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Jim Bottomley

From BR Bullpen


James Leroy Bottomley
(Sunny Jim)

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1974

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Biographical Information[edit]

“He wore his baseball cap at a jaunty angle and his mannerisms on the playing field made him a Ladies’ Day favorite. But he was equally the favorite of the male fans for his slugging prowess.” - from Jim's New York Times obituary

“I don’t have a regret in the world. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve loved every minute of it.” - Jim Bottomley

Hall of Famer Jim Bottomley played sixteen years in the major leagues, hitting .310. He won the MVP award in 1928, and was a key part of four St. Louis Cardinals World Series teams.

Jim played in the minors with Sioux City, Houston, and Syracuse. He began his major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals and finished with the St. Louis Browns, spending three years in-between with the Cincinnati Reds. When he broke in with the Cardinals, Rogers Hornsby was his teammate, and when he was with the Browns, Hornsby was his manager until Bottomley succeeded him in the middle of 1937.

"Sunny Jim" achieved fame in 1924 when he drove in a major league record 12 runs in one game (later tied by Mark Whiten). During a five-game series from July 5 to July 9, 1929, he drove in 21 runs. Most Hall of Famers did not tally six hits in one game, but Bottomley did it twice, in 1924 and again in 1931. Each time he went 6-for-6. Bottomley never won a batting championship, but he was second twice, in 1923 and 1925 (he was also very close in 1931, hitting .348 in 382 at-bats while Chick Hafey and Bill Terry hit .349). He never led the league in OBP or slugging, but he was second once in each category. He led the league twice in doubles, once in triples, once in home runs, and twice in RBI. While he was good in the 1920s, he tailed off in the 1930s, achieving an Adjusted OPS+ over 120 only once (in 1931) in the eight years he played in the 1930s.

The most similar player, according to similarity scores, is Joe Medwick, also a long-time Cardinals player, who was a rookie during the last season Bottomley spent with the Cardinals. He was known as a good defensive player and his obituary says he was popular on Ladies Day at the ballpark.

Bottomley had heart problems, suffering a heart attack while serving as a minor league manager and eventually dying in St. Louis at age 59 of another heart attack.

One source: Jim Bottomley obituary.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL MVP (1928)
  • NL Hits Leader (1925)
  • 2-time NL Total Bases Leader (1926 & 1928)
  • 2-time NL Doubles Leader (1925 & 1926)
  • NL Triples Leader (1928)
  • NL Home Runs Leader (1928)
  • 2-time NL RBI Leader (1926 & 1928)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1925, 1928 & 1929)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1928)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 6 (1924-1929)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (1928 & 1929)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 1 (1925)
  • Won two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1926 & 1931)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1974

Preceded by
Rogers Hornsby
St. Louis Browns Manager
Succeeded by
Gabby Street

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1937 St. Louis Browns American League 21-56 8th St. Louis Browns replaced Rogers Hornsby (25-52) on July 21
1938 Syracuse Chiefs International League 6-15 -- Cincinnati Reds replaced by Dick Porter (81-52)
1957 Pulaski Cubs Appalachian League -- Chicago Cubs -- replaced Vedie Himsl on June 26
replaced by Rube Wilson on June 28
1927 1928 1929
Paul Waner Jim Bottomley Rogers Hornsby

Records Held[edit]

Related Sites[edit]