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1964 St. Louis Cardinals season: Wikis


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1964 St. Louis Cardinals
1964 World Series Champions
Major league affiliations
1964 Information
Owner(s) August "Gussie" Busch
Manager(s) Johnny Keane
Local television KSD-TV
Local radio KMOX
(Harry Caray, Jack Buck, Jerry Gross)


The St. Louis Cardinals 1964 season was the team's 83rd season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 73rd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 93-69 during the season and finished 1st in the National League, edging the co-runner-ups Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies by one game each on the last day of the regular-season. They won the World Series in 7 games over the New York Yankees.

Third baseman Ken Boyer won the MVP Award this year, batting .295, with 24 home runs and 119 RBIs. Pitcher Bobby Shantz (who was traded to the Chicago Cubs in midseason for left-fielder Lou Brock), first baseman Bill White, and outfielder Curt Flood won Gold Gloves this year.

Thirty years later, David Halberstam would chronicle the 1964 Cardinals and their World Series opponents the 1964 Yankees in the book October 1964.



Regular season


Season summary

Goodbye to Stan the Man, hello Lou

The Cardinals entered 1964 having gone 18 years without a pennant and not even contending for a pennant since the 1949 team finished one game behind the Brooklyn Dodgers. However, the 1963 team went 93-69. It was the best record for St. Louis since that 1949 team won 96 games. The Cardinals finished six games behind the now-Los Angeles Dodgers, but seemed primed for future success. Tim McCarver was emerging as a star catcher. Bob Gibson had his first big season in 1963, going 18-9. Veteran power hitters Bill White and Ken Boyer returned to help power the Redbirds, as did pitchers Ray Sadecki and Curt Simmons.

1964 saw the Cardinals without the best hitter in franchise history. Stan Musial, whose 3,630 career hits were second on the all-time list and remain fourth today, finally retired after the 1963 season, at the age of 42 after 22 years in St. Louis. His absence left a hole in the Cardinal lineup and in left field, and as the early weeks of the 1964 season passed, St. Louis hovered at the .500 mark. Cardinals GM Bing Devine, worried about both the team and his own job security, looked for a deal to make before the June 15 trading deadline.[5] He consulted with manager Johnny Keane and they decided that the team needed more speed. Keane and Devine focused on Lou Brock, an outfielder with the Chicago Cubs that the Cardinals had scouted years before and who had struggled since coming to the big leagues with the club.[6]

In June, with the trading deadline near and the Cardinals still around .500, Devine made the call to the Cubs and the deal was done.[7] On June 15, they traded star pitcher Ernie Broglio, who went 18-8 in 1963 and was having another good year in 1964, to the Chicago Cubs as part of a six-player deal for Brock. Many people thought the Cubs had gotten the better of the deal, including Chicago sportswriters and many Cardinal players.[8] However, Broglio would have a mediocre half-season for the Cubs and then two more ineffective, injury-riddled years in 1965 and 1966 before disappearing from the big leagues forever. Brock hit .348 for the 1964 Cardinals, and as a Cardinal went on to break the all-time record for stolen bases (since broken by Rickey Henderson), amass over 3000 base hits, and go into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.

Busch fires Devine

For most of the 1964 season, the Philadelphia Phillies looked like the team to beat. Philadelphia spent almost the entire first half in first or second place, and in July moved in first place seemingly to stay. The Cardinals, on the other hand, spent much of the season mired in the middle of the pack, and sometimes close to the bottom. As late as June 17, the Cardinals were eighth in a ten-team league, although they were only six back of the lead. Lou Brock joined the team and immediately began to hit but St. Louis still could not dent Philadelphia's lead. The Cardinals called up prized prospect Mike Shannon in early July, and still they stagnated.[9][10] They were seventh as late as July 24. One problem was first baseman Bill White; the Cardinal slugger, one of the few power hitters on the team, was bothered by a sore shoulder and struggling badly.[11]

