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Dizzy Dean Biography

Born To Sharecroppers, Honed Pitching Skills In Army, Pitched Way To World Series, Chronology


American baseball player

During the 1930s, baseball fans flocked to stadiums across the United States to get a peek of Dizzy Dean, the anchor of the St. Louis Cardinals' pitching staff. Dean was a dominant pitcher, to be sure—with his intimidating fastball, Dean hurled his way to four consecutive strikeout titles (1932-1935) and had four seasons with 20 or more wins. Over his career, Dean struck out 1,163 batters in 1,967 innings. Along with his fastball, Dean served up plenty of shenanigans, making him one of baseball's premier gate attractions. Once, he brought a black cat into the stadium and pretended to put a hex on the rival team. Other times, he joked around on the loudspeaker before the game. Dean was also a beloved braggart. Time and again, Dean predicted the impossible, then stepped to the mound and made it come true. To spectators suffering from the hardships of the Depression, the fun-loving, fastball-pitching Dean served as a beacon of hope. He was the uncultured country boy made good, a hero who had somehow escaped the hardships they could not.

Sketch by Lisa Frick

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBaseball