Saturday, November 22, 2008

FOR SALE: Browns Memorabilia

I have a couple of Browns items in which your readers may be interested.

I have a 1953 schedule that is in perfect condition.

I also have a score card from a June 5 or 6, 1953 game: Browns vs Yankees. In the Yankee line-up are Mickey Mantle,Joe Collins, Billy Martin,Gil McDougald, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto and Casey is the manager. The scorecard is 12 pages.

For the Browns: Johnny Groth, Vic Wertz, Clint Courtney, plus other assorted no-names and Marty Marion is the manager. