The Boston Braves lured away the Cardinals manager in the midst of one of the most successful runs in team history on this date in 1945.
Blilly Southworth, who led St. Louis to National League pennants in 1942, '43 and '44 and World Series wins in 1942 and '44 was offered the then princely sum of $50,000 a season to become the Boston's field boss.
Southworth actually managed the Cardinals in two stints. He was originally hired as a player-manager at the age of 36 in 1929. But he had trouble motivating his teammates with his disciplinarian ways. He was fired after putting together a 43-45 record and sent back to the minor leagues.
By 1940 Southworth was back at the helm of the Redbirds who were in the process of restocking the roster with a bumper crop of young talent including Enos Slaughter, Marty Marion, Max Lanier and Mort and Walker Cooper. In 1941, Stan Musial would join the club.
With the Cardinals, Southworth was a remarkable 620-346, a .642 winning percentage. He led the sad sack Braves to the 1948 National League pennant and had a .542 winning percentage in Boston. The Cardinals had enough steam left to win the 1946 World Series under Eddie Dyer. But they soon sagged into post-season drought that kept them from the Fall Classic until 1964.
On this date in 1962 Branch Rickey, in his second stint with the Cardinals, was rapidly wearing out his welcome.
A special advisor to owner August Busch Jr., it's no secret that Rickey is trying to force Cardinals superstar Stan Musial to retire. Busch, who put the brakes on a 1955 front office effort to trade The Man to Philadelphia, publicly announces that Musial will play as long as he wants to ... And when he is done he will be given a job as a team vice president.
Musial went on to play his last season in 1963, putting together a .255 batting average with 12 homers at 42 years old.
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