St. Louis fans love brothers. They loved the Deans, Dizzy and Paul, and in 1934 the Deans won St. Louis a pennant. They loved the Coopers, Walker and Mort, and during the early '40s the Coopers won four pennants for St. Louis. Since 1946 the Cardinals haven't won any pennants, but then they haven't had any brothers. Now they do, St. Louis loves them and fans are waiting—and hoping.
The newest set of brothers is the McDaniels, Lindy and Von, two tall, rugged right-handed pitchers from a cotton farm near Hollis, Oklahoma. It is due largely to them that the Cardinals, who, according to most preseason predictions, were doomed to mediocrity, have spent as much time in first place during the last month as any other team.
Lyndall Dale, at 21, is the older. He has short brown hair, steady brown eyes and speaks quietly and seriously. He belongs to the Church of Christ, and hopes to preach one day. Last winter he studied the Bible at Florida Christian College. So did young Audrey Kuhn, a pretty blonde with blue eyes and delicate features, whom Lindy had met during spring training the year before. When the semester was over, Lindy and "Augie," as he calls her, were married.
Max Von McDaniel is 18, with blond hair, blue eyes and a swift smile. His admiration for his older brother is sincere and obvious. Just six weeks out of high school, this is his first period away from home, and he is slightly awed, a bit lonely, but confident that what the boys back home in Hollis can't hit, the men in the National League can't hit either.
The McDaniel boys were born and have spent most of their lives in Hollis. Mr. and Mrs. McDaniel have two other children, a girl, Anita Beth, age 10, and a 13-year-old left-hander named Kerry Don.
"If you want to meet a real cutup, that's Kerry Don," says Lindy. "But he'll probably be a better pitcher than Von or myself. He's got good control for a lefty."
"He's got good control for anybody," adds Von.
Unlike many fathers of major league ballplayers, Newell McDaniel never played baseball. His sports were tennis and track. But from the time they were old enough to steal second, the boys loved baseball, and Mr. McDaniel did his best to show them the proper way to play it. He worked with them in the evenings before supper. Lindy would do the pitching and Von the catching. As a matter of fact, it wasn't until a few years ago, when he was playing American Legion ball, that Von began pitching. He was throwing batting practice one day when his coach, short of pitchers and impressed with Von's strong arm, asked him if he knew how to throw a curve.
"Heck," says Von now with a grin, "I'd been fooling around with a curve for years."
Both boys went to Arnett High School, about eight miles from Hollis. By the time Lindy was a senior, he had been spotted by Fred Hawn, a scout for the Cardinals. Hawn, a leathery little man with iron-gray hair, became a close friend of Newell McDaniel, and after Lindy had spent a year at the University of Oklahoma, Hawn succeeded in signing him to a Cardinal contract at a $50,000 bonus. Last year, in his first complete season with St. Louis, Lindy won seven and lost six, to establish himself as one of the Cardinals' better pitchers. This year he was 8-4 at All-Star time and is regarded by many as the ace of the St. Louis staff.