On August 16, with the Cardinals at 61-54 and 9 1/2 games out of first place, an impatient Gussie Busch fired general manager Bing Devine.[12] Devine had been GM of the Cardinals since 1957[13], and in fact had assembled almost all of the 1964 team, but would not be around to see the finish. Busch considered firing Keane as well, but held back out of reluctance to further disrupt the team by firing both the manager and GM during the season.[14] Shortly thereafter, however, Busch met with Leo Durocher and made him a verbal offer to manage the Cardinals in 1965. Word soon got out that Keane was a lame duck.[15] On August 23, the Cardinals fell 11 games behind Philadelphia, tied for the farthest back they'd been all year, although they'd actually improved to fourth place in the overall standings. The Cardinals reeled off a six-game winning streak immediately after falling 11 back and continued to play well in September, but the Phillies seemed to be playing well enough to win, and on Sept. 20 the Cardinals were tied with Cincinnati for second place, 6.5 games behind Philadelphia. A Sports Illustrated article described the Cardinal surge as "far too late".[12]

The "Phillie Phold" and Cardinal comeback

Injuries accumulated for the first-place Phillies as the season wore on. Slugger Frank Thomas broke his thumb. Starting pitcher Ray Culp hurt his elbow and had to go to the bullpen. Starting pitcher Art Mahaffey was slumping badly.[16] Starting pitcher Dennis Bennett was plagued by tendinitis.[17] Philly manager Gene Mauch, in a move that has remained controversial ever since, reacted to his rotation's problems by using star pitchers Jim Bunning and Chris Short on less than normal rest six times down the stretch. Philadelphia lost all six of those games.[18]

Still the Phillies held on to their lead. On September 20, Philadelphia was 90-60 and led the National League by 6.5 games with only twelve games to go. A pennant seemed assured. The Phillies even started taking applications for World Series tickets.[19] Then came the infamous "Phillie Phold". The Phold started on September 21, when Philadelphia lost 1-0 to Cincinnati with the only run scoring on a steal of home.[20][21] The Phils were swept in three games by Cincinnati, who crept to within 3 1/2 games of first place. Then they were swept in four games by Milwaukee. On the 25th the Braves beat Philly in 12 innings. On the 26th they beat Philly by scoring three in the top of the ninth. On the 27th Milwaukee beat the Phils 14-8, extending their losing streak to seven games and dropping them out of first place for the first time in two months. Philadelphia was one game behind Cincinnati, while the Cardinals, who'd gone 6-1 during Philadelphia's streak, were in third place, 1.5 games back. The Phillies were feeling the pressure and making mistakes on the bases; in one fifteen-game stretch, 10 Phillies were thrown out trying to take an extra base.[21]

St. Louis and Philadelphia met for a crucial three-game series starting in St. Louis on Sept. 28. The Cardinals won the first game 5-1, vaulting past Philly into second place, one game behind the idle Reds, with the Phils 1.5 games back. On the 29th the Cards beat the Phils 4-2 behind a strong start from Sadecki, and Cincinnati lost to visiting Pittsburgh. The Cardinals were in first place for the first time all year, tied with the Reds, with Philly 1.5 games back. On the 30th the Cardinals beat the Phillies again, 8-5, with Curt Simmons beating Bunning. Cincinnati lost to Pittsburgh at home again, and the Cardinals had sole possession of first place. Philadelphia had lost ten in a row and the Cardinals had won eight in a row.

The Cardinals lost 1-0 on October 2 at home to the terrible Mets while the Phillies beat the host Reds to finally snap their losing streak. On the 3rd the Cardinals lost again to the Mets while the Phillies and Reds remained idle. St. Louis and Cincinnati were tied for first place with 92-69 records, while Philadelphia was one game behind at 91-70. On the last day of the season, October 4, the Phillies beat the Reds at Cincinnati again, but the Cardinals beat the visiting Mets 11-5 to win the pennant by one game, with a 93-69 record. The "Phold" is remembered as one of the worst late-season collapses in baseball history.[22] The Cardinals, having won their first pennant since 1946, would go on to face the mighty Yankees in the World Series.

