1921- “Live Ball” Era Begins; Hits Galore

The Cardinals begin the team’s 40th season in St. Louis and the 30th in the National League in 1921.

Triple Play

Also in 1921, the great Rogers Hornsby hitting into a triple play on June 13th in a 10-1 thrashing of the Giants. The ball was hit to second base on the line to John Monroe. He snagged the ball and fired to George Kelly at first to double off the runner. The Cardinals baserunner at second, Austin McHenry, had taken off with the pitch and was on his way to third when the ball was hit and Kelly fired to Pat Patterson, the shortstop, at second base to complete the triple play.
In that same game, Les Mann hit two homers to aid Haines and the Cardinals in the win.

Hits and more hits

By the accounts of many historians, the 1921 baseball season was the beginning of the “live ball” era which saw a spike in hits. There were hits galore.  It was another stellar season for Hornsby as he was second in home runs with 21 and led the league in several categories including batting average at .397. He also led in on base percentage (.458), slugging percentage (.639), runs scored (131), RBI’s (126), doubles (44), and triples (18).

Hornsby honored by President Harding

Near the end of the season, the Cardinals honor him on September 30th and award him many gifts. One of the gifts was an autographed baseball signed by the President of the United States Warren G. Harding. The day didn’t spoil Hornsby as he hit two doubles and a home run in the 12-4 win.
After the conclusion of the season, the New York Giants owner Charles Stoneham offered $300,000 for the contract of Hornsby. Breadon stated, “Sure it was tempting, but we knew we wanted a winner in St. Louis and we knew that Hornsby was the guy who could bring it to us.”

Highest win total in 30 years

The Cardinals finished 87-66 as they win 30 of their last 37 games and in third place, only seven games behind the league leader. This was the highest win total since joining the National League 30 years earlier.