Thursday, October 16, 2014

Press Release on Elimination of Orioles

ST LOUIS- October 16, 2014  

The St. Louis Browns Fan club is disappointed that there will not be a reenactment  of the 1944  World Series,  in its 70th anniversary year, but wishes to congratulate the Baltimore Orioles on a fabulous 2014 season.  Many of our fan club members are Orioles rooters,  and the  O's  (the former Browns) have given them a thrilling ride.

In 2015, the Orioles will be entering their 32nd year without an AL pennant.  The Browns would encourage Orioles fans to take heart: the Browns went 41 years without a pennant! All things come to those who persevere and  look for their opportunities.   Best of success!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Browns Pitcher Al LaMacchia Elected to San Antonio Sports Hall Of Fame; Was Young 'Benchwarmer' for 1944 American League Champs

St. Louis Browns right-handed pitcher Al LaMacchia was elected to the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.  LaMacchia, a native St. Louisan, pitched for the Browns farm club, the San Antonio Missions, in the 1940s as well as stints with the Browns and the Washington Senators.  He went on to become a very successful pro scout, working for several MLB teams.

LaMacchia did service with the Browns club for parts of four seasons (1943-46). In 1944, the year the Browns won their only American League championship, he was with the club through May, and later in the fall, but was never called upon to play in an official game. While on the roster, he served as batting practice pitcher for the wartime/arm-weary team until he injured his thumb during the "Streetcar" World Series versus the Cardinals.   

In between call-ups to the Browns roster, LaMacchia went 12-3 in '44 as a starter for the Toledo Mud Hens, leading the American Association in winning percentage with an .800 mark. 

He was a successful scout for many teams, most notably the Toronto Blue Jays (whom he joined as an expansion team and helped lead to back to back World Series titles) and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Active for the latter club up until the mid 2000's, LaMacchia scouted outfielder Andre Ethier, who is still with the Dodger ballclub as of 2014.

LaMacchia, with fellow ex-Brown Bud Thomas at the '09 BFC

In 2009 he was a guest speaker at the St. Louis Browns Fan Club (BFC) annual luncheon at the Missouri Athletic Club West.

Other inductees in this Hall Of Fame class include former San Antonio Spurs head coach Doug Moe.

Alfred Anthony LaMacchia died in his adopted hometown of San Antonio in 2010. 

For further information on Al LaMacchia, see the Society of American Baseball Research Bio Project.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

UPDATED DAILY: Oddsmakers Rate Chances of a Cardinals-Orioles World Series

According to fangraphs, the current chances of an Orioles-Cardinals World Series, 70-years after the Browns-Cardinals "Streetcar" World Series of 1944  is...

2.1 8.87 8.67 13.2 19.1 12.6 4.5 6.2 1.2%

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Browns Players/Fan Reunion Luncheon 2014

If you didn't make it to the Browns Fan Club annual luncheon, here are some of the people and activities you missed.

Bud Thomas (L), Bill Rogers

J.W. Porter (L), Ed Mickelson (R)

Bud Thomas

Roy Sievers

Club Member, Denise Rivlin (L), Zee Porter (R)

J.W. Porter

Emmett McAuliffe

Ed Mickelson (L), Bud Thomas (R)

J.W. Porter

(L-R) Fan Club Directors,  Emmett McAuliffe & Bill Borst; Harmony Lineback, Member;
Vicki Martin, Director; Bill Rogers, President

Dave Heller, Author, "As Good As It Got"

Emmett McAuliffe (L), Bill Rogers (R)

Player Panel Discussion, Mickelson, Thomas, Porter, Sievers

Emmett McAuliffe (L), Bud Thomas (R)

Bud and Janet Thomas

Mary and Ed Mickelson

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Actor Jon Hamm wearing a Browns hat!

 Actor Jon Hamm of Mad Men boasting a St. Louis Browns hat on a plane.  The guy with him is Matt Lauer of the Today show.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Browns Hurler Goes 17 Innings

1916 — St. Louis Browns pitcher Ernie Koob went the distance in a 17-inning 0-0 tie with the Boston Red Sox. Carl Mays went the first 15 innings for the Red Sox and Dutch Leonard finished.

