by Harold Friend
The Cardinals were shut out, 3-0 by the Pirates' Waite Hoyt on Sept. 26, 1934, but fortunately for Frankie Frisch's crew, the Phillies beat the Giants. The Cards still trailed the league-leading Giants by a single game.
A Tie and a Rain Out
St. Louis was 91-58, while New York was 93-58. One St. Louis game ended in a tie. In 1934, a tie game remained a tie, which meant the Cardinals would play 153 games to a decision. The Giants had one rained out game that would not be made up. They would also play only 153 games.
The last place Cincinnati Reds would visit St. Louis for a four-game series. The Brooklyn Dodgers were visiting Bill Terry's Giants at the Polo Grounds for two games. National League president John Heydler informed both contenders that if they finished in a tie, the National League's board of directors would select a neutral site for them to play a best of three series to decide the league champion. It was finally decided that the Cardinals would host the first game, and the next game would be if at the Polo Grounds. The teams would remain in New York if a third game were necessary.
The Cardinals Draw Even
St. Louis won their first two games against the Reds to tie New York. The Cards scored five runs in the first inning and held on for an 8-5 win on Thursday, and the next day, Dizzy Dean, working on two days rest, pitched a shut out for his 29th win, as a sparse crowd announced as 6-500 watched. Paul Dean would face the Reds on Saturday as the Brooklyn Dodgers, safely ensconced in sixth place, looked forward with great delight to visiting Manhattan for the last two games of the year.
The excitement in Brooklyn was extreme. The Polo Grounds would be filled to capacity as Dodgers' fans were expected to encourage their team to pay Bill Terry back for asking if Brooklyn were still in the league. Dodgers' president Judge McKeever shook his cane and said, with respect to Mr. Terry, "We'll make him eat those words." Casey Stengel added, "Yes, and if it chokes him, that will be all right, too."
The Gates Finally Open
On a rainy, dreary Saturday afternoon, before a crowd of 13,774 paying customers, kept down by the threatening weather, Brooklyn ace Van Lingle Mungo started against the Giants' Roy Parmalee. The Giants were undecided about playing the game under the poor conditions, but they didn't want to play a doubleheader on Sunday, which couldn't start before 2 o'clock. Standard time was going into effect Sunday morning, and the Giants' brass feared that there would not be enough daylight to play both games. At 2:10 P.M., the gates were opened.
Brooklyn Didn't Need a Designated Hitter
Parmalee and Mungo traded zeros for the first four innings. In the top of the fifth, Mungo led off with a single to right, and with Buzz Boyle at the plate, a passed ball was charged to catcher Gus Mancuso, allowing Mungo to reach second. Boyle struck out, but Lonnie Frey singled Mungo home with the first Brooklyn run. In the sixth, with two outs and two Brooklyns on base, Mungo singled home Brooklyn's second run as the Brooklyn fans jeered Bill Terry's men.
Brooklyn led, 5-1, as New York batted in the ninth inning. It was 1934, so Mungo, who batted because there was no designated hitter, was still on the mound, because no one had ever heard of a closer. Terry beat out an infield hit and Mel Ott walked on four pitches. Maybe there was hope for the Giants. After all, Mungo was in his ninth inning of work and Stengel would let him try to finish despite having walked Ott without throwing a strike.
Mungo Reached Back for a Little Extra
Van Lingle Mungo did what today's starting pitchers are not given the chance to do. He reached back for a little extra late in the game. Travis Jackson took a called third strike. George Watkins took a called third strike. Pinch-hitter Lefty O'Doul took a called third strike.
An hour later, the Cardinals' score was announced. They had won, 6-1, behind Paul Dean. Brooklyn had revenge. All the Giants, who now trailed by one game, could hope for was a tie, but Dizzy Dean. on one's day rest, would be starting Sunday's game.
By ROSCOE McGOWEN.. (1934, September 28). St. Louis Gets First Play-Off On Tuesday if Cards Tie Giants :Second Game Here on Wednesday and the Third, if Necessary, Is Also Listed for Polo Grounds. New York Times (1857-Current file),28. Retrieved July 16, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 93643271).
Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.By JOHN KIERAN.. (1934, September 28). Sports of the Times :Fogbound on a Treasure Hunt. New York Times (1857-Current file),29. Retrieved July 16, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 93643294).
By ROSCOE McGOWEN.. (1934, September 30). DETAILED ACCOUNT OF GIANTS' BATTLE :Mungo's Hitting Is a Factor in Dodgers' Triumph at the Polo Grounds. HURLER GETS FIRST RUN Comes Home on Frey's Single -- Also Drives In Cuccinello With the Second Tally. . New York Times (1857-Current file),S2. Retrieved July 16, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 95060412).
By JOHN DREBINGER.By JOHN DREBINGER. (1934, September 30). GIANTS LOSE TO DODGERS AHD HOW TRAIL CARDINALS BY GAME IN PENNANT RACE :MUNGO IS MOUND VICTOR Fast Ball Stops New York by 5 to 1-St. Louis Tops Reds to Gain Lead. Brooklyn Ace Also Leads the Attack With Two Timely Singles at Polo Grounds. New York Times (1857-Current file),S1. Retrieved July 16, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 95060400).