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Flint Rhem

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Charles Flint Rhem
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[edit] Biographical Information

Right-hander Flint Rhem pitched a no-hit, no-run game for the Ft. Smith Twins of the Western Association on August 21, 1924, setting down the Hutchinson Wheat Shockers, 4-0. Branch Rickey, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, was watching from the stands. Rhem had pitched the day before but Rickey wanted to see him work. Rhem finished the season at Ft. Smith with a 22-15 record and a 2.64 ERA. He Led the Western Association in strikeouts with 282 while pitching 293 innings. This was not only Rhem's first year in pro baseball it also turned out to be his first in the major leagues as he finished out the year with the Cardinals, going 2-2 in 6 games.

Flint stayed with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1925 to 1928, winning 49 and losing 40. His best year came in 1926 when he led the National League with 20 wins, while pitching 258 innings and helped his team to the pennant and to a World Series Championship. Flint started Game 4 for the Cardinals, his only appearance in the series and was busted for two homers by New York Yankees slugger, Babe Ruth, in the 1st and 3rd innings, but was relieved by Art Reinhart in the top of the 5th with a 4-3 lead; Reinhart suffered the loss by giving up 4 runs in the top of the 5th and the Yankees went on to win the game, 10-5. The Cardinals won the series in seven games but Rhem saw no more action, although he was warming up in the bullpen in the last inning of the final game.

Rhem dropped to a 10-12 record in 1927 but popped back up above .500 with a 11-8 record, helping the Cardinals to another National League pennant in 1928. It was a different year and a different team in 1928 and the New York Yankees swept the Cards in four games in the 1928 World Series. Rhem made one appearance with no decisions, pitching two innings. Rhem spent 1929 with the Houston Buffaloes of the Texas League and the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association where he went 12-13 in 211 innings. The Cardinals had decided to let him go because they got tired of his repeated hold-outs for more money and his lack of interest in following instructions. As manager Bill McKechnie put it: "He thought more about doing as he pleased than he did about helping out the club. Furthermore, in his infractions of club rules he took others with him."

He showed back with the Cardinals in 1930 however. Flint went 12-8 with a 4.45 ERA in 139 innings and the Cardinals won another pennant, edging out the Chicago Cubs by two games, but lost the World Series to the Philadelphia Athletics by a 4-2 margin. Rehm appeared in just one game, pitching 3 innings, allowing 6 runs and losing the decision.

Flint was still on the mound for the Cardinals in 1931 and pitched a solid year, going 11-10 with a 3.56 ERA, while pitching 207 innings. The Cardinals ran off with the pennant, winning by 13 games over John McGraws New York Giants. This was the fourth World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals club in six seasons (1926-1931) and they locked up their second championship during this run with a 4 games to 3 victory over the Philadelphia Athletics. Again Rhem saw minimal action in the series, pitching only one inning with no decisions.

Rhem started strong for the Cards in 1932 with a 4-2 record but on June 4th, the Cardinals sold him to the Philadelphia Phillies where he won 11 games while losing only 7, giving him a 15-9 record for the year with a 3.58 ERA. Flint went through one of his worst years in 1933, however, 5-14 with a 6.62 ERA, and the Phillies sold him back to the Cardinals at the end of the yeaar. Then, midway through the 1934 season, Rhem was sold by the Cardinals to the Boston Braves and he wound up with a 9-8 record for the year. He finished up his major league career in 1935 and 1936 with the Braves and the Cardinals respectively, one year with each club, adding 2 wins and 6 losses to his already long record.

After 12 hard-working seasons in the majors, Rehm ended up with a 105-97 record with a 4.20 ERA while pitching 1,725 innings. Flint also had four seasons in the minors where he had a 46-37 record with a 3.91 ERA while pitching 655 innings. Rehm was 35 years old when he finally called it quits. After baseball, the pitcher returned to his native South Carolina where he died at the age of 68 on July 30, 1969 in Columbia, SC.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL Wins Leader (1926)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1926 & 1932)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1926)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1926, 1931 & 1932)
  • Won two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1926 & 1931)

[edit] Further Reading

  • Nancy Snell Griffith: "Flint Rhem", in Charles F. Faber, ed.: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals: The World Champion Gas House Gang, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 196-201. ISBN 978-1-933599-731

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