And most of our pitchers today go only 6-7 innings . . . if they're lucky.
Ernie Koob

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Made Pitching Debut Under Rogers Hornsby, Where Is He Now?

Oh Where Have You Gone, Hal Hudson?

Although Yankees fans sing, "Oh Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio?", we here at the St. Louis Browns Fan Club sing, "Oh Where Have You Gone Hal Hudson?".  

That's because we only have 23 living St. Louis Brownies, and he is one of 'em.  But the St. Louis Browns Fan Club has been holding players reunions almost annually since the formation of the club in 1984, and none of the old-timers ever remember Hal showing up.

What was it like being called up as a rookie from Toronto and being sent in to pitch by the great St. Louis Cardinals and Browns Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby?  And what was it like working for two of the most famous "showmen" owners, Bill Veeck and Maple Leafs' owner Jack Kent Cooke (later of NFL, NBA and NHL fame)?  

Inquiring Brownie fans want to know. So if you are reading this, and you know Mr. Hudson, please ask him to get in touch.  Our generous club members will defray his expenses if he flies in for our annual Reunion Luncheon September 18 at the Sheraton Chalet in Westport.

23 players left!  That is not even enough for a 25-man roster anymore.

Peters missed Mantle, but little else

(The following article about former St. Louis Browns assistant farm director Hank Peters appeared in the Baltimore Sun a few days after the death of Mickey Mantle).

Peters missed Mantle, but little else

August 15, 1995|By BILL TANTON
When Mickey Mantle was a high school senior in Commerce, Okla., in 1949, his class made a trip to St. Louis.
While there, Mantle was to work out with the old St. Louis Browns. A man who worked in the Browns' farm department at that time -- Hank Peters -- still remembers the day.
"It rained," Peters was saying at the monthly J. Patrick's sports luncheon, "and Mantle didn't get to work out for us.
"Can you imagine what would have happened if it hadn't rained? If we'd seen that guy for five minutes we would have signed him."
That would have been great for the St. Louis Browns, of course, and good for the Baltimore Orioles as well. The Browns were sold to Baltimore people and became the Orioles in 1954.
It would have changed a lot of things if Hall of Fame immortal Mantle, who died of cancer Sunday at 63, had played his career at Sportsman's Park and Memorial Stadium.
But scout Tom Greenwade saw Mantle -- it must not have rained that day -- and signed him for the Yankees. The rest is history.
Hank Peters, who was general manager of the Orioles from 1976 through 1987, is a treasure of baseball intelligence after nearly a half-century in the game.
It would not be accurate to say that the soft-spoken Peters is underrated as a baseball executive. Twice he has been chosen the game's Executive of the Year.
It was Peters who, as general manager of the Athletics under owner Charley Finley, put together the great Oakland teams that won three straight world championships from 1972-1974.
Peters was the GM here when the Orioles went to the World Series in 1979 and again in 1983, which was the last time the Baltimore team has won anything.
It was ludicrous when owner Edward Bennett Williams fired Peters after a couple of non-championship years and hired Roland Hemond in his place.
By no means was Peters finished, however.
He became the general manager of the Cleveland Indians and, along with the assistant GM he brought from Baltimore, John Hart, built the club that now has the best record in the majors, the team that is playing the Orioles here through tomorrow night.
Peters retired two years ago and returned to live in Baltimore. Hart then went on to advance the Indians even further by bringing in free agents such as Eddie Murray and Dennis Martinez, both of whom were with the Orioles in Peters' Baltimore days.
"Hank showed us the way," says the magnanimous Hart, who himself is up for Executive of the Year now.
In an age when people believe pennants can be bought, Hank Peters knows better. His track record proves that his way -- which used to be the Orioles' way -- works.
"The first thing it takes," Peters told the luncheon audience, "is an owner with patience.
"When Dick Jacobs interviewed me for the Cleveland job, I told him, 'Look -- I'm 63 years old. I was just let go in Baltimore. I only plan to work another four years, and, if you hire me, we probably won't win any championships. But I believe we can lay the groundwork for a championship team.' "
Replied Jacobs: "Run the club as if you own it."
That was the smartest thing he and his brother, Dave, could have done.
Peters did not go out and acquire big-name, high-salaried free agents to plug a gap here and there. That would not have been the old Orioles' way. "We poured our money into scouting and development," Peters says. "We hired scouts. We expanded the farm system. It was the only way to go.
"In a short time, we signed 16 players who are now either with the Indians or playing elsewhere in the major leagues. And we signed selected free agents."
The Indians began to turn the corner when Peters plucked Carlos Baerga and Sandy Alomar from San Diego's farm system for Joe Carter. They pulled a steal when they traded catcher Eddie Taubensee to Houston for Kenny Lofton.
On the club currently playing the Orioles at Camden Yards, nine players are up from the farm system.
Today Cleveland is the envy of all baseball. It has a multi-talented team that appears to be championship-bound plus new ballpark, Jacobs Field, for which the Jacobs brothers contributed $10 million and did not get a sweetheart lease like the one the Orioles have here.
"Why don't more teams do it the way Cleveland did?" Arky Vaughan asked at J. Patrick's.
"Because," said Peters, "most owners are reluctant to turn all that responsibility over to someone else."
That's a familiar story in today's baseball -- the owner who acquires millions through his business and then assumes he is qualified to run a ballclub, too.
"What do you think of the way the Orioles are going about it?" asked Buck Ward.
The answer was vintage Hank Peters.
"Oh, I'm not on the inside there," Hank said. "I'm not around every day to know what goes into the decision-making. It wouldn't be fair for me to comment."
Comment or not, Peters had made his point.

