Looking for a Big Bat
The team won 75 games and lost 79 as they scored 602 runs and allowed 595. The player manager was Kid Nichols and the games were played at Robinson Field. The Attendance for the year was 386,750 which made them the 4th highest out of 8 teams.
Before the 1904 season starts, the Cardinals go out and get a big bat from Cincinnati as they purchase Jack Beckley and his 2,501 hits. He plays four more years for St. Louis and only manages 429 more hits.
Beckley led the team with a .325 batting average with 67 runs batted in, however, Dave Brain had the most RBI’s as a regular sub with 72. Mike Grady had a .313 average along with leading the team in home runs with 5. Jack Taylor and Kid Nichols led the pitching staff with 20 or more wins and an ERA near 2.20 for the season.
The league changes the schedule from 140 to 154 games as the Cardinals pick up pitcher Charles (“Kid”) Nichols who had spent twelve season with Boston. and name him player-manager.
Now 34 yrs-old, he is able to win 21 games. He lost his manager position in July to third baseman Jimmy Burke. The owner, Frank Robison, begins to get bored with the ownership and allows his brother Stanley to assume more leadership in the team decisions. But it was well known that he really had very little knowledge about baseball.
There was a story going around that Stanley was walking through a hotel lobby and was stopped by a woman that asked him if he could tell her where the Browning Club met. His response, “ I don’t know, ma’am, what league are they in?”
39 Consecutive Complete Games
Jack Taylor, whom they got in the off-season, reels off 39 straight complete games for a National League record. During the season, Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson beats the Cardinals six times and goes on to notch 24 consecutive wins over St. Louis. He leads the NL with 33 wins and the most strikeouts.
The team improved dramatically with a 75-79 record but still are 31.5 games behind the league leading New York Giants for a 5th place finish.
Here are the uniforms used by the Cardinals in 1904.
Trades in 1904
December 20, 1904: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased Jack Warner from the New York Giants.
September 11, 1904: The Boston Beaneaters purchased George Barclay from the St. Louis Cardinals.
August, 1904: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased Jim McGinley from Haverhill (New England). (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
August, 1904: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased Charlie Swindells from Butte (Pacific National).
August, 1904: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased Buster Brown from Omaha (Western). (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
August, 1904: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased Wish Egan from Louisville (American Association). (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
August, 1904: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased Billy Campbell from Louisville (American Association). (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
August, 1904: Baltimore (Eastern) purchased Bill Byers from the St. Louis Cardinals.
August, 1904: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased John Butler from Kansas City (American Association).
February 11, 1904: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased Jake Beckley from the Cincinnati Reds.
Here is the players that started the most times at each position.
Catcher Mike Grady – 77 games
1B Jake Beckley – 142
2B John Farrell – 130
3B Jimmy Burke – 118
SS Danny Shay – 97
LF George Barclay – 103
CF Homer Smoot – 137
RF Spike Shannon – 117
Pitchers: Jack Taylor, Chappie McFarland, Kid Nichols, Mike O’Neill