1931 – World Series Champs for a Second Time

Cardinals 40th Year in National League

The 1931 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team’s 50th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 40th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 101–53 during the season and finished first in the National League. In the World Series, they beat the Philadelphia Athletics in 7 games. They will go on to become Word Series Champs for a second time in their history

Early in the year, Jim Bottomley gets 10 hits in a doubleheader. Hafey wins the batting title as he went 1-for-8 on the final day.

Monthly Splits

Month (Games) Won Lost WP
April (11) 8 3 0.727
May (23) 15 8 0.652
June (32) 19 13 0.594
July (34) 21 13 0.618
August (29) 21 8 0.724
September (25) 17 8 0.680

Team vs Team Splits

Opponent (Games) Won Lost WP
Boston Braves (22) 13 9 0.591
Brooklyn Robins (22) 12 10 0.545
Chicago Cubs (22) 14 8 0.636
Cincinnati Reds (22) 20 2 0.909
New York Giants (22) 12 10 0.545
Philadelphia Phillies (22) 18 4 0.818
Pittsburgh Pirates (22) 12 10 0.545

101-53, Finished 1st in National League

Manager: Gabby Street (101-53)
Scored 815 runs, Allowed 614 runs

Attendance: 608,535 (4th of 8)

The teams leaders were:

Chick Hafey 157 hits, 16HR, 11SB, .349BA, 95 RBI
Sparky Adams 143 Games, 46 doubles
George Watkins 13 Triples
Pepper Martin (rookie season) 76 RBI. .300BA
Bill Hallahan 19-9, 3.29ERA, 159K, 112BB
Burleigh Grimes 17-9, 3.65ERA
Paul Derringer 18-8, 3.36ERA
Jesse Haines 12-3, 3.02ERA
John Lindsey 6-4, 7 saves

During the regular season the 1931 St. Louis Cardinals scored the most runs (17) on July 12, 1931 versus the Chicago Cubs. The most runs scored against them (16) was played on June 26, 1931 versus the Brooklyn Robins.

1931 World Series Game One

Game One was played on October 1, 1931 at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. The respective line-ups were as follows:

Starting Lineups:

   Philadelphia Athletics        St. Louis Cardinals      
1. Bishop              2b        High                3b
2. Haas                cf        Roettger            rf
3. Cochrane            c         Frisch              2b
4. Simmons             lf        Bottomley           1b
5. Foxx                1b        Hafey               lf
6. Miller              rf        Martin              cf
7. Dykes               3b        Wilson              c
8. Williams            ss        Gelbert             ss
9. Grove               p         Derringer           p

In the first inning, the Athletics go down easily as Paul Derringer starts his first post-season game. In the bottom of the inning, with one out, Wally Roettger singles to center followed by Frisch singling to right with Roettger going to third grade. Jim Bottomley singles in Roettger. Hafey strikes out and then Pepper Martin doubles to right and the Cardinals lead 2-0 after one inning against Lefty Grove.

The score stays that way until the top of the fourth inning when Philadelphia punches through. Dykes singles, Williams singles abd now runners are on the corners. Withone out, Haas doubles in a run and Cochrane walks and Simmons walks and another run scores. Foxx singles to center and two more runs score. After three and a half the Athletics lead the Cardinals 4-2.

In the top of the 7th, Cochrane singles and Simmons homers to make it 6-2 and that is how it will end.

Derringer takes the loss as he pitched 7 innings, allowed 11 hits and 6 runs while fanning nine and walking three batters. Lefty Grove was the winning pitcher.


