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July 18, 1974 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1974-07-18

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Thursday, July 18, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Eleven

Thursday, July 18, 1974 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Eleven

Dizzy
By DAN BORUS
Forty years ago, a baseball
team from St. Louis staged a
remarkable September drive
and nipped the slumping New
York Giants at the wire for the
National League crown after
having trailed the Giants by as
much as eight games with two
weeks to play.
One week later, that same
team kayoed the favored De-
troit Tigers in the World Series
as two brothers - Dizzy and
Paul Dean - won two games
apiece.
DIZZY DEAN DIED early
yesterday morning in Reno, at
the age of 64, from heart failure.
His death, like the end of his
career, came far too soon. But
his life, and the legend it cre-
ated, are more important, and
worth remembering.
Though it captured only that
one championship, the Gas-
house Gang, and the pitcher
who fashioned its style with his
active mouth and strong right
arm, came to he remembered
for more than those record book
accomplishments.
Christened in the dark days
of hard times, bank failures and
bread lines, the Gashouse Gang
played without regard to safety,
cleanliness, or manners. Never
assuming it had a game won,
and never accepting a game as
hopelessly lost, that collection
of rag-tag hustlers and scrap-
pers was an inspiration to an
economically and emotionally
ravaged nation.
But the man they came to see
was Ole Diz. Whenever Dean
pitched, attendance peaked.
Polo Grounds officials were
forced to turn away 15,000 fans
from a Sunday doubleheader in
early September of 1934 when
the fabled "Me and Paul"
pitched both ends for the Red-
birds.
DEAN WAS A MAN loved as
much for his legend and his
style as his pitching. While in
the courserofhis seven year ca-
reer, he racked up some re-
markable records - among
them the honor of being the
last National League pitcher to
win 30 games in one season-
it was the epic proportions of
his legends which guaranteed
his popularity.
Like any true epic hero, Dean
was of uncertain origins. De-
pending upon when you asked
him, Dean hailed from Holden,
Oklahoma, Lucas, Arkansas, or
Bond, Mississippi. ("Them
weren't lies," he told his biog-
rapher and semi-official watch-
dog, J. Roy Stockton of the St.
Louis Post Dispatch, "them
were scoops").
In the style of epic heros,
bean was capable of super-hu-
man feats. In the minors he
sent all his fielders to the dug-
oat and proceeded to whiff the
side. Once he strolled over to
the Boston Brave clubhouse and
calmly informed the Braves that
he was going to throw only
fastballs. He did and all they
got were three scratch hits.

Dean: Baseball's folk hero

A RAW ROOKIE up for his
first look in the bigs, he de-
liberately walked the bases
loaded in an exhibition against
the then World Championship
Philadelphia A's and then
struck out in order the A's Mur-
derer's Row, Al Simmons, Jim-
my Foxx, and Mickey Cochrane.
Perhaps most astounding of
all was his 1934 performance.
In addition to those thirty vic-
tories, Dean pitched in nineteen
games in the month of Septem-
ber, won eight, lost none, and
had an earned run average of

1.05.
The Dean epic grew on the
strength of his public inno-
cence. He, like the Cardinals,
the first championship team to
have a majority of its members
from the South and the West,
was a country boy in the big
city, an innocent in a hostile en-
vironment.
CELEBRATING in the streets
of St. Joseph after having once
again stomped the opposition,
Dean noticed an automobile
racing opposite his. The sheriff
of that small Missouri town

stuck his head out of the car
and yelled to the hanoy pitcher.
"Hey, this is a one-way street."
Replied Dean, "How many
ways do you think I'm going?"
In later years, Dean seemed
nmost a hick, a trifle too cute,
too colorful, and too forced. His
old manager, Frankie Frisch,
felt that some of the stories
were exaggerated by Cardinal
General Manager Branch Ric-
key with an eye on the gate.
Dean, in a Liberty Magazine ar-
ticle, claimed as much.
CERTAINLY DEAN was not

'"rt financi-Ily by his image
,s -s , r-s'lt of his country-
+s s eded for beyond the
IS. 40 he took home in his best
-l'ving year.
lut his inotence and his
svmholism to an entire gener-
-tion wis 'erv real indeed. His
death most likely ntrks the de-
mnise of a trle American myth,
the s-'ccess of to country boy in
1h- big city. To times of ind'ts-
trialication nd rapid urban
growth, his story is not likely to
he repeted either on the play-
ing fields or in story.

ml

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" Name of Attraction(s) Rate Price oTckt Rsrvdr
2. ____ $ - _ A____
-- total Amunt Endi

Lawn

Bob Gibson of the St. Louis
Cardinals last night became
the second major league pitch.
er in history to record 3,000
career strikeouts.

losed: $

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