Happy birthday to ol’ Diz.
Dizzy Dean, born on January 16th, in 1910. I remember watching the game of the week on TV in the 60s, with Dizzy and Pee Wee Reese calling the game. Everyone loved Dizzy Dean.
But ol’ Diz could pitch a bit too. He came up in 1932 with the Cardinals, at age 22, and won 18 games, leading the league in strikeouts. The next year he went 20-18 and led the league in strikeouts again. In his third year he went 30-7 – the last National Leaguer to win 30 – and led the league in wins and strikeouts. In 1935 he went 28-12, and lead the NL in wins and strikeouts again. In 1936 he went 24-13, and in 1937 he went 13-10. What happened in ’37? In the ’37 all-star game Earl Averill hit a ball off Dean’s foot. Reportedly, when told that his toe was fractured, Dean replied, “Fractured, hell, the damn things broken!”
Dean reportedly tried to come back too soon after his injury, and changed his pitching motion to avoid landing on his injured toe. He hurt his arm, lost his blazing fastball, and was pretty much done as a pitcher.
The Cubs bought his contract in 1938, and he went 7-1 for them, helping them win the pennant over the Pirates, and winning a crucial 2-1 game against the Pirates on the 27th of September.
Diz pitched a bit for the Cubs till 1941, when he retired at age 31.
And, on the other side of the coin, stepping out on the 16th was Rudy Hulswitt.
Born in 1877, he passed away in 1950. The only reason I know anything about Rudy Hulswitt is because I noticed him on his T-206 baseball card, from back in the day, when he played with St. Louis, in ’09 or ’10. He played shortstop and hit about .253 lifetime.
(Okay, he hit exactly .253 lifetime.)
I like his card, his cap pulled down low. He looks like he means business.
Hulswitt led the league in put-outs by a shortstop in 1902 and ’03, he was also third in the league with assists in ’03, but he also led the league that year in errors, with 81. That’s a lot of errors. Sounds like the guy might have had great range.
After his playing career was over, Rudy did a bit of coaching. I saw one picture of him coaching with one of the Boston clubs.
Good game, Rudy.