Starting Lineups

Starting Lineups: Philadelphia Athletics St. Louis Cardinals 1. Bishop 2b Flowers 3b 2. Haas cf Watkins rf 3. Cochrane c Frisch 2b 4. Simmons lf Bottomley 1b 5. Foxx 1b Hafey lf 6. Miller rf Martin cf 7. Dykes 3b Wilson c 8. Williams ss Gelbert ss 9. Earnshaw p Hallahan p

The Cardinals jump on top in the second inning with one out Pepper Martin doubles to left and steals third base. With two out, Gelbert singles him home and it is 1-0. Again in the 7th inning, Martin gets it started with a single and promptly steals second. He goes to third on a ground out by Wilson and scores on a sacrifice bunt by the pitcher Hallahan. That is all of the scoring for game two and the series in knotted up one game apiece. Hallahan pitched nine innings and allowed three hits. He fanned nine and walked eight in the game. The attendance was 35,947 and the game last one hour and 49 minutes.


St. Louis veteran Burleigh Grimes, a seventeen-game winner in the regular season, was given the start for Game 3. His specialty pitch “the spitball” had been outlawed by the league in 1920, but pitchers who were using the technique at the time, were allowed to continue for the remainder of their careers. Grimes, thankful for the league’s generosity, had used the wet ball as an advantage for eleven seasons and many younger batters resented the thirty-eight year-old as a result. The pitch served him well as he threw a two-hit, 5-2 masterpiece that put his team ahead two games to one.


Down, but far from out, Connie Mack’s Athletics were determined to even the score in Game 4. The ’30 Series hero, George Earnshaw (a twenty game-winner) returned to the mound for a two-hit, 3-0 triumph that put his team back in the hunt. Hitting had definitely taken a backseat to pitching throughout the Series and both bullpens were filled with talent. It was anyone’s game and many fans felt that it would be a matter of who blinked first.



Philadelphia’s skipper, Connie Mack, knew that Game 5 called for something special. Mack turned to a thirty-two year-old veteran who he had signed on waivers from the Detroit Tigers in June. Waite Hoyt, who had pitched in six World Series for the New York Yankees and compiled a 6-3 record in the fall classic, was chosen to go up against “Wild” Bill Hallahan. In a shocking turn of events, it was Hoyt who blinked first in a 5-1 loss that featured more extraordinary play by Pepper Martin. Once again the centerfielder had dominated the scorecard with a run-scoring fly in the first, a bunt in the fourth, a two-run homer in the sixth and a run-scoring single in the eighth. After five games, Martin had obtained a .667 batting average (going twelve-for-eighteen at the plate), five runs scored, four doubles, one homer, five runs batted in and five stolen bases.


For the first time in three years, the Philadelphia Athletics had found themselves as the underdogs. Fortunately, for Philadelphia, all was not lost as Lefty Grove came up clutch with five-hit, 8-1 victory over rookie Paul Derringer.


For the final outing, two unlikely heroes stepped up to the plate and made every at bat count. The Card’s third-baseman Andy High and right-fielder George Watkins had been having a miserable Series while going for a combined three-for-twenty two. All that changed in Game 7 as they collected all of the Cardinals’ hits. After a wild pitch and an error helped St. Louis to two first inning runs, High singled in the third and Watkins followed with a home run that staked pitcher Burleigh Grimes to a 4-0 lead. The master of the “spitball” was strong through eight innings, but needed relief from Hallahan in the ninth. The Cardinals are World Series Champs for a second time in their history.

Pepper Martin Impact

Surprisingly, the last out of the 4-2 triumph, came on a fly ball to Pepper Martin who had left his mark all over the Cardinals second World Series title. Although he had gone hitless in the final two outings, the “minor-league workhorse – turned major league thoroughbred” finished with a .500 batting average. The same two teams faced off during the 1930 World Series and the Athletics were victorious. The only day-to-day player in the Cardinals’ lineup who was different in 1931 was the “Wild Horse of the Osage”, Pepper Martin—a 27-year-old rookie who had spent seven seasons in the minor leagues. He led his team for the Series in runs scored, hits, doubles, runs batted in and stolen bases, and also made a running catch to stifle a ninth-inning rally by the A’s in the final game. World Series MVP- Pepper Martin