1916- Another Last Place Finish; Hornsby First Homer

First Hornsby homer

In 1916, Rogers Hornsby, hits his first career home run on May 14th (BOXSCORE) and it is an inside-the-park homer. He hit it in the 7th inning off if Jeff Pfeffer on an 0-2 count.  He will go on to hit 300 career home runs. During that season, he led the team with a .313 batting average and most others statistics.

The next closest teammate was Jack Smith batting .244 for the Cardinals. That season the Cardinals were caught stealing 46 times.

The 1916 St. Louis Cardinals played 153 games during the regular season, won 60 games, lost 93 games, and finished in seventh position. They played their home games at Robison Field  where 224,308 fans witnessed their 1916 Cardinals finish the season with a .392 winning percentage. The team finishes the final 30 games with the Cardinals losing 26 of them.

The team is at .500 (14-14) after 28 games but never reach that level again throughout the entire season.

Housecleaning Promised

Team President Schuyler Britton is upset and announces a thorough housecleaning. Later that month, Helene Britton sells the team to Sam Breadon and James Jones. One of his first pieces of business is to lure Branch Rickey, business manager of the St. Louis Browns, to the Cardinals to be team president. The fortunes for the Cardinals will begin to look upwards with this move even though it will take a few seasons to do it.


Sam Breadon was an American executive who served as the president and majority owner of the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1920 through 1947. During that time, the Cardinals rose from languishing as one of the National League’s doormats to a premier power in baseball, winning nine NL pennants and six World Series championships. Breadon also had the highest regular season winning percentage of any owner in franchise history at .570. His teams totaled 2,470 wins and 1,830 losses.

Born in New York City, Breadon moved from Manhattan to St. Louis at the turn of the 20th century. He prospered as the owner of Pierce-Arrow auto dealerships and became a self-made millionaire. In 1917, he also became a minority investor – for $2,000 – in the Cardinals, then a struggling, second-division team chronically strapped for resources. But the club’s enterprising young president, Branch Rickey, discovered that the team could compete successfully against richer opponents by developing its playing talent on an assembly line of minor league teams, from Class D to Class AA (then the highest-ranking minor league level), that it owned and controlled. This was the creation of the farm system, perfected by the Cardinals and — when the Redbirds came to dominate the NL — copied by the 15 other major league teams.

Most Games by Position

C Mike Gonzalez (93)
1B Dots Miller (93)
2B Bruno Betzel (113)
3B Rogers Hornsby (83)
SS Roy Corhan (84)
LF Bob Bescher (151)
CF Jack Smith (107)
RF Tom Long (95)

SP Bill Doak
SP Lee Meadows
SP Bob Steele

RP Steamboat Williams
CL Red Ames


Scoring at a Premium

One note from the season was the Cardinals scored the fewest runs in the league and allowed the most.
Scored 476 runs, Allowed 629 runs

“Any ballplayer who don’t sign autographs for little kids ain’t American.”

– Rogers Hornsby