GASHOUSE FULL OF MEMORIES

May 08, 1966

When they move into bright, clean and slightly antiseptic Busch Memorial Stadium next week, the St. Louis Cardinals will become the 10th big league team in the last 11 years to take up new digs. Happily, not all the concrete west of the Mississippi can bury baseball's storied past, which was never more vivid than in old Sportsman's Park (Busch Stadium to latecomers), where memorable things always seemed to be happening. Take, for instance, Curt Welch's steal of home to make the Browns the champs in 1886. There he goes, in this composite illustration by Artist Jim Flora, flat out on his stomach followed by those noted thieves of later years, Pepper Martin and Enos Slaughter. Ernie Koob and Bob Groom pitched no-hitters on successive days for the Browns in 1917. The Gashouse Gang held impromptu song-fests and, despite 100° weather, built an on-field bonfire (not to be confused with the great grandstand fire of 1898). Doc Weaver did in foes with triple whammies, and the Browns, who usually needed it, got questionable help by nibbling at "oatmeal in a barrel of water." Of the 102 errors in the 1885 World Series, 85 came in St. Louis. Dizzy Dean once was conked by a ball there. An outfielder and more than one umpire fell victims of pop bottles. Fights there often were. Del Pratt of the Browns slugged Zinn Beck of the Cards, and Clint Courtney wrestled Billy Martin. Umpires themselves got hot under the collar when two Phillies raised a CATFISH sign, reflecting on the odor of their calls. Ladies' Days first flourished in St. Louis, where Mary Ott, she of the horse laugh, was a regular. Fans came to see Sunny Jim Bottomley presented with a cow, midget Eddie Gaedel pop out of a cake and Satch Paige sit in his rocker. While home runs were plentiful (Babe Ruth twice hit three in Series games), there was never a day quite like Stan Musial's in 1954, when he hit five in a doubleheader, sending the scoreboard eagle into wing-flapping paroxysms, a sure sign in late years that the blues had been banished from St. Louis.

ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)