He was promoted to the Major Leagues and the St. Louis Cardinals as a 30-year-old rookie in 1944. In 27 games, four as a starting pitcher, Donnelly posted a career-best 2.12 earned run average, won two of three decisions, and collected four saves as the Redbirds won their third successive National League championship.
He then turned in two outstanding performances in relief in the “All-St. Louis” 1944 World Series. In his first outing, in Game 1, he retired all six St. Louis Browns to face him, but the Browns held on for a 2–1 triumph. Box Score
I n Game 2, Donnelly relieved starting pitcher Max Lanier in the eighth inning of a 2–2 tie. He worked four scoreless frames, allowing two hits and one base on balls while striking out seven, and was the winning pitcher when pinch hitter Ken O’Dea drove home the winning run in the bottom of the eleventh inning. The Cardinals went on to win the World Series over the Browns in six games. Box Score
Donnelly was sent to the Phillies in 1946.
Other Resources about Donnelly
“Blix Donnelly Is Fan Artist With the Cats,” Brownsville (Texas) Herald, February 19, 1941.
“Blix Donnelly Makes Good in Major League: Olivia Boy Is Winning Pitcher in Second Game of World Series,” Olivia (Minnesota) Times, October 12, 1944.
“Butlers Beat Ganzels, Even School Series,” Minneapolis Morning Journal, September 1, 1934.
“Donnelly Got His Start Here,” Minneapolis Star Journal, October 5, 1944.
“Donnelly’s Pitching Best Ever: Sports Writers Join in Praise of Local Man With Cardinals,” Olivia Times, October 12, 1944.
Dunkley, Charles, “Blix Donnelly Earns Spurs,” Duluth News Tribune, October 6, 1944.
Hall, Halsey, “Kels Sweep Along,” Minneapolis Journal, August 29, 1934.
“O’Dea to Braves, Donnelly to Phils,” St. Louis Post Dispatch, July 9, 1946.
“Olivia Honors Blix Donnelly at Program,” Olivia Times, October 26, 1944.
“Olivia Will Fete Ball Hero,” Albert Lea (Minnesota) Evening Tribune, October 17, 1944.
Wesloh, Harry, “Eyes of Baseball World on Olivia in Fall of 1944,” Olivia Times, October 3, 1994.
Baumgartner, Stan, “Big Role for Little Blix in Drive to Lift Phillies Out of Basement,” The Sporting News, August 20, 1947.
Baumgartner, Stan, “Fuming Phillies point for Giants Club – They’d Most Like to Beat,” The Sporting News, March 7, 1951.
Baumgartner, Stan, “Little Blix Out of Pigeonhole on Blue Jays: Typed as a Relief Specialist, Donnelly Wins Starting Role for Next Year,” The Sporting News, October 1, 1947.
“Daytona Beach’s Hopes Ride on Draws from Rookie Camp,” The Sporting News, March 9, 1939.
“Feast in Pheasants and Base-Hits in Dakota Pheastival,” The Sporting News, October 27, 1948.
“Injury Jinx Strikes Phillies Early,” The Sporting News, March 7, 1951.
Lieb, Frederick G., “Cards Check Stumbles; Deal Off Pair for Checks,” The Sporting News, July 17, 1946.
“Major Flashes,” The Sporting News, July 24, 1946.
Ruhl, Oscar, “Boiling Anger Steamed Up Blix: ‘Wanted to Show Billy Southworth’: Too Little Tag Always Irked Bird Relief Ace,” The Sporting News, October 12, 1944.
Snow, John, “Blix Donnelly’s Whiffing Blitz Tops 17-Year-Old W.A. Mark,” The Sporting News, November 20, 1941.
The Sporting News, July 13, 1939.
The Sporting News, July 22, 1937.
The Sporting News, November 9, 1960.
Weber, Al C., “No-Hit Games 80 Percent Luck, Says Donnelly After His Third,” The Sporting News, August 26, 1943.
Roberts, Robin, and C. Paul Rogers III, The Whiz Kids and the 1950 Pennant (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996).