More Diz.

We love Dizzy Dean.

He was positively superhuman in 1934.  Consider this:

He pitched in fifty games in 1934.  Fifty.  In a 154-game season, that means Diz pitched in a third of his team’s games.  And he won thirty.  And in the 1934 World Series, he pitched in three games, 26 innings in total.  Twenty-six innings in three games.

But really, it wasn’t just 1934 that made Dean great.  From 1932 through 1936, Dizzy Dean averaged almost 50 games a season, and about 300 innings pitched.  He pitched 126 complete games.  He led the league in strikeouts four seasons in a row, and averaged more than 20 wins a season.

Dizzy Dean was a dominant from 1932 through 1936 as Sandy Koufax ever was, as dominant as Pedro Martinez ever was, as dominant as Rube Waddell ever was.  And he was one of the most colorful, interesting characters to ever put on a baseball uniform (or broadcast games after his career was over).

Dizzy Dean was overworked.  If he was on the Yankees today, he’d be limited to 150 innings a season, and maybe he would have lasted longer than the six seasons he was a regular starter in his 12-year career.

After Dean’s dominant 1934 season, a St. Louis shirt manufacturer called Rice Stix produced a two-card set consisting only of the popular Dizzy Dean and his brother Paul (who the press nicknamed “Daffy,” because the press need to do that sort of thing).  The cards were inserted into each box of shirts in 1935.  The cards are scarce today, with only 20 examples of the Dizzy Dean graded by PSA as of this writing, and even mid grade examples commanding four figures.

 

2 thoughts on “More Diz.”

  1. Dizzy’s 1934 quest for 30 wins is even more impressive when you dig deeper. He won game 28 on a Tuesday, a complete game win over the Pirates. He won number 29 on a Friday when he shutout the Reds and ol’ Diz ended the season with win number 30 by shutting out the Reds again on Sunday, the last game of the season.

  2. It’s even crazier! He won game 27 on Friday, September 21 by shutting out the Browns, throwing 9 innings. On Sunday the 23rd, the Cardinals had a doubleheader – Diz got his 7th save of the season by pitching one inning in the first game. Then he took the loss in the second game, pithing a third of an inning.

    Then, he pitched in the three games you mention above.

    Three days later, he pitched a complete game win in Game 1 of the World Series. Saturday, October 6 was Game 4. Dean was brought into the game as a PINCH RUNNER in the 4th inning, and in the process of breaking up a double play, was hit in the face and knocked unconscious by Billy Rogell’s relay throw.

    The very next day, Sunday the 7th, Dean pitched 8 innings and took the loss. And on Monday the 8th, Dean came right back and pitched a complete game shutout to get the win. In a fifteen-day period, Dizzy Dean got five wins and a save, pitched in 9 games and pinch-ran in a 10th, and was knocked unconscious.

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