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….while finishing first in the National League….who went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers In the World Series. .
The Gashouse Gang was a nickname applied to this Cardinals team of 1934…..who by most accounts, earned this nickname from the team’s generally very shabby appearance and rough-and-tumble tactics. An opponent once stated that the Cardinals players usually went into the field in unwashed, dirty, and smelly uniforms….which alone spread horror among their rivals. According to one account, scrappy shortstop Leo Durocher coined the term….when he and his teammates were speaking derisively of the American League….and the consensus was that the Cards….should they prevail in the National League race….would handle whoever won the AL pennant….”Why, they wouldn’t even let us in that league over there”, Durocher, who had played for the New York Yankees, observed. “They think we’re just a bunch of gashousers.” The phrase “gas house” referred to plants that manufactured town gas for lighting and cooking from coal….which were common fixtures in US cities prior to the widespread use of natural gas….whose plants were noted for their foul smell….and were typically located near railroad yards in the poorest neighborhood in the city.
Led by playing manager Frankie Frisch and the hard-nosed Durocher….as well as stars like Joe Medwick, Ripper Collins, Pepper Martin, Bill DeLancey and brothers Dizzy and Paul Dean….the 1934 Cardinals won 95 games….the NL pennant….and the World Series in seven games over the Detroit Tigers ….with a team that featured five regulars who hit at least .300…..a 30-game winner in Dizzy Dean…who was the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in a single season….and the last pitcher in Major League Baseball to do so until Denny McLain accomplished the feat for the 1968 Detroit Tigers….and four All-Stars….including player-manager Frisch. Not among the All-Stars was Collins, the first baseman….who led the team in 16 offensive categories….with stats like a .333 batting average….a .615 slugging percentage….35 home runs….and 128 runs batted in.
Any way you cut the pie….the Gashouse Gang was one heck of a baseball team…..and we at ImaSportsphile are “tickled pink” to have this “golden nugget” of a video in out vault of vintage memories on our site.