Saturday, August 23, 2008

Orthwein Moves Brewers to St. Louis in 1901; Renames Them the Browns

The news obituary of James Busch Orthwein, former owner of the New England Patriots, correctly noted Mr. Orthwein's indispensible role in bringing the St. Louis Rams to town. You may be interested to know that James was not the first St. Louis Orthwein to own a pro franchise and bring one to St. Louis.

In 1901, Ralph H. Orthwein led a syndicate of wealthy business people that purchased the Milwaukee Brewers of the American League after the 1901 season and moved the baseball team to St. Louis and renamed them the Browns. The recently-deceased Mr. Orthwein was the first-cousin to Ralph Orthwein, once removed.

/s/ Emmett McAuliffe
Board, St. Louis Browns Fan Club

Dizzy Dean Was Crazy Like a Fox

Crazy Like a Fox Was Diz, 37, still good enough to pitch? The 1947 Browns threw him Opening Day. Dean singled, spaced three hits in four innings, then pulled a muscle.

The soon-again-Voice gave a lecture: "Radio Announcing I Have Did." The Soviets domineered Eastern Europe. "Got to get me a bunch of bats and balls and sneak me a couple of empires and learn them kids behind the Iron Curtain how to bat and play baseball." Marshal Stalin -- "Joe Stallion" -- could run concessions. "That way he'd getta outta' politics and get in a honest business."

Through 1948, Diz jazzed the tone-deaf Browns. "I slud along with them as long as I could, but I eventual made up my mind to quit."

(You can read a lot more about Dizzy and broadcasting at:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This date in baseball: August 19

AUG. 19

1951: Eddie Gaedel, a 65-pound midget who was 3 feet 7, made his only plate appearance as a pinch hitter for Frank Saucier of the St. Louis Browns. Gaedel, wearing No. 1/8, was walked on four pitches by Detroit Tigers pitcher Bob Cain and then was taken out for pinch runner Jim Delsing. The gimmick by Browns owner Bill Veeck was completely legal but later outlawed.

1931 - Babe Ruth hit his 600th home run as the Yankees beat the St. Louis Browns 11-7.

1931 - Lefty Grove of the Philadelphia Athletics was beaten 1-0 by Dick Coffman of the St. Louis Browns, snapping a personal 16-game winning streak. A misjudged fly ball by outfielder Jim Moore led to the winning run.

1936 - In his first major league start, 17-year-old Bob Feller struck out 15 Browns as the Cleveland Indians beat St. Louis 4-1. Feller gave up six hits and allowed four walks.