx in 1945, winning 14 but with a high 4.49 ERA. After many prominent major leaguers returned from World War II, his role with the Giants was reduced. He also was on the end of a $500 fine from Giants manager Mel Ott for allowing St. Louis Cardinals batter Johnny Hopp to get a hit on an 0-2 count during a June 1 game at Sportsman's Park.Voiselle was eventually traded to the Boston Braves for another wartime star, Mort Cooper, in the 1947 midseason. In 1948, Voiselle won 13 games for the Braves Champions Team as the third starter behind Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain. In the World Series against the Cleveland Indians, Voiselle came into Game 3 as a relief pitcher and he got the start in Game 6, taking the loss, 4–3. Most concede that Voiselle and the Braves out-pitched and out-hit the Indians, but the team was eliminated 4–2. Voiselle pitched 10.2 innings in the Series and surrendered three earned runs for a 2.53 ERA. After that, he pitched one more season with the Braves, winning just seven games, before being traded before the 1950 season to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Gene Mauch. Voiselle only spent a half a season with the Cubs, during which he failed to record a victory in 19 appearances (seven starts). It would end up being his last year in the majors, though he continued pitching for a significant number of minor league clubs.

In a nine-season career, Voiselle posted a 74–84 record with 645 strikeouts and a 3.83 ERA in 1373​1⁄3 innings.

Voiselle died in Greenwood, South Carolina, just two days after his 86th birthday.

Elmer Riddle

Elmer Ray Riddle (July 31, 1914 – May 14, 1984) was an American professional baseball player. A right-handed pitcher, he appeared in all or parts of ten Major League seasons (1939–45; 1947–49) for the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. As a member of the 1941 Reds, he led the National League in winning percentage (19–4, .826) and ERA (2.24). Two years later, he tied for the NL and MLB lead in games won, with 21.The 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 170 lb (77 kg) Riddle was born in Columbus, Georgia, the younger brother (by almost nine years) of Johnny Riddle, who had a brief career as a catcher and a longer tenure as a coach in the big leagues. Elmer Riddle's career started in 1936 and after four seasons in minor league baseball and a one-game 1939 trial with Cincinnati, he made the Reds' roster in 1940. He appeared in 15 games, all but one in relief, as the Reds won their second consecutive National League pennant. Riddle worked one inning of relief during the 1940 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, pitching a scoreless ninth in Game 1 and notching two strikeouts. The Reds lost that game, but took the series in seven games.

Riddle began 1941 in the Reds' bullpen, but on June 15 he was given a starting assignment against the New York Giants, and hurled a complete game victory. It was the first of seven straight complete game wins, including two shutouts. The day the skein ended, July 23 against the Brooklyn Dodgers, Riddle had an unblemished 11–0 won-lost record and a sterling 2.14 ERA. Riddle went on to win eight of his final 12 decisions, and, although the Reds fell to third in the standings, he ranked fifth in the polling for the 1941 National League Most Valuable Player Award. After a disappointing 1942 season, Riddle bounced back in 1943 by winning 21 of 32 decisions for Cincinnati, tying him with Rip Sewell and Mort Cooper for the most victories in the Majors.However, a sore shoulder, eventually requiring surgery, interrupted Riddle's successful career. He appeared in only 32 games from 1944–47, and sat out the entire 1946 season. In December 1947, Cincinnati sold his contract to the Pirates, where he made a comeback in 1948. As the Pirates climbed to fourth place in the National League, Riddle appeared in 28 games, won 12 of 22 decisions, posted 12 complete games and three shutouts, and was selected to the 1948 NL All-Star team. He did not appear in the contest, won by the American League, 5–2, at Sportsman's Park, St. Louis. An injury limited his effectiveness in 1949, however, and in August Riddle was sent to the minor leagues, where he finished his 15-year pro career in 1951.

For his MLB career, Riddle appeared in 190 games, compiling a 65–52 career record and 3.40 ERA in 1,023 innings pitched, with 342 strikeouts, 57 complete games and 13 shutouts. He allowed 974 hits and 458 bases on balls.

Riddle died in his hometown, Columbus, at the age of 69.

Johnny Beazley

John Andrew Beazley (May 25, 1918 – April 21, 1990) was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Braves.

As a rookie in 1942, Beazley went 21–6 with a 2.13 ERA for the Cardinals, as his 21 wins and ERA ranked him second in the National League behind teammate Mort Cooper (22 and 1.78). Beazley completed his feat pitching two complete-game wins in the team's World Series victory over the New York Yankees in five games, allowing three runs in Game Two and two runs in Game Five for a combined 2.50 ERA.

After the season, Beazley enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. While serving, he was sent to pitch for an Army team and felt pain in his arm, but ordered by his commanding officer to pitch through the pain, Beazley severely hurt his arm. Coming out of the service in 1946, he tried in vain to regain his form but was never the same, winning only nine games for the rest of his career.

In a six-season career, Beazley posted a 31–12 record with 147 strikeouts and a 3.01 ERA in 76 games, including three shutouts and 21 complete games in 374 innings pitched.

After leaving baseball, Beazley worked as a beer distributor. He died of cancer in Nashville at age 71.

Muskogee Oilers

The Muskogee Oilers were a professional, minor league baseball team that played in the Western League in 1933. They began the year in Wichita, Kansas as the Wichita Oilers, but moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma after being evicted from their park in Wichita. Hall of Famer Rube Marquard managed the team at one point, while All-Star pitchers Mort Cooper and Kirby Higbe played for the club.

Roy Weatherly

Cyril Roy Weatherly (February 25, 1915 – January 19, 1991), nicknamed "Stormy", was an American professional baseball player whose career extended for two decades (1934–1943; 1946–1954; 1958). The native of Tyler County, Texas, an outfielder, appeared in 811 Major League games over ten seasons for the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and New York Giants. Weatherly batted left-handed and threw right-handed. Despite his relatively small size — he stood 5 ft 6½ in (1.69 m) tall and weighed 173 pounds (78 kg) — he hit more than 100 home runs in minor league baseball.

As a Major Leaguer, Weatherly collected 794 hits, with 152 doubles, 44 triples, and 43 home runs. His finest season was 1940, when he batted .303 with career highs in runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, and runs batted in for the contending Indians, finishing eleventh in the American League Most Valuable Player voting. Traded to the Yankees after the 1942 season, he appeared in one game as a pinch hitter during the 1943 World Series, popping out in the eighth inning of Game 2 against Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals. Although the Yankees lost that game, that was the only contest they would drop as they won the Series in five games.

Weatherly missed the 1944 and 1945 seasons while serving in the United States Army during World War II.


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