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by Doug Feldmann

Dizzy and the Gas House Gang: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals and Depression-Era Baseball

Comments:

I bought this book partly to let my Grandfather read and partly because of my own intense interest in the history of my favorite baseball team. The Cardinals have a rich and winning tradition, but you would be hard-pressed to find a more colorful group of characters than those on the 1934 "Gas House Gang" St. Louis Cardinals team. From the crazy Dean boys to the no nonsense (some would say dirty) play of Leo "the Lip" Durocher, this team wasn't expected to do too much in 1934, but much like the Cardinals of 2004, they defied the experts and took the N.L. Pennant. (Much to my chagrin, the 2004 edition decided not to show up for the World Series, but that's a story for another day.) Unlike the 2004 Cardinals, the 1934 team had to scrap and battle all year and really weren't in the clear until the waning days of the regular season. This is as much the story of Dizzy Dean as it is the 1934 Cards, because he and his younger borther Paul made that team go, and had 49 wins between them in 1934! When Dizzy sat out because of a contract dispute, it caused much consternation among the fans. The team seemed to thrive on adversity and disputes, because they kept on pushing and finished strong in September to beat out the New York Giants, who were heavily favored to win that year. Any fan of the Cardinals, and really of famous baseball history, will want to own this book. It is a well-written and endlessly fascinating look into baseball 1930's style. I can almost picture what my Grandpa saw back in 1934, Sportsman's Park on a Sunday afternoon with Dizzy Dean and Carl Hubbell, the aces of the Cards and the Giants respectively, going at it. 205 pp.

email me at: brettsbooks@brettschulte.net

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