ST. LOUIS — One of the greatest teams in Cardinals history is getting another look, in the form of a new book.
Author Robert Tiemann and former 5 On Your Side sportscaster Ron Jacober are out with a new book simply titled: '64 Cardinals.
We know this team won the World Series in seven games over the New York Yankees, but what makes this season special in particular?
"Because it's very unusual. I call it the most unusual, unique season in Cardinals history," Jacober said. "They've won 11 World Series. It's not because they won the championship, it's everything that happened off the field as well as on the field. It was so unusual, with the Brock trade, and the general manager who made the trade getting fired, they were under .500 at the all-star break, they were 11 games out with 39 to play, and they won it all."
One of the most unusual circumstances surrounding the 1964 season focused on the Cardinals' manager, Johnny Keane.
"He (Keane) knew in September he was gonna quit. Because he heard the rumor that Gussie Busch brought Leo Durocher secretly to St. Louis and was going to name him the next manager. There's no crying in baseball but there's no secrets in baseball either," Jacober said. "Keane found out about it. So he wrote his resignation in September, and his wife typed it. And didn't do anything with it, didn't tell anybody. Gussie tried to give him a new contract at the end of the regular season, and Keane said, 'Let's wait till the end of the World Series'. After the World Series they called a news conference to give Johnny Keane a new contract, and he handed Gussie his resignation."
To make things more interesting, Keane joined the team he just beat in the World Series, the Yankees, to become their next manager.
Tiemann and Jacober's book doesn't just have great stories, though. There are some pictures included that fans have likely never seen before, including one of Hall of Famer Bob Gibson with his shiny red Corvette.
"He was the MVP in the '64 World Series, that's why he got the Corvette," Jacober said. "He was such an amazing athlete and person, but told me hair-raising stories about the racial problems in those days when he was a young player."
The Cardinals had some Hall of Famers that year, but the entire team was filled with characters, many of whom went on to careers in broadcasting.
"It's almost like a school of broadcasting. Because so many of those guys wound up in broadcasting in one form or another. Even Lou Brock did some Cardinal games with me... Gibson did a lot. Of course, Tom McCarver was legendary for all the games he did... Mike Shannon... Bill White was the first Black announcer in baseball... Bob Uecker (was there too)," Jacober said.
'64 Cardinals is distributed by Reedy Press and is available on Amazon, and in book stores.