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On This Date in Cardinals History: April 24, 1926

The Cardinals served notice on the defending World Series champions on this date 86 years ago that there was a new sheriff in town.

The Birds blasted the Pirates 9-3 at Forbes Field behind a 3-for-3 day from player-manager Rogers Hornsby including one of the most impressive home runs in the ballpark's history.

The Rajah, as if to put an exclamation point on the game, in the ninth inning hit the ball past the centerfield flag pole that stood 450 feet from home plate. It was one of only 11 homers Hornsby would hit that season. He also "only" hit .317 for the year. In 1925, Hornsby hit 39 homers and batted .403, his sixth consecutive year of hitting .370 or better.

Flint Rhem pitched a complete game four-hitter to earn his third victory of the year and the Cardinals never looked back after scoring four runs in the first. They would go on to compile and 89-65 record to win the National League pennant.

The Redbirds claimed fought for the top spot in the league throughout the summer, finally taking over first place for good on Sept. 15 with a win in the first of six in a row against the Phillies. The Cardinals won five of the six games by a combined score of 61-14.

In the World Series the Cardinals faced the powerful New York Yankees and won their first championship in seven games while the Pirates dropped back to third place. Pittsburgh wouldn't win another Fall Classic until 1960 while the Cardinals were about to turn into the Gas House Gang, winning pennants in 1928, '30, '31 and '34 and World Series in '31 and '34.