1944 World Series

The ongoing war between the Allies and Axis powers certainly had an impact on Major League Baseball, but never like it did in 1944. Many of the games' best players were called away for tours of duty and the result was a seriously depleted pool of talent. The top team in the American League was the St. Louis Browns who collectively batted .252 in route to their only pennant. They only had one .300 hitter in outfielder Mike Kreevich (who barely made it at .301), one man with twenty home runs, shortstop Vern Stephens (who hit exactly twenty); and one player over the eighty-five runs batted in mark, Stephens, who knocked in one-hundred nine runs. On the mound, the Browns boasted Nelson Potter and Jack Kramer who combined for a mediocre thirty-six victories. With outfielder Chet Laabs drilling two final-day homers, the Browns beat the defending champion New York Yankees. The victory, combined with Detroit's loss to Washington, enabled St. Louis to finish one game ahead of the Tigers in the American League. Across town, the other Major League team from St. Louis was doing business as usual. In making off with their third straight National League pennant (leading by 14½ games over Pittsburgh), manager Billy Southworth's Cardinals had won one-hundred five games and ran their three-year victory total to three-hundred sixteen.

Like Chicago, New York and St. Louis before them, the "Gateway City" was electrified with the excitement of what was billed as the "St. Louis Showdown". Surprisingly, it was the eight-time National League champion Cardinals who were tenants of the American League's downtrodden Browns in Sportsman's Park which would be the venue for the entire contest. Perhaps as an answer to the lack of pre-game respect they had received in the papers, Luke Sewell's American League titleists came out swinging against their heavily favored rivals for the 2-1 opening victory. Denny Galehouse out-pitched Series vet, Mort Cooper and George McQuinn hit a clutch, fourth-inning, two-run homer that decided Game 1. Unfortunately, the blast would prove to be the Browns' only homer in World Series history.

The Cards answered back in Game 2 with Blix Donnelly's stellar relief pitching that tallied no runs, two hits and seven strikeouts in four innings. Ken O'Dea came up big as well with a run-scoring pinch single in the eleventh for the 3-2 victory. The underdogs prevailed again in Game 3 as Jack Kramer pitched a seven-hitter and struck out ten batters on the way to a 6-2 Brown's triumph. With the Americans ahead two games to one, the more experienced Nationals proceeded to show what it takes to play in the big show.

Sig Jakucki, the thirty-five-year-old who had won thirteen games for the '44 Browns after being away from baseball for five years, lasted only three innings in Game 4, a contest in which Cards lefthander Harry Brecheen, (16-5 in the regular season) kept the American Leaguers off stride. Stan Musial finished the job with a two-run homer for the 5-1 win. The following day, Cooper, who was coming off of a twenty-two-win season, beat Galehouse with a seven-hit, 2-0 shutout. In the Cardinals' 1942-1943-1944 stranglehold on the National League championship, Cooper had won sixty-five games and thrown twenty-three shutouts. For Game 6, it was Max Lanier and Ted Wilks (who both had seventeen wins and shared a 2.65 ERA), that wrote the final chapter to the Brown's "Cinderella season" with a 3-1 victory that wrapped up the Cardinals' second Series title in three years. It was the eighth appearance in nineteen seasons for the World Champions, while it was the first (and last) Fall Classic in the Browns' 52-year history.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"The funny thing about that World Series (in 1944), the fans were rooting for the Browns, and it kind of surprised me because we drew more fans than the Browns during the season. The fans were rooting for the underdog, and I was surprised about that, but after you analyze the situation in St. Louis, the Browns in the old days had good clubs.They had great players like George Sisler and Kenny Williams, and the fans who were there were older fans, older men, old-time Brownie fans. But it was a tough series." - Stan Musial

1944 World Series

1944 World Series Program : St. Louis Cardinals Version

1944 World Series Official Program
St. Louis Cardinals Version

1944 World Series Program : St. Louis Browns Version

1944 World Series Official Program
St. Louis Browns Version

St. Louis Cardinals (4) vs St. Louis Browns (2)

Game 1
Date / Box Score
Location
Sportsman's Park
Attendance
33,242
Game 2
Date / Box Score
Location
Sportsman's Park
Attendance
35,076
Game 3
Date / Box Score
Location
Sportsman's Park
Attendance
34,737
Game 4
Date / Box Score
Location
Sportsman's Park
Attendance
35,455
Game 5
Date / Box Score
Location
Sportsman's Park
Attendance
36,568
Game 6
Date / Box Score
Location
Sportsman's Park
Attendance
31,630
1944 World Series Fast Facts

1944 World Series
Game 1

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis [AL] 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0
St. Louis [NL] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 7 0
Denny Galehouse (W)
-
Mort Cooper (L)
Blix Donnelly (8 th )
George McQuinn (4 th ) None

1944 World Series
Game 2

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
St. Louis [AL] 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 7 4
St. Louis [NL] 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 7 0
Nels Potter
Bob Muncrief (L, 7 th )
Max Lanier
Blix Donnelly (W, 8 th )
None None

