Cardinalography: 1964 - The Return to Dominance

12:30 PM, Jun 21, 2010   |    comments
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(The Cardinal Nation Show) -- In the waning days of the 1963 season, the Cardinals and their fans bid farewell to Stan Musial after 22 seasons.


"There was a lot of feelings and emotions running about who are the Cardinals? Where they going to be?  we don't' have the super star anymore.  While clearly his career waned a bit at the end, he was still "Stan The Man," said Brian Finch of the Cardinals Hall of Fame.


The team started the post Musial era slowly, and within a month it was clear they just needed a spark.  That spark came in the form of a controversial trade conducted by general manager Bing Devine.


"It's fascinating that he sat down with the manager Johnny Keane on a plane; they were on a road trip. And he simply said, right before the trade happened. "I can get Brock" and Keane said get him," said Finch.


The trade of Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio outraged Cards fans at the time, but that outrage wouldn't last long. 


Brock's energy and speed ignited the Redbirds.   Bob Gibson, once known as a wild pitcher, became a model of control, winning 19 games.  Then you have other players, making significant contributions.   Not to be overlooked, Ken Boyer was the MVP in 1964


By September, the Cardinals were on fire.


"A lot fans thought it was too late, they were playing real well, but with 12 games to go in the season, they were six games back," said Finch.


The first place Phillies looked like they'd walk into the post season, but instead endured one of the greatest collapses in modern baseball history, losing ten straight, allowing the Cardinals win the national league on the season's final day.


"They went into the World Series again, as the underdog because they weren't the team that was dominant all season.  They were the team that got on this hot streak and were going up against the Yankees, who had been this dominating team," said Finch.


The Cards and Yanks split the first two in St. Louis, and then the next two in New York. 


And in the World Series it was Boyer's grand slam in game four that arguably saved the series for the Cardinals and even things up with the Yankees.  They were able to force a game seven and we were victorious in game seven 


It was the Cardinals seventh world title, but In an unusual twist, the Yankees fired Yogi Berra after the Series ended, replacing him with Johnny Keane, who had resigned from the Cardinals after the Series. His job had been threatened by Cardinals management, and had been unexpectedly saved by the Cardinals' dramatic pennant drive.


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