(Courtesy Baltimore Sun).

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Browns Fan Club Introduces Membership Card

The St. Louis Browns Historical Society announced introduction of a membership identification  card. The Browns last issued an identification card back in the 1930s and 1940s called the “Boys Brigade” while the Cardinals issued their “Knot Hole” card.

Browns Fan Club president, Bill Rogers, says inquiries about a membership card is one of the top items requested.  “The card makes it official. It contains a member ID number, membership level and membership year.”
As a member of the Fan Club, members pledge to protect, preserve and promote the St. Louis Browns. They pledge to defend the honor of the Browns wherever it may be maligned and tell Browns stories wherever and whenever they can. They also agree to exercise careful stewardship over Browns artifacts and memorabilia. Members agree to accept the duty of preventing the Browns from ever becoming forgotten by future generations of baseball fans.

Three different levels of membership are available and described as Bleed Browns for the top level, Gold  the second level and Silver for the third level. More information on membership levels is available from the club’s website at
If you're not a member of the Browns Fan Club, sign up today. Credit Card service is available at The membership cards will be sent to all members starting by July 1, 2014. 

Click on Cards above to Enlarge


Monday, June 2, 2014

Big Things Happening on June 2; Browns Pitcher Steals Home

This was a big day in baseball history, over a number of years. 
On this day in 1903, the Pittsburgh Pirates won a tripleheader against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
In 1925, New York Yankee Lou Gehrig played the first game in what would become his streak of 2,130 straight games.
In 1950, pitcher Harry Dorish of the St. Louis Browns stole home plate against the Washington Senators. No American League pitcher has stolen home since.
In 1958, Baltimore Oriole Brooks Robinson hit into the first of his four career triple plays, a major league record.
Also in 1958, New York Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford struck out six consecutive batters, tying the then-American League record for the second time, having struck out six in a row in 1956.
In 1989, Cincinnati Red Eric Davis hit for the cycle — a single, double, triple and home run.
In 1990, Seattle Mariner Randy Johnson pitched a no-hitter in a 2-0 victory against the Detroit Tigers.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Browns Fan Club Shows Up in Springfield.

Saturday, May 17 was opening day for the Springfield Missouri Metro Baseball League. On hand were former players Phil Gagliano and Jerry Buchek from the 1964 Cardinals along with Diego Segui and Jay Hankins from the KC Athletics. Also joining the group was Bud Thomas from the St. Louis Browns. Browns Fan Club President said the welcome Bud got was the longest and the loudest applause from the fans.

Bill Rogers, President of the Browns Fan Club and Jim Jay from the Kansas City Baseball Historical Society were also in attendance. Congratulations to all.
Springfield Metro Baseball Director, Rob Ginocchio, said, "The important thing is we are trying to make it fun. This year we are trying to teach them history at the same time, by using the old time uniforms and using wooden bats only and some different things."

