A tip of the Cheap Seats cap in honor of Cardinals Hall of Famer Joe "Ducky" Medwick who died on this date 36 years ago.
Medwick, a slugging righthanded outfielder is the most recent National League player to hit for the triple crown. He had a .374 batting average, 31 homers and 154 RBIs for the Redbirds that year. It was the third season in a row that he hit .350 or better and came in the middle of a streak of six seasons in which he hit .319 or better.
Medwick made his debut with the Cardinals in 1932 and was the power in the middle of the order for the 1934 World Series champions. He hit .379 that year in the fall classic including a triple and a homer. He had to be pulled from a seventh game rout over the Tigers when Detroit fans pelted him with garbage as he played left field.
Medwick was dealt to the Dodgers in 1940 after the Cardinals front office apparently tired of his fighting with teammates. He battled pitcher Tex Carleton, third baseman Pepper Martin and first baseman Ripper Collins at one time or another in addition to threatening Dizzy and Paul Dean on numerous occasions.
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The first time the Cardinals and Dodgers met after the deal, St. Louis starter Bob Bowman hit Medwick in the head with a fastball, dealing him a severe concussion.
After the injury, although he remained a high average hitter for the rest of his career, Medwick for some reason never regained his abilities as a slugger.
There were threats both of the physical and legal variety. But apparently all parties got over their hard feelings because Medwick came back to the Cardinals in 1947 and played for two years as a pinch hitter and extra outfielder before hanging up his spikes for good.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968.