1944 World Series
Game 3

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis [NL] 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 7 0
St. Louis [AL] 0 0 4 0 0 0 2 0 x 6 8 2
Ted Wilks (L)
Freddy Schmidt (3 rd )
Al Jurisich (7 th )
Bud Byerly (7 th )
Jack Kramer (W)
-
-
-
None None

1944 World Series
Game 4

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis [NL] 2 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 12 0
St. Louis [AL] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 9 1
Harry Brecheen (W)
-
-
Sig Jakucki (L)
Al Hollingsworth (4 th )
Tex Shirley (8 th )
Stan Musial (1 st ) None

1944 World Series
Game 5

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis [NL] 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 6 1
St. Louis [AL] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1
Mort Cooper (W) Denny Galehouse (L)
Ray Sanders (6 th )
Danny Litwhiler (8 th )
None
-

1944 World Series
Game 6

Line Score / Box Score

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis [AL] 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 2
St. Louis [NL] 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 x 3 10 0
Nels Potter (L)
Bob Muncrief (4 th )
Jack Kramer (7 th )
Max Lanier (W)
Ted Wilks (S, 6 th )
-
None None

1944 World Series

St. Louis Cardinals

Composite Hitting Statistics

of-2
p
p
p
c
p
2b
ph
of
p
3b
p
of
ss
of
pg
1b
p
2b
p
3
1
1
2
6
2
2
2
6
1
6
2
5
6
6
3
6
1
6
2
6
4
0
4
22
1
2
2
27
0
23
4
20
22
23
3
21
1
17
2
0
0
0
0
7
0
0
0
5
0
5
2
4
5
7
1
6
0
7
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
3
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
2
0
2
0
2
1
2
0
5
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
2
2
2
1
0
2
0
.000
.000
.000
.000
.318
.000
.000
.000
.185
.000
.217
.500
.200
.227
.304
.333
.286
.000
.412
.000
2
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
2
2
0
5
0
2
0
3
1
0
2
2
1
1
0
8
0
4
0
7
3
0
0
8
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
204
49
9
1
3
16
15
.240
19
43
0

1944 World Series

St. Louis Browns

Composite Hitting Statistics

2b
ph
ph
3b
ph
p
2b
c
p
p
p
of
of-4
c-1
1b
of
p
p
p-1
ss
ph
of-3
2
3
2
6
1
2
6
6
1
1
2
6
5
2
6
6
2
2
2
6
1
4
2
2
2
22
1
5
21
17
1
0
4
26
15
3
16
22
1
4
0
22
1
10
0
0
0
2
0
1
3
2
0
0
0
6
3
2
7
4
0
0
0
5
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
3
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
4
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
.000
.000
.000
.091
.000
.200
.143
.118
.000
.000
.000
.231
.200
.667
.438
.182
.000
.000
.000
.227
.000
.100
0
1
0
0
0
1
3
3
0
0
0
0
2
0
7
3
0
0
0
3
0
0
2
2
2
6
0
1
5
1
0
0
2
5
6
0
2
6
1
1
0
3
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
197
36
9
1
1
12
9
.183
23
49
0

1944 World Series

St. Louis Cardinals

Composite Pitching Statistics

1
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
2
2
1
2
1
2
1
0
2
0
0
2
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
9.0
1.1
16.0
6.0
0.2
12.1
3.1
6.1
1.00
0.00
1.13
0.00
27.00
2.19
0.00
5.68
9
0
9
2
2
8
1
5
4
1
16
9
0
11
1
7
1
0
2
0
2
3
0
4
4
0
5
1
1
8
1
3
Totals
4
2
12
6
2
1
1
55.0
1.96
36
49
12
23

1944 World Series

St. Louis Browns

Composite Pitching Statistics

1
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
2
1
1
2
2
2
1
2
0
1
1
0
2
0
2
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
18.0
4.0
3.0
11.0
6.2
9.2
2.0
1.50
2.25
9.00
0.00
1.35
0.93
0.00
13
5
5
9
5
10
2
15
1
4
12
4
6
1
3
1
3
0
1
1
0
5
2
0
4
4
3
1
Totals
2
4
11
6
3
0
0
54.1
1.49
49
43
9
19
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Cardinals manager Billy Southworth openly stated during the regular season that he wanted to break the record for wins in a season by a team. He failed to accomplish that mark, but did finish with 105 victories making the Cardinals franchise the first National League team with three consecutive 100-win seasons.

Did you know that this was the first and only all-St. Louis World Series? Did you know it was the second Series (the first was during the 1922 World Series ) completely played in the same ballpark?

During an interview with the St. Louis Dispatch Marty Marion said, "We scared 'em that year. Common sense had to tell you the competition wasn't as good as it was before, but as a player, you don't notice that sort of thing at all. I don't ever remember playing a game where we , 'I wish we had Enos and Terry.' We just played the game like that was it. We never mentioned the War. You put out nine players, we put out nine players, and we play. In 1944 I won the Most Valuable Player Award . Right after the World Series, somebody called me up and said, 'You won the MVP Award. I didn't know what the hell it was. I never was impressed with it at all. That's right. I didn't think about things like that too much. Now, after years passed, that's pretty nice. But back then, it didn't mean a thing to me."

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