St. Louis Cardinals Hit .314 in 1930 but Batted .200 When It Counted

Harold FriendChief Writer IJuly 18, 2012

12 Jul 1998: General view of a statue of Stan Musial outside of Busch Stadium during the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Astros in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Astros 6-4.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The 1930 St. Louis Cardinals won the pennant. They won 92 games to finished two games ahead of the Chicago Cubs. It was a strange season.

Every single Cardinals regular player batted at least .300. Second baseman Frank Frisch led the team by batting .346.  Center fielder Taylor Douthit had the lowest average among the regulars with .303.

The Cardinals batted .314, had an on-base average of .372 and slugged .471. They scored 1,004 scored. It was an offensive powerhouse, but the entire league produced such scoring that it will always be remembered.

The New York Giants finished third, five games behind the Cardinals. It sounds fine, but the Giants batted .319. No team ever batted a higher batting average, yet all the Giants could do was finish third.

The Giants Bill Terry batted .401, while the Cubs Hack Wilson set the National League record for home runs (56) and RBIs (191).

The Cardinals faced the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series. The Athletics batted .294, averaged 6.18 runs a game and hit 125 home runs. Still, the Cards were a more powerful team.

But in the World Series, pitching usually determines the winner.

The Cardinals best winner was Bill Hallahan. He won 15 games with a 4.66 ERA. Only Burleigh Grimes, a spit ball hurler, was the only starter with an ERA below 4.00. The team’s ERA was 4.39.

The Athletics’ 4.28 ERA was not much better.  Rube Walberg (4.69), George Ernshaw (4.44) and Bill Shores (4.19) didn’t perform especially well. But then there was Lefty Grove.

Grove won 28 games. He lost only five. Grove had a 2.54 ERA that led the league. Wes Ferrell finished second with a 3.31 ERA. Grove led the league with 209 strikeouts.  Imagine what the Athletics ERA would have been without him.

Grimes faced Grove at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. Grove won, 5.2.

After three games, the Athletics led, two games to one. Grove started against Jesse Haines at Sportsman Park at St. Louis. The Cards scored a pair of unearned runs off Grove to win, 3-1.

The Athletics won the last two games to win the Series. What seemed to be amazing was the Cardinals batted .200/.241/.295. They scored 12 runs in six games.

What happens in the season doesn’t happen in the World Series.