Many people can rattle off the World Series championships of the St Louis Cardinals and probably give you a highlight of them or at least some knowledge of all of them but many stumble when talking about the 1931 World Series. Let’s look at this remarkable team.
This was the emergence of John Leonard “Pepper” Martin to the baseball scene. With 14 previous major league at bats the 27 yr old outfielder was known for his scrappy play that led to a dirty uniform and the nickname “Pepper”. The season saw the Cardinals reach the 100-win plateau for the first time in franchise history with veterans like Frankie Frisch. Frisch was named MVP that year although the only offensive category he led the league in was stolen bases (28).
The Cardinals faced the Philadelphia Athletics and Martin collected 12 hits, stole five bases and drove in five runs. Burleigh Grimes, a veteran spitballer, won twice in the World Series, registering wins in Games 3 and 7. Grimes won 17 games during the season. The trio pitchers of Grimes, Bill Hallahan and Paul Derringer, a rookie, combined for 54 regular season wins. Remarkably the Cardinals had three other pitchers who registered double-figure in wins!
This 1931 team featured five future Hall of Famers!