Gabby Street – Caught ball dropped from Washington Monument

“The Old Sarge”, as Street was known, only played for one season in St. Louis (1931) but he was their manager for 3.5 years. He became their leader in 1930 and won 92 games and in first place two games ahead of the charging Chicago Cubs. In the World Series, they faced the Philadelphia Athletics and lost in six games.

In 1931, Street’s Cardinals won 101 games and bested the New York Giants by 13 games. Then, in the 1931 Series against those same A’s, pitchers Wild Bill Hallahan and Burleigh Grimes dominated and Pepper Martin had 12 hits, batted .500, drove in five runs and stole five bases to lead the underdog Redbirds to a seven-game world championship.

The 1932 version stumbling coming out of the gate and never got their footing with 72 wins and were a distant fifth place and 18 games out. Street was dumped and replaced by his second baseman, Frankie Frisch.

Street would return to St. Louis and the major leagues, however, as a color commentator for Cardinals and Browns radio broadcasts after the Second World War, working with young colleague Harry Caray.

Sidenote: On August 21, 1908, Street achieved a measure of immortality by catching a baseball dropped from the top of the Washington Monument—a distance of 555 feet (169 m). After muffing the first twelve balls thrown by journalist Preston Gibson, he made a clean reception of number thirteen.


Another report of ball drop:

It took thirteen tries until the Washington Senators catcher was able to snag one, and later the crowd that had gathered to watch Gabby Street attempt to catch a ball dropped from the top of the Washington Monument described the sound of the ball hitting Street’s mitt as that of a pistol shot. The 535 foot drop took just four and a half seconds, the ball carrying two hundred pounds of force behind it as it reached Street, traveling at one-eighth the speed of a rifle bullet, as a local Washington newspaper reported.