THE COAST 99 DIZZY DEAN Major League Baseball star Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean was born in Lucas, Arkansas, in 1910. Following a difficult childhood, Dean left school to join the Army at age sixteen, but despite his lack of education, Dean was a man of immense talent. During his military service, he discovered his impressive athletic ability—most important, his passion for baseball. Recognizing Dean’s talent on the post laundry baseball team, a sergeant drafted him to the Twelfth Field Artillery team. Dean’s professional baseball career began in 1929, when he was signed to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals. During the next few years, Dean developed his reputation as a standout talent with a lively personality. Dean is perhaps best known for leading the “Gashouse Gang” St. Louis team for thirty wins in the 1934 season, including the World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers. This earned Dean the honor of Most Valuable Player that year. After suffering foot and arm injuries in the 1937 season, St. Louis traded Dean to their longtime rival, the Chicago Cubs, for whom Dean pitched from 1938 until 1941. Although Dean had essentially retired after his time with the Cubs, he pitched a four-inning shutout win for the St. Louis Browns in 1947. The four-time twenty- game winner’s passion for the sport continued long after his playing career ended. During the 1940s and 1950s, Dean became a popular sportscaster, announcing for major radio and television networks such as CBS and NBC. Dean joined other baseball legends as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. When Dean retired from broadcasting in the 1960s, he and his wife, Patricia Nash, settled in her hometown of Bond. Dean passed away in 1974 and is buried in Bond, where he is remembered as a notable and celebrated member of the community. In 1990, Dean was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. PHOTO COURTESY OF MISSISSIPPI SPORTS HALL OF FAME