For being the off-season, Feb. 6 has been a pretty busy date in the history of the Cardinals.
On this date in 1934, the Redbirds sold starting pitcher Dazzy Vance, a winner of 197 games over the course of his career, to the Reds for $7,500. He won 28 in his best season with the Dodgers and notched 22 wins in two other years. But he was 43 in 1934 and had been reduced to a swing man between the rotation and bullpen. His stay in Cincinnati was short-lived. He was 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in six games with the Reds before being waived -- and reclaimed by St. Louis. Back with the Cardinals, Vance pitched in 19 games with a 1-1 record and a 3.66 ERA. He pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the 1934 World Series to help the Birds beat the Tigers. Vance returned to the majors for a final season in 1935 with the Browns before hanging 'em up.
In 1935 ace hurler Dizzy Dean staged one of his famous contract hold-outs. Owner Sam Breadon didn't need the hassle. Despite winning the World Series the previous fall and featuring some of baseball's biggest stars on the roster, the Cardinals drew only 325,000 fans at home. The news of the day in the St. Louis papers was that Breadon was considering relocation of the club to Detroit. Fortunately, the matter was quickly resolved and Dean signed with St. Louis the next day to play for $19,500 in the upcoming season.
Cardinals coach, manager and broadcaster Gabby Street died on this date in 1951. Street, a catcher by trade, played only one game for St. Louis. In that 1931 appearance he was hitless in one at bat. But he would make a much greater impact on the team off the field. He was hired in 1929 to be the club's skipper and led the Redbirds to the National League pennant in 1930 and '31, winning the World Series in his second try. He was fired mid-season in 1933 after the Birds stumbled through 1932 and the first half of that season. But that wasn't the end of his association with the Redbirds. He became a Cardinals broadcaster in the mid-1940s, working with a very raw Harry Caray in the booth at Sportsmans Park. In 1908 Street, a carrer .208 hitter, showed off his defensive skills by becoming the first person to catch a baseball dropped from the top of the Washington Monument.
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