A stocky, thick-legged infielder with surprising speed, Kurowski overcame childhood
osteomyelitis (which made his right arm shorter than his left) to become one of the
finest third basemen of the 1940s. Kurowski led the NL three times in putouts, twice
in fielding average, and once each in assists and double plays. He displayed power,
hitting 20 or more home runs in three different seasons. His ninth-inning homer off
Yankee pitcher Red Ruffing in Game Five of the 1942 World Series broke a 2-2 tie
to clinch the championship for the Cardinals.
Kurowski reached career highs of
27 HR and 104 RBI in 1947, his last season playing regularly, and batted over .300
three times (1945-47). An arm injury in 1948 and an elbow injury in 1949 combined
to end his career.
»August 16, 1947: Ralph Kiner hits three successive home runs for the host Pittsburgh Pirates, in a 12–7 win over the Cardinals in a game in which the two clubs bang out major-league record (since topped) 10 homers. Two other Bucs, Hank Greenberg and Billy Cox, and one Cardinal (Whitey Kurowski) each contribute two home runs to set a major-league record for most players with 2+ homers in a game. Kiner matches the ML mark of seven home runs in four games, six in three games, five in two games, and four in consecutive at bats. By the end of the month, Big Ralph will still trail Mize 39 to 43 in a head-to-head home run competition that will only be matched by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1961. Starters Roger Wolff and the Cards Ken Burkhart exit in the first inning.