On this day 70 years ago, while the nation was reeling from the tragedy of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and gearing up for war, the Cardinals made a huge trade.
Slugging first baseman Jonny Mize, who set a Cardinals record for home runs in 1940 with 43 blasts that stood for 48 years, was traded to the Giants for Bill Lohrman, Johnny McCarthy and Ken O'Dea.
The Hall of Famer Mize was likely dealt because in his seventh season with the Redbirds in 1941 he suffered through injuries and saw his production totals drop to 16 homers -- although he still drove in 100 runs in only 123 games.
In 1942 the career .312 hitter rebounded to 26 homers and he still had his best season left in him. In 1947 he batted .302 with 51 homers and 138 RBIs to lead the league in the last two categories.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
The toughest part to swallow for Cardinals fans was that they got precious little in return for one of the most feared sluggers in the National League.
O'Dea was the most useful piece of the return the Redbirds received. And he served as a part time catcher with the Cardinals from 1942 until he was sold to the Braves in the middle of the 1946 season. Lohrman only made five appearances with the Cardinals in 1942, turning in a 1-1 record with a 1.42 ERA before being sold back to New York. McCarthy, a first baseman and pinch hitter never played a game in a St. Louis uniform.
Cardinals fans didn't have much to complain about in the 1940s with World Series wins in 1942, 44 and 46 and another NL pennant in 1943. But it's tough not to imagine how much of a dynasty the club would have had with Mize anchoring the offense alongside a talented youngster who named Stan Musial who would make his major league debut late in the 1941 season.