Monday, March 13, 2017
......are on the National Register of Historic Places.
We only told you a few oddities about Barney Pelty, the "Yiddish Curver". Check out his SABR bio if you want to learn more about his career with the Browns and his Jewish background.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
RIP: Ned Garver Dead at 91
Ned Garver was a much better role model than Fiction’s Joe Hardy
As a baseball card collecting, sandlot baseball playing, and summer Game of the Day listening kids of the Post World War II era, many of us were blown away by the accomplishments of pitcher Ned Garver during the 1951 season.
And how could we not be?
As a smaller sized right handed pitcher for the lowly St. Louis Browns, all Ned did in 1951 was win 20 games for a club that finished eighth and dead last in the American League while still losing 102-games as a club – in spite of all that one fellow named Ned Garver did to play the game as though he had a chance to help his club reach the World Series. If it did nothing else, the Garver accomplishment managed to get through its message to thousands of us who could only follow major league baseball from the boondocks via radio, The weekly Sporting News, and whatever our local newspapers cared to print for us on a daily basis.
The 1951 Garver accomplishment was loud enough to reach and capture many of us out here – even converting many us to scattered allegiant, sometimes quietly so, followers of the St. Louis Browns. In 1951, the kids in our town followed the Texas League Houston Buffs, a farm club of the NL St. Louis Cardinals. The City of Houston was no fertile ground for the cultivation of Browns fans, after all, for another good reason, One of our big Texas League rivals, the San Antonio Missions, were a farm club of the St. Louis AL club. When the Missions came to play our Cardinal-dressed out Buffs, they came dressed out in the brown and ornage apparel of their own mother ship club.
Ned Garver did not turn us against our Houston own, but he did convert some of us kids into Browns fans who already had bought into the message that those things in life we give our hearts to full bore have a chance to succeed. Nobody in baseball modeled that belief better than Ned Garver did back in 1951. To me, he will always be the man in reality to beat out the fictional Joe Hardy from “Damn Yankees” – or even Roy Hobbs from “The Natural” – for what’s possible when, in the real world, the qualities of talent, commitment, determination, luck, and the blessing of the baseball gods come together, but only when they can all get behind the lead force of individual heart. With heart, we may all be able to push beyond the horizon of our current perspective and find the real potential of our possibilities. Without our own heart involvement , all the forces of support we can think of, all blowing as a mighty gale behind us, will not get us there.
Garver Career Stats
Garver the Humorist
Over the years, New Garver served as either the toastmaster or lead speaker at just about every annual St. Louis Browns Fan Club Luncheon we held in St. Louis. We have neither the time or space to cover all the things he said here, but this one example should support the point we are hoping to make about their spontaneous (or well planned) quality. Asked once by a dinner guest if the fans in St. Louis ever gave the Browns a hard time for their losing ways, Garver just smiled as the guest concluded his somewhat bloviated version of the same idea. “Our fans never booed us,” Ned Garver offered, in that same straightforward midwestern tone he always used. Then he added: “They wouldn’t dare to boo us. – We outnumbered them.”
The St. Louis Browns, the Game of Baseball, the State of Ohio, the USA, and People Everywhere, especially including those of us who came to realize the influence he had come to be in our lives, all of us – just took a big loss in the passing of this good man, Ned Garver. The thing we get to keep is all the love that came with the life lesson gifts he instilled in so many of us by simply being all of the caring human being he really was born to be. And so lived to be. For 91 years, 2 months, nd 1 day.
An Aside to Bill Veeck
“Hey, Bill! Here comes the guy who helped make your legend what it grew to be. Maybe you really did explain your reason for not granting Ned Garver a raise after 1951 because “we (the Browns) could’ve finished last without you”, but maybe not. All we know, Mr. Veeck, is that you personally could never have left the planet as the most magical owner in baseball history without the earlier presence of Ned Garver on your 1951 Browns club.”
Rest in Peace, Ned Garver
We shall miss you – and love you – forever.
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3 Responses to “RIP: Ned Garver Dead at 91”
Friday, January 13, 2017
|1902 St. Louis A.L.|
|1953 St. Louis A.L.|
The "shoulda, woulda, couldas" of the Browns staying in St. Louis are legion:
- What if the Browns had kept Christy Mathewson rather than returning him as a peace offering (and maybe the Browns win four pennants instead of the Giants)?
- What if Branch Rickey and (the inaptly named) Phil Ball had gotten along?
- What if George Sisler's Browns had nipped the Yankees and won the pennant in 1921, thereby winning the race to deliver St. Louis its first Worlds Series championship?
But more apropos perhaps is the near miss of Mantle and Berra. I would like to think that the St. Louis city fathers would never have allowed a team that featured home-towners Berra, Turley and Sievers, Missourian Long, plus "the Mick" (from the other side of the Oklahoma state line from Joplin, MO) in center-field, to leave town. Then add Lasorda into the mix (Veeck wanted to keep him but could not afford the option price). You could have had a 1950s version of the Gas House Gang! Add-in a cross-state, intra-league rivalry with the Kansas City Athletics in 1955, and the fact that the Cardinals of the 1950s were mostly dead-wood except for Stan Musial, and surely the turnstiles would have begun spinning again. That team would have won a lot of ballgames and had a lot of fun doing it, with a fillip of local pride: "Game over? Will it be spaghetti and meatballs at the Berra house on the Hill or sauerkraut and brats at the Sievers, Mick?"