Although he had a relatively short career, Jerome Hanna Dean was one of the most popular and colorful players to ever don a major league uniform. The right hander from Arkansas pitched for parts of 12 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and in 1947, one game for the St. Louis Browns. In his nine “full” seasons he won 20 games 4 times, including his 30-7 season in 1934. (He is the last NL pitcher to win 30 games) He was the league leader in strikeouts 4 times; complete games and innings pitched 3 times each, and was named to 4 NL All-Star teams. He was the ace of the infamous Cardinals’ “Gas House Gang”, was named the 1934 NL MVP, and finished second in the voting in 1935 & ’36. He was also a member of the 1938 NL pennant winning Chicago Cubs. Overall, during his career he totaled a 150-83 record, 3.02 ERA and 1163 strikeouts.
After his playing days he became a beloved radio and TV sportscaster, calling games for the Cardinals, Browns, Yankees and Braves, as well as national games for CBS and ABC. In 1952, a movie about his life, “The Pride of St. Louis” (starring Dan Dailey) was released. In 1953, “Ol’ Diz” was elected to Cooperstown. In 1974, his #17 was retired by the Cardinals.
January 19, 2017