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Chicks dig the long haul

May 26, 2011

Stop whatever you’re doing. I want you to meet Dolores Stuhlmann.

I love baseball. People say it’s boring—I’ll tell you when it was boring: when they were hitting all those home runs. I like the hit-and-run, the double plays!

Preach it, sister!

On June 30, 1916, the day Dolores was born in St. Louis, the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 at Robison Field. The team was owned and operated at the time by Helene Hathaway Robison Britton, the first woman to own a major-league club, and though they finished in a tie for last place in the National League that year, they introduced the world to a surly but phenomenally talented rookie named Rogers Hornsby. A handful of other folks who would figure prominently in the Cards’ future were still in their infancy—Preacher Roe had been born in February, Bing Devine in March, Enos Slaughter in April.

Dolores will turn 95 in a few weeks, and she’s been a Cardinal fan since she was a small girl with six brothers and a radio. She lives in San Diego now, and we met her a few days ago courtesy of her granddaughter, who is one of Julie’s colleagues, and who had assured us some time ago that “you two may think you’re the biggest Cardinal fans in the world, but actually, that honor belongs to my grandma.”

Well, I’m not going to argue. Dolores isn’t just keen, funny, and generous with her time and her stories; she’s also a wheeling Wikipedia of baseball lore, and a woman who seriously knows her stuff. You’re going to see more of Dolores in the weeks ahead, but for today, watch her talk about some of her favorite Cardinal pitchers of the past century (transcript below):

….I’ll tell you, though, if you didn’t ever see Gibby…..well, you know, he could throw that ball inside, and you would hold your breath—you’d think ‘My God, he’s gonna kill him!’ ….And something else, if we had kept [Steve] Carlton—see, Gussie had a problem with Carlton. Gussie Busch. But I think we’d have won, won, won, won. [‘Did you see Dizzy Dean pitch?] Oh, yes! Do you know he pitched a doubleheader one Sunday? Pitched a double. [‘He pitched both games?’] Yeah! [‘Didn’t he and his brother once pitch a doubleheader, and he pitched a one-hitter, and Paul pitched a no-hitter?’] Yep! And Dizzy said, ‘If I’d’a known you was gonna pitch one, I’d’a done it too!’ Oh, yeah, he was—well, you know, he bragged, but he DID it!

Here’s the funny part. My only hesitation about posting this particular clip was that I was concerned she might be mistaken about Dizzy Dean pitching a doubleheader, since I consider myself a star student of Cardinal history, and I’d never heard of such a feat from the Diz. It took a bit of research, but guess what?

Dizzy Dean did pitch both ends of a doubleheader. In the Texas League. On a Sunday. Just as Dolores said.

Meanwhile, I’m the one who had my facts screwed up, because Dizzy actually pitched a three-hitter on the day of Paul’s no-no.

So we won’t be doubting Dolores anymore. We will, however, be spending lots more time with her, filming and sharing as many of her Redbird memories from the past century and her opinions on today’s team as possible. Stick around. She’s a treasure.

Thanks, Julie, for the introduction and the videos!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2011 8:04 am

    Fabulous oral history! Document as much as you can, then get in touch with the archives at the Hall of Fame. But why do you write that Preacher Roe was a prominent Cardinal? He was a Boys of Summer Brooklyn Dodger!

    • fearlessleader permalink*
      May 27, 2011 8:11 am

      Thanks B! You’re right, of course—but Preacher Roe got his start as a Cardinal, and it was in the Cards’ farm system that he learned the skills that would make him a star for dem Bums!

  2. Matt permalink
    May 27, 2011 8:34 am

    Priceless. More please!

  3. janice stuhlmann permalink
    May 28, 2011 3:34 pm

    that’s OUR “Aunt D.D.”!! you go girl!! very impressive from your ‘fam’ in the “Lou”. we love and miss you like crazzy!! jj, john & “the boys”

  4. Sheri Luaders permalink
    May 31, 2011 7:33 am

    An internet star is born!! This is awesome!! No wonder I’m a Cardinal fan. We love and miss you!!! Joan, Sheri & Lee


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