John (Lefty) Kerdock

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  • December 20, 2023
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“Lefty” Kerdock was a Mount Carmel buy who has the dream and almost made it come true. He grew up fantasizing about playing with the St. Louis Cardinals and in 1928 he achieved step 1 by being signed by Branch Rickey, then general manager of the Cardinals.

He began his career in the South Atlantic League, and began to progress through the Cardinal Farm System. In 1934 he was added to the roster of the 1934 St. Louis Cardinal Championship Team for Spring Training.

He sustained a heart-breaking arm injury in training, ruining any chance he had of being on the opening game roster. However, the Cardinals loved his attitude and Coal Region approach to work; and they carried him with them team as batting practice pitcher.

He later filled the same role as batting practice pitcher for the Phillies until 1940. He attempted a comeback with Binghampton in the New York Penn League and Hazleton in the Eastern League. But the arm no longer had the zip and he eventually retired.

He returned to Mount Carmel…and for a time helped to manage the Mount Carmel Legion Teener Team in concert with Frank Merges, another Mount Carmel player with a distinguished minor league career.

He died in July 1979. Never quite fulfilling the dream of playing with the Gas House Gang Championship Teams.

Categories: 1995 Hall of Fame