The sale of Catcher Cooper, which marked the first major deal ever made by the Cardinals that sent off a first line regularly, with no corresponding replacement in sight, was almost forced to Breadon.
“Walker Cooper told me four or five times,” Breadon explained after announcing the sale, “that he wanted to be traded, that he did not want to stay with the Cardinals. He told me this in my hotel room in Chicago when Cooper was transferred to “Lambert Field, he called me. Eddie Dyer had been appointed Cardinal manager to replace Billy Southworth. Walker then said he did not want to play for Dyer.”
Breadon said he regretted the star catcher had to be sold, adding that he thought it was unwise to keep a dissatisfied player. “And so too,” said Breadon, “we are not weakening the club this year, anyway. The prospect is that Walker will remain in the Navy for part or most of the 1946 season and that he would not be available. We have some young catchers. coming up, some of them will probably soon be out of service, and I felt that as long as the deal was virtually unavoidable, we might as well do so now. “
Cooper, widely regarded as the best catcher in baseball when he was drafted into the Navy last spring, moved from Columbus to the Cardinals in the late 1940s and quickly became the club’s No. 1 receiver. In 1941 he suffered a shoulder fracture and played only in 68 fights, but in 1942 he took 125 fights and struck. 281.