Take a brief step back with me to the Dodgers 1941 season. All year long they battled against St. Louis for National League supremacy. The Cardinals, having not played in a Fall Classic since they won the World Series in 1934, had quickly rebuilt their club into an resurgent second coming of the "Gashouse Gang."
The Dodgers, on the other hand, were not the picture of excellence. Being lead by the feisty Leo Durocher, who happened to be a member of the 1934 World Champion Cardinals, the franchise hadn't seen postseason play since 1920. BTW, Durocher had been named the manager of the club just a couple years back, and was aiming to prove that he can lead a moribund franchise like Brooklyn.
As featured in the "Dodger Doings" fan newsletter shown here, everyone realized early on that Brooklyn and St. Louis would lock heads all season long. Per the May 24th, Issue #2, newsletter:
There are going to be many "crucial" series at Ebbets Field this season and the first one is coming up next Sunday when Billy Southworth leads his pennant hungry St. Louis Cardinals into the Dodgers bailiwick. Right now it looks as though the Mound City aggregation is going to furnish Leo Durocher's hustling outfit with its main pennant competition.At the time the Dodgers sat only a couple of games behind the Cardinals in the rankings, and as time would tell they continued to square off against the Midwestern heavies til the very end. When October finally rolled around the Dodgers sat triumphantly in first place - 2.5 games above Cardinals.
Also featured in this newsletter, thankfully provided by a fellow Dodger collector Doug, is a full page story on veteran first baseman Dolph Camilli; entitled "Camilli, Jewel of Consistency, Off to Best Start in Many Seasons."
Dolph has started off the 1941 campaign as though he means to make it the best of his career. Already he has slammed out seven circuit clouts and is right up with the leaders in runs driven in. With the addition of Medwick, Reiser and other sluggers to the Dodger line-up, much of the pressure that formerly was on Camilli, as the only power-house on the club, has been removed and the Laytonville Larruper is really going to town!Camilli would end the year slashing .285/.407/.556/.962, lead the league with 34 home runs and 120 RBI's. In a vote that included three Dodger players at the top, Dolph Camilli was named the leagues MVP.
Click on any pic to embiggen. I would like to also make note of the Camilli article I briefly mentioned above. It includes a fantastic editorial cartoon of Camilli that was drawn by Art Simek. For those who are not aware Art Simek is known to comic fans as a letterer for Marvel Comics starting in the late 40's til his death in 1975.
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