- Fred Hutchinson replaces Harry Walker as the Cardinal manager in 1955. With the departure of ‘the Hat’, the National League for the first time in its history will not have a player-manager in the circuit.
- One year after playing Class-A ball, Albert Pujols (.329, 37, 130), in 2001, is named the National League Rookie of the Year by the BBWAA. The Cardinal freshman set NL rookie marks for RBIs (130), total bases (360) and extra-base hits (88) and falls one home run shy of tying the National League rookie record of 38 established by Frank Robinson in 1956 as a member of the Reds.
- Frank “Trader” Lane resigns his post as Cardinals General Manager and is replaced by Bing Devine in 1957.
More on Lane:
Lane would watch Cardinals home games from the roof outside the press box, “squinting like a sunworshipper who didn’t see well and listening to the radio.”
“Lane lived for baseball, traveling always with a radio at his ear and a stack of newspaper sports sections under his arm,” Bob Broeg wrote in the book, “Redbirds: A Century of Cardinals Baseball.”
Expecting magic, the Cardinals instead saw blunders in the trades Lane made in 1956. Among his worst deals that season:
_ Pitchers Harvey Haddix and Stu Miller to the Phillies for pitchers Murry Dickson and Herm Wehmeier.
_ Center fielder Bill Virdon to the Pirates for outfielder Bobby Del Greco and pitcher Dick Littlefield.
_ Second baseman Red Schoendienst and others to the Giants for shortstop Al Dark and others.
When Busch got wind of Lane’s plans to trade Musial to the Phillies for pitcher Robin Roberts, he blocked the deal, then told Lane that any future trade proposals would have to be approved by Busch and Meyer before being enacted.
(Lane reportedly also wanted to deal Boyer to the Phillies for outfielder Richie Ashburn.)
The 1956 Cardinals finished in fourth place at 76-78.
Before the 1957 season, Busch told a Knights of Columbus banquet audience, “If the Cardinals don’t win this year or next, Frank Lane will be out on his ass.”
Lane was miffed. Wanting assurances he had the owner’s support, Lane asked Busch to extend his contract beyond 1958. Busch refused.
Lane did make a couple of good trades before the 1957 season, acquiring pitcher Sam Jones from the Cubs and slugging outfielder Del Ennis from the Phillies. The Cardinals placed second in the NL in 1957 at 87-67.
Still upset by Busch’s win-or-else ultimatum before the season and offended that he had to get approval before making deals, Lane resigned on November 1957, with a year remaining on his Cardinals contract, and became general manager of the Indians.
Cardinals Born on this Date
- Gene Lillard was born on this date in 1913 and played for the Cardinals in 1940 only where he pitched 2 innings. He was 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA along with allowing 8 hits, 7 runs, 4 walks and fanned two in 4.2 innings pitched.
- Joe Hoerner was born in 1936 and made his debut on Sept. 27, 1963. He played for 14 seasons and was with the Cardinals from 1966-1969. In those four years, he was 19-10 with 59 saves and sported a 2.10 ERA with 190 strikeouts and 62 walks.
- Ron Bryant was born in 1947. He played eight major league seasons with only 1 year (1975) as a Cardinal player. In that year he pitched 8.2 innings and allowed 20 hits, 17 runs, 7 walks, 7 strikeouts and had an ERA at 16.62. He was third in the CY Young voting in 1973 with the Giants.
Mike Leake (1987) signed with the Cardinals with a 4-yr contract
Transactions on this Date
Bob Forsch of the St. Louis Cardinals granted free agency.
Clint Hurdle of the St. Louis Cardinals granted free agency.
Doug Bair of the St. Louis Cardinals granted free agency.
Cesar Cedeno of the St. Louis Cardinals granted free agency.
Ivan de Jesus of the St. Louis Cardinals granted free agency.
Matt Keough of the St. Louis Cardinals granted free agency.