1926-34: The St. Louis Cardinals Were as Dominant as the Great Yankees Teams

Harold FriendChief Writer IJune 1, 2012

ST LOUIS - JULY 18:  Statue of Jay Hanna 'Dizzy' Dean #17 of the St. Louis Cardinals is outside of Busch Stadium on July 18, 2004 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Mention baseball dynasty and the New York Yankees come to mind, but from 1926-1934, the St. Louis Cardinals won five pennants and three world championships. During those years, the Yankees won four pennants and three World Series.

The Cardinals and Yankees faced each other in the 1926 World Series, when the Cards beat the Yankees in seven games. In 1928, the Yankees swept the Cardinals.

The Chicago Cubs interrupted the Cardinals' marches toward pennants in 1929 and again in 1932, but since they were creating a tradition that has extended to 2012, the Cubs lost the World Series each time.

In 1933, the New York Giants won the pennant and defeated the Washington Senators in the World Series, but it would be the last world championship for a baseball team called the New York Giants until 1954..

The Cardinals faced Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics in 1930 and again in 1931.

The Athletics had some great players, including Mickey Cochran (after whom Mickey Mantle was named), Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Lefty Grove. All are in the Hall of Fame.

The Cardinals were no slouches with respect to Hall of Famers either with Jim Bottomley and Frankie Frisch. 20-year-old Dizzy Dean was on the team, but he appeared in only one game and didn’t join the rotation until 1932.

In 1930, Philadelphia was too much for the Cardinals. The A’s won the first two games, the Cardinals won the next two, but the Athletics took the final pair.

The following season, it was a different story.

The Gas House Gang Cardinals, one of the great teams of all time, won the World Series in seven games, beating a Philadelphia team that won 107 games during the season for a .704 percentage.

Following a two year respite, the Cardinals, now led by 30-game winner Dizzy Dean and his brother, Paul, beat the Detroit Tigers in a seven game World Series.

In the seventh game in Detroit, with the game all but decided (8-0 Cardinals), Joe Medwick, who was, as Red Barber used to say, “tearing up the pea patch,” slid hard into third base, injuring the Tigers' Marv Owen.

Medwick made eye contact with fans in left field, which was not a wise thing. A riot ensued in which the good Tigers patrons heaved empty bottles and fruit onto the field.

Commissioner Landis took Medwick out of the game for his own safety.

The Cardinals wouldn’t win another pennant until 1942 when they started a streak of three consecutive National League flags.

They won the World Series in 1942 against the Yankees and in 1944 against their friends, the St. Louis Browns.

It is interesting that the Cardinals and Yankees have met in the World Series five times to this point. The Cardinals have won three (1926, 1942 and 1964) of them.