Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean
Born: January 6, 1910
Died: July 17, 1974

Dizzy Dean was a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame baseball pitcher who pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs, and the St. Louis Browns from 1930 to 1941 and 1947. He was the ringleader of the Cardinals teams of the mid-1930s known as the Gashouse Gang, a group as well known for their Yogi Berra-like wit and penchant for practical jokes as their baseball skill.

For a Hall of Famer he had a very short career, only pitching five "Hall of Fame" type seasons. He came up as a 20 year old from the St. Louis Cardinals' farm system and pitched in one game, then spent all of 1931 in the minors. In 1932 he pitched his first full season and won 18 games while losing 15. His next year saw him win 20, but it was 1934 when he began his dominant years.

1934 was also the year where he made a famous prediction: he and his brother, Paul Dean, a rookie pitcher whom the sportswriters referred to as Daffy, would win 45 games. As it turns out, they won 49, 30 of which belonged to the year's MVP, Dizzy, who became one of three players since 1922 to have won 30 games in a season (the others being Lefty Grove, who did it in 1931, and Denny McClain, who did it in 1968.) He also won two games, including game seven, in the 1934 World Series, in which the Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers.

Two more 24+ win seasons would follow, but in 1937 his career came to a screeching halt when a line drive in the all-star game broke his foot and forced him to change his pitching motion. He was never the same pitcher, and the next year he was traded to the Chicago Cubs. He had a good first year for them, going 7-1 in limited action with a 1.81 ERA, but he couldn't regain his previous success and retired in 1941. He was only thirty, and he retired to the broadcasting booth, where he stayed for 20 years, first with the St. Louis Browns and then doing the Game of the Week on TV.

Of course, he had one last try at pitching--the St. Louis Browns, always looking for some way to draw fans, had him pitch once in 1947. He actually did well, pitching four scoreless innings and garnering a base hit. Dizzy Dean was elected to the hall of fame in 1953.

Major League Baseball Hall of Fame
Leon Day | Ed Delahanty

Sources: www.baseballreference.com, www.baseballlibrary.com. I suggest both.

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