Season standings

National League W L GB Pct.
St. Louis Cardinals 93 69 -- .574
Cincinnati Reds 92 70 1 .568
Philadelphia Phillies 92 70 1 .568
San Francisco Giants 90 72 3 .556
Milwaukee Braves 88 74 5 .543
Los Angeles Dodgers 80 82 13 .494
Pittsburgh Pirates 80 82 13 .494
Chicago Cubs 76 86 17 .469
Houston Colt .45s 66 96 27 .407
New York Mets 53 109 40 .327

Notable transactions


1964 St. Louis Cardinals roster
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C McCarver, TimTim McCarver 143 465 134 .288 9 52
1B White, BillBill White 160 631 191 .303 21 102
2B Javier, JuliánJulián Javier 155 535 129 .241 12 65
3B Boyer, KenKen Boyer 162 628 185 .295 24 119
SS Groat, DickDick Groat 161 636 186 .292 1 70
LF Brock, LouLou Brock 103 419 146 .348 12 44
CF Flood, CurtCurt Flood 162 679 211 .311 5 46
RF Shannon, MikeMike Shannon 88 253 66 .261 9 43

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI


Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Broglio, ErnieErnie Broglio 11 69.1 3 5 3.50 36

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Shantz, BobbyBobby Shantz 16 1 3 0 3.12 12
Bakenhaster, DaveDave Bakenhaster 2 0 0 0 6.00 0

World series

Playing in their first World Series in 18 years, the Cardinals defeated the Yankees in seven games. It was the end of the Yankee dynasty that saw 14 pennants in 16 seasons from 1946 to 1964; the Yankees would not appear in the World Series again until 1976. The Cardinals won their seventh world championship in franchise history. Gussie Busch changed his mind about Leo Durocher and attempted to rehire his Series-winning manager, but Keane, angry at the way Busch had treated him and Devine, quit and became manager of the Yankees.[27] Red Schoendienst took over as manager of the Cardinals and led the team to two pennants and a championship in 1967. Bing Devine was voted baseball executive of the year a few months after he was fired.[28]

NL St. Louis Cardinals (4) vs. AL New York Yankees (3)

Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1 Yankees – 5, Cardinals – 9 October 7 Busch Stadium 30,805 2:42
2 Yankees – 8, Cardinals – 3 October 8 Busch Stadium 30,805 2:29
3 Cardinals – 1, Yankees – 2 October 10 Yankee Stadium 67,101 2:16
4 Cardinals – 4, Yankees – 3 October 11 Yankee Stadium 66,312 2:18
5 Cardinals – 5, Yankees – 2 October 12 Yankee Stadium 65,633 2:37
6 Yankees – 8, Cardinals – 3 October 14 Busch Stadium 30,805 2:37
7 Yankees – 5, Cardinals – 7 October 15 Busch Stadium 30,346 2:40

Awards and honors

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Jacksonville Suns International League Harry Walker
AA Tulsa Oilers Texas League Grover Resinger
A Raleigh Cardinals Carolina League George Kissell
A Winnipeg Goldeyes Northern League Ron Plaza
A Rock Hill Cardinals Western Carolinas League Hal Smith
Rookie SRL Cardinals Sarasota Rookie League Fred Koenig



  1. ^ Jimmie Coker page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Carl Sawatski page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Sonny Ruberto page at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Lee Gregory page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Halberstam 133
  6. ^ Halberstam 134-5
  7. ^ Halberstam 135-6
  8. ^ Halberstam 136-7
  9. ^ Mike Shannon 1964 game log
  10. ^ Halberstam 194-6
  11. ^ Halberstam 198
  12. ^ a b "Futile Surge", Sports Illustrated, Sept. 21, 1964
  13. ^ Halberstam 17
  14. ^ Halberstam 253
  15. ^ Halberstam 265-7
  16. ^ Halberstam 303
  17. ^ Halberstam 303, 311
  18. ^ Halberstam 303-4, 306
  19. ^ Halberstam 305
  20. ^ Reds 1, Phils 0
  21. ^ a b "The Big Red Surge", Sports Illustrated, Oct. 5, 1964
  22. ^ 1964 Sports Illustrated cover
  23. ^ Gary Kolb page at Baseball Reference
  24. ^ Walt Williams page at Baseball Reference
  25. ^ Ernie Broglio page at Baseball Reference
  26. ^ Mike Torrez page at Baseball Reference
  27. ^ Halberstam 351-2
  28. ^ Halberstam 354
  29. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007


External links

Preceded by
Los Angeles Dodgers
National League Championship Season
Succeeded by
Los Angeles Dodgers
Preceded by
Los Angeles Dodgers
World Series Champions
St. Louis Cardinals

Succeeded by
Los Angeles Dodgers


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