Ron wasn’t only Cajun left-hander

Jim Bradshaw

When baseball fans hear the phrase “little Cajun left‑hander,” they automatically think about Ron Guidry and his remarkable years with the New York Yankees.
There’s a plaque honoring Guidry in Yankee stadium’s Monument Park—alongside those for such greats as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford.
Ron easily deserved the honor. During his 14 years in Yankee pinstripes, he won 170 games, lost 91, and struck out 1,778 batters. He was largely responsible for two Yankee World Series championships.
But Ron wasn’t the first big league pitcher to be known as the “Cajun left‑hander.”
The first was Eddie Dyer, who was born in Morgan City in October 1900 and was an outstanding athlete at Morgan City High. He lettered in football, baseball and track at Rice University.
He signed with St. Louis as outfielder, first baseman, and pitcher, and made his pro pitching debut with the Cardinals in 1922.
He pitched in only two games that year, finishing neither one and ending the year with a record of no wins, no losses. Dyer stayed with the Cardinals until 1927, winning only 15 games during his major league pitching career. His career on the mound ended when he hurt his arm in 1927. As an outfielder/first baseman his career batting average was .223 with only two home runs and 13 runs batted in.
But that’s not to say Eddie didn’t leave his mark.
From 1928 to 1938 he managed several teams in the Cardinal farm system and in 1938 was made supervisor of all of the Cardinal teams in the southern and southwestern U.S. He was also manager of the minor league Houston Buffalos from 1939 to 1941, leading them to three consecutive first-place finishes.
He returned to the Cardinals as manager in 1946, nearly 20 years after his playing days, and won the World Series in his first year at the helm (thanks in good part to the hitting of a young kid named Stan Musial). That season alone put Eddie in the record books; his Cardinals beat Leo Durocher’s Brooklyn Dodgers three games straight in the first post-season playoff series in baseball history, then beat the favored Boston Red Sox in a seven-game World Series.
He steered the Cardinals to second‑place finishes in 1947, 1948, and 1949, and left after the 1950 season, when the club finished fifth.
Overall he compiled a record of 446 wins and 325 losses for a .578 winning percentage as a manager — a much better average than he put together on the mound.
He retired from baseball in1950 and returned to Houston, where he had highly profitable oil, real estate, and insurance businesses.
He suffered a stroke in January 1963 and died in Houston in April 1964 at the age of 64.

You can contact Jim Bradshaw at jimbradshaw4321@gmail.com or P.O. Box 1121, Washington LA 70589.

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