The ‘Daffy’ Part of America’s Dean Team!

The ‘Daffy’ Part of America’s Dean Team!


One made fans Dizzy, yet there was also a “Daffy” part to the Dean brother legacy that baseball has been proud of since 1912.  Paul Dee Dean was the man behind “Daffy,” and made the name even more famous than everyone’s favorite cartoon duck.


This American Major League pitcher was born in Lucas, Arizona, and brought his magic to the mounds of the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Giants.   Dean played several years of baseball right alongside his ‘more famous’  pitching brother, Dizzy.  Although Paul was given the nickname “Daffy,” to help with advertising and media-hype for the brothers in the early 1900’s, he was anything but daffy.  In fact, Paul was the quiet one, the truly calm and serious-minded pitcher who enjoyed his greatest success as a teammate of his brothers for the St. Louis Cardinals.


It was due to unfortunate injuries that Paul ended up having only two truly successful years in the major leagues, although he worked hard and attempted numerous comebacks throughout his time.  But what fans and history most remember are the 1934 and 1935 seasons that most baseball historians still call the ‘best of the best.’


Paul Dean came into this world, born to sharecroppers, Albert and Alma Dean.  By 1932 he became a professional baseball player by signing with Houston (Texas League.)  Joining his beloved bother in 1934, the pitching staff of the St. Louis Cardinals became the unbeatable duo that no hitter wanted to go against.  It was Dizzy who announced that he and his younger brother would win forty-five games that season, as if he was truly psychic, and no one was going to tell him that he was wrong.


In the regular season, “Daffy” won nineteen of those games (including a no-hitter), while Dizzy brought home thirty wins, working side by side to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series championship.  (Apparently Dizzy was most definitely psychic, even though he was off by a few games).  The next season “Daffy” won the exact same number, although Dizzy’s total fell to twenty-eight (still, the psychic energy continued.)  Unfortunately, “Daffy” injured his arm in 1936 and his plans at having a long career on that mound turned to dust.


The nickname not only didn’t fit, but it was stated that Paul disliked the whole “Daffy” vibe that reports thrust upon him in 1934.  Whereas his brother was far more outgoing, and an over-eager self-promoter who was the one who most likely convinced Paul that “Dizzy & Daffy” would sell tickets, Paul felt the ‘gag’ to be a little much. The real differences in the brothers’ outlooks were seen a greet deal after the 1934 World Series came to pass. Dizzy celebrated the fantastic moment by buying an airplane, while Paul got married, bought a farm, and raised four children.


That 1934 spectacle, however, sealed the Deans’ fate and made sure that they would be beloved by St. Louis fans for all time, assuring them a prominent place in baseball history.  In the race for the National League title, a Dean pitched in thirty-seven of the season’s final fifty-two games, and each were behind the winning of two games in the World Series.


Whether he wanted it or not, Paul Dean will always be a member of that famous “Gashouse Gang” of 1934.  The Cardinals earned this nickname from, oddly enough, the team member’s generally shabby appearance when they stepped out onto the field.  Even an opponent of theirs once stated that the Cardinals’ players came into the stadium ‘unwashed, dirty, and wearing smelly uniforms.’  Perhaps bad hygiene and standing downwind was what brought tears to the eyes of the hitters and made it impossible to beat the incredible Dean brothers.


But it was not just the pitchers who received this ‘bashing’ from their rivals.  One story says that it was shortstop, Leo Durocher, a scrappy man who – like the rest of this rough-and-tumble gang liked to get under the player’s skins – who coined the term.  This came about when Leo was speaking about the ‘fresh and clean’ American League, and the consensus of the Cardinals was that if they should win the National league pennant they would beat any team who won the American League pennant that year.  Leo said, “They wouldn’t even let us in that league over there. They think we’re just a bunch of gashousers.”


The phrase “gas house” referred to plants that produced town gas used for lighting and cooking from coal, before natural gas came about.  Well, these plants were seriously foul-smelling and were typically found near railroad yards in the very poorest neighborhoods in the city.  In the end, whether smelly or not, the 1934 Cardinals won 95 games, the National League pennant, and the World Series over the “cleaner, fresher smelling” Detroit Tigers.


The team featured five ‘regulars’ who hit at least .300, with Dizzy Dean being the last National League pitcher to win thirty games in a single season, and four All-Stars.  The players on he Cardinal roster pretty much all came from working class backgrounds which appealed to the fans.  The Dean brothers, Pepper Martin, Spud Davis, Joe Medwick, Ripper Collins, and Burgess Whitehead were all from ‘workers.’  Led by manager, Frankie Frisch, and the bulldog, Durocher, they showed the rest of the world that being a member of the “Gashouse Gang” ultimately meant gold!


In the World Series, the Cardinals and Tigers split the first two games in Detroit and the Tigers went on to win two of the next three in St. Louis.  As payback, the Cardinals then won the next two, including a huge embarrassment for the Tigers (11-0) in their own hometown, to win the Series.  Medwick was definitely one of the true ‘stars,’ with a .379 batting average, one of St. Louis’ two home runs, and a series-high five RBI’s.  The Dean brothers, who combined for all four of the teams wins with twenty-eight strikeouts, also came out smelling like roses.


Very recently there has been Dean merchandise appearing all over the South – cropping up in television shows like, American Pickers, and the prices for these items are out of this world.  The brothers were the ‘magic’ that baseball will always remember, and were even featured in the famous comedy sketch of Abbott & Costello’s – “Who’s on First?”


When his playing career was cut short, Paul became a minor league manager for seven years, as well as the University of Plano Texas baseball coach.  Then he retired to Washington County, where he took up  farming, and enjoyed a quiet life full of privacy that most everyone knew he really wanted.


Until Next Time, Everybody.

This article is sponsored by: and



For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel L. Jackson) negotiate a dangerous gauntlet en route to the Hague where he's set to testify in 24 … [Read More its Good for You.....]


Nazis Coming to Your Town? Who You Gonna Call? The Klanbuster!

  Daryle Lamont Jenkins The “Charlottesville” Interview with Kam Williams Nazis Coming to Your Town? Who You Gonna Call? The Klanbuster! Since 1988, activist/journalist Daryle Lamont Jenkins, aka "The Klanbuster," has dedicated his life to monitoring the movements of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. In 2000, he co-founded One People's Project [], a watchdog organization which … [Read More its Good for You...]


How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a rod and reel and who’s always looking for ways to tweak a lure or find a stronger knot would spend a … [Read More its Good for You...]


College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On the same day, fans of Oregon State and Colorado State will see an active match-up, and Portland … [Read More its Good for You...]


Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness stunning landscapes, mixed with amazing history, while dining on acclaimed regional cuisine and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance your home, you need to do it ASAP. If choosing to wait too much longer, homeowners across the … [Read More its Good for You.....]


Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need

  Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need by Amy Lignor   The realm of insurance is just about the most difficult maze to get through. Each and every day it seems the financial and insurance industries are changing. What is not changing, however, is the fact that lawsuits fill up the courts more and more – lawsuits that award cash to third parties even if you don’t happen to have that cash saved. More and more, the words “umbrella … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]


Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans... Many [Black] political leaders emerged … [Read More its Good for You...]