On this date in 1934 Cardinals pitcher Dizzy Dean drew laughs when he predicted to the press that he and his brother Paul Dean would win 45 games in the upcoming season.
Of course he was wrong.
Dizzy won 30 games (30-7 with a 2.66 ERA to be specific), a total of wins that has not been matched in National league play since he did it, and Paul added 19 more to surpass the expectation by four games. Like Ol' Diz always said: "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up."
Paul may have had a short career. But it was brilliant while it lasted. He was 19-11 with a 3.43 in his rookie campaign in 1934 and he was 19-12 with a 3.37 ERA in 1935. He totaled only 12 wins as he tried to fight through injuries over the next seven seasons.
Dizzy, whose 101st birthday was a couple of days ago, led the Gashouse Gang to its third World Series title in 1934. It was the Redbirds' third appearance in the Fall Classic in five years and their fifth in nine years.
But his career was far too short, too.
He broke his toe when he was hit by a line drive back through the box in the 1937 All-Star Game and hurt his arm trying to come back too soon to help his club in the pennant race. He won only 16 games after that and retired with 150 victories. Dizzy was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953, his seventh year on the ballot.
On this day in 1938 pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander was elected to the Hall of Fame.
He won 373 games over 20 years. Alexander's stay with the Redbirds was relatively brief. Picked up mid-season in 1926 after the Cubs released him, he starred for the Cardinals in the Fall Classic by winning a pair of complete game shut outs over the Yankees and then saving game seven as a reliever. For an encore, he won 20 games for St. Louis in 1927 at the age of 40.