1939 St. Louis Cardinals season

1939 St. Louis Cardinals
Major League affiliations
Record 92–61 (.601)
League place 2nd
Other information
Owner(s) Sam Breadon
General manager(s) Branch Rickey
Manager(s) Ray Blades
Local radio KMOX
(France Laux, Cy Casper)
(John O'Hara, Jim Bottomley)
Stats ESPN.com
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The 1939 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 58th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 48th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 92–61 during the season and finished 2nd in the National League.

Regular season

Season summary

Shortly after the end of the 1938 season, owner Sam Breadon appointed former reserve Cardinals outfielder Ray Blades as manager. He had managed many of the organization's top young players in Columbus, Ohio, and Rochester, New York.

A feisty skipper, Blades guided the Cardinals back into the pennant race. The Cincinnati Reds took over first place on May 26 and never fell back. The Cards seized second place at midseason and played at a .708 clip in the final 65 games-including a 29–6 record at home the second half-but never could catch the Reds.

The Redbirds made Cincinnati work down the stretch, though. They took two games from the Reds with the third of the three-game series washed out as a tie, and that pulled the Cards to only 3 and a half games back. Twice the Cardinals drew a game closer in September.

An old trade haunted the Cards: Paul Derringer, a former St. Louis farmhand, went 25–7 for the Reds. That record included a 5–3 victory in September that clinched the pennant for the Reds.

The best offense in the league was at least partially responsible for the Cardinals' dramatic turn. They led the NL in runs and made the most of their speed to head the league in doubles and triples. Their .294 team batting average was 16 points higher than anyone else's.

The trade that sent Dizzy Dean to the Chicago Cubs actually paid some dividens. Curt Davis, one of the two pitchers picked up in the deal, led the Redbirds' staff in almost every category. Clyde Shoun, the other ex-Cub, worked a team-high 51 games out of the bullpen. With rookie Mort Cooper winning 12 games and working more than 200 innings, the Cards pitchers posted the league's second-best ERA.

Season standings

National League W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cincinnati Reds 97 57 0.630 55–25 42–32
St. Louis Cardinals 92 61 0.601 51–27 41–34
Brooklyn Dodgers 84 69 0.549 12½ 51–27 33–42
Chicago Cubs 84 70 0.545 13 44–34 40–36
New York Giants 77 74 0.510 18½ 41–33 36–41
Pittsburgh Pirates 68 85 0.444 28½ 35–42 33–43
Boston Bees 63 88 0.417 32½ 37–35 26–53
Philadelphia Phillies 45 106 0.298 50½ 29–44 16–62

Record vs. opponents

1939 National League Records


Boston 10–12–1 6–16 6–16 10–11 13–8 9–12 9–13
Brooklyn 12–10–1 11–11–2 10–12 12–10 17–4–1 13–9 9–13
Chicago 16–6 11–11–2 10–12 11–11 12–10 14–8 10–12
Cincinnati 16–6 12–10 12–10 11–11 19–3 16–6 11–11–2
New York 11–10 10–12 11–11 11–11 14–7 11–11 9–12
Philadelphia 8–13 4–17–1 10–12 3–19 7–14 8–14 5–17
Pittsburgh 12–9 9–13 8–14 6–16 11–11 14–8 8–14
St. Louis 13–9 13–9 12–10 11–11–2 12–9 17–5 14–8


1939 St. Louis Cardinals
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Davis, CurtCurt Davis 49 248 22 16 3.63 70

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Shoun, ClydeClyde Shoun 53 3 1 9 3.76 50
Andrews, NateNate Andrews 11 1 2 0 6.75 6

Awards and honors

Cardinals in the 1939 All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AA Columbus Red Birds American Association Burt Shotton
AA Rochester Red Wings International League Billy Southworth
AA Sacramento Solons Pacific Coast League Benny Borgmann
A1 Houston Buffaloes Texas League Eddie Dyer
B Decatur Commodores Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League Tony Kaufmann
B Asheville Tourists Piedmont League Hal Anderson
B Columbus Red Birds Sally League Clay Hopper
B Mobile Shippers Southeastern League Marty Purtell
C Kilgore Boomers East Texas League Jimmy Dalrymple
C Portsmouth Red Birds Middle Atlantic League Joe Davis
C Pocatello Cardinals Pioneer League Tony Robello
C Springfield Cardinals Western Association George Silvey
D Johnson City Cardinals Appalachian League Ollie Vanek
D Albuquerque Cardinals Arizona–Texas League Bill DeLancey
D Monett Red Birds Arkansas–Missouri League Fred Hawn
D Martinsville Manufacturers Bi-State League Jim Poole, Al Krupski and Harry Daughtry

Level Team League Manager
D Cambridge Cardinals Eastern Shore League Fred Lucas
D New Iberia Cardinals Evangeline League Jimmie Sanders
D Daytona Beach Islanders Florida State League Tommy West
D Albany Cardinals Georgia–Florida League Johnny Keane
D Union City Greyhounds KITTY League Lee Johnson
D Williamson Red Birds Mountain State League Harrison Wickel
D Caruthersville Pilots Northeast Arkansas League Bunny Simmons
D Duluth Dukes Northern League Dutch Dorman
D Fostoria Cardinals Ohio State League Jack Farmer
D Washington Red Birds Pennsylvania State Association Bob Scheffing
D Hamilton Red Wings PONY League Don Hurst
D Gastonia Cardinals Tar Heel League Al Unser
D Worthington Cardinals Western League Joe McDermott

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Rochester, Sacramento, Asheville, Kilgore, Springfield, Albuquerque, Cambridge, Albany, Washington, Gastonia[1]


  1. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007


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