The teams wore retro uniforms representing the Browns, Cardinals and other teams. Rogers said, "I must have had 40 boys in various uniforms shake my hand thanking me and the Browns for being there on their opening day. I never felt as proud. It was a great event and being a part of it.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Modest Proposal for St. Louis: Speak of 'St. Louis' Records, not 'Franchise' Records

I would like to see Cardinals' and Browns' records be essentially combined to determine "all St. Louis" all-time leaders.  The Orioles do not in most cases include Browns records in franchise records.  My logic is: if an exploit was committed by a Brownie or committed by a Cardinal, St. Louis fans will have seen both.  So why not include both?

Thus, statistics such as this, which include 1880s St. Louis Brown stockings records, which the Cardinals do not even acknowledge as being a contiguous franchise (all the hats say "Establish 1892"), why not include the American League Browns?

So, I will start.
Q: Who is the all-time St. Louis leader for hits in a season?
A: George Sisler, 1920, 257.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bobo Holloman Pitches No-Hitter in First Major League Game

Bobo Holloman played for one season in the American League with the St. Louis Browns in 1953. In 22 career games, Holloman pitched 65.1 innings and posted a win-loss record of 3–7 and a 5.23 earned run average (ERA).

Bobo Holloman 

Holloman served in World War II before starting his professional baseball career. From 1946 to 1952, he gradually rose up the minor leagues, and got a spring training invitation from the Chicago Cubs in 1950. After the 1952 season, he was signed by the St. Louis Browns, who played him on the major league roster. He made his debut April 18, and in his first start on May 6, he threw a no-hitter, one of two players to do so in his first start. Holloman played in 22 games that season for the Browns before being released. He spent the rest of 1953 and 1954 in the minor leagues before retiring from the game. (Click on all photos to enlarge)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mets Break Record of Browns Set in 1914

When Jenrry Mejia grounded out to end the third inning Saturday night, he helped Mets pitchers make history. Said Mets pitchers have, at this writing, begun the 2014 season by going 0-for-46 at the plate. That's a modern-day record (i.e., from 1900 onward).
The current Mets had been tied with the 1914 St. Louis Browns, whose pitchers went hitless in their first 45 ABs of the season. The 1932 Red Sox check in at third with a 0-for-44 start.

Browns No-Hit Trivia on Today's Date

1917 — Bob Groom of the Browns duplicated teammate Ernie Koob's feat of the previous day by pitching a 3-0 no-hit victory against the Chicago White Sox in the second game of a doubleheader in St. Louis.
1953 — Bobo Holloman of the St. Louis Browns pitched a 6-0 no-hitter against the Philadelphia Athletics in his first major league start. He never pitched another complete game in the majors.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How the Browns Helped the Orioles Acquire Frank Robinson

Bob Turley and Don Larsen were Brownies  ....

... and two hot right-handed pitching prospects as ever there was.  But the Orioles traded them to the Yankees for Willie Miranda, in 1955
(who, by the way, was an ex-Brown traded away to the Yankees by Bill Veeck)

Willy Miranda (his preferred spelling) was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1960 for Jim Gentile
... who was traded in 1963 to the Kansas City Athletics for Norm Siebern (another left-handed-hitting first baseman)
… who was traded to the California Angels December 2, 1965 for Dick Simpson….
yes, THIS Dick Simpson:
and a week later, the Orioles dangled him before the eyes of Cincinnati Reds general manager Bill DeWitt Sr.,  who found the 1965 Angels Rookie Star too good to resist, so he promptly traded
for him (plus Milt Pappas and Jack Baldschun).  And just like that, F. Robby was a Brownie, er.... Oriole. (Frank doesnt look very happy about the trade. The Reds recently won a pennant, but the Orioles havent won one since since 1944, and then they were the Browns.  But Frank will be happy with the trade soon enough.  It sucks to have a receding hairline. General managers think you are old.  And shaved heads to hide it won't be in style for another 40 years yet.)

So to Review, 

 += .

And that is how the Browns helped the Orioles acquire Frank Robinson, Hall of Famer.

[Another Brownie connection, this one quite real: Jim Russo -- the scout who'd been trying to get the Orioles to make the deal for Robinson since 1961 -- was the last employee of the Browns still with the club.  ~Ed.]