Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

1946 Champs Represent Last Hurrah

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

1946 Champs Represent Last Hurrah

Article excerpt

When they sit at the baseball writers' head table Tuesday night, along with several of the recent stars and glittering newcomers of the Cardinals, eight members of the ballclub's 1946 world champions will represent a baseball generation's Last Hurrah.

Over a 20-year period, boosted largely by Branch Rickey's first revolutionary change, St. Louis flapped nine National League pennants and six world titles. By the time owner Sam Breadon reacted to a post-war fire sale of talent, selling what seemed like surplus talent, well . . . my old boss, sports editor J. Roy Stockton, put it well at a dinner the night the '46 season ended in an historic tie.

Addressing the crowd at Ruggeri's old restaurant, to the extreme displeasure of Breadon and the anger of many, Stockton said, "It looks, Sam, as if you cut the baloney too thin."

True enough because the Cardinals didn't win another pennant and championship for 18 years, partly because Rickey, who had developed the grow-your-own farm system here, had given the black player his first chance at Brooklyn. Other clubs also took earlier advantage of the opportunity - no, the necessity - to give men of a different color their chance at the so-called national pastime.

After Eddie Dyer's Cardinals and Leo Durocher's Dodgers backed into a playoff, the '46 Redbirds preserved and enriched the franchise's ability to rise to the occasion. They won 16 out of 24 from Flatbush's beloved Bums, including two in succession in the best-of-three runoff, and then they ran down the favored Boston Red Sox in the World Series on Enos Slaughter's famed run home.

So there will be an ample opportunity to cheer Slaughter and two other Hall of Famers, roommates Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst, and also Marty Marion, George Kurowski, Harry Walker, George Munger and Del Wilber.

Three-game Series winner Harry "The Cat" Brecheen is once again a reunion no-show, but Max Lanier would have come if he were up to it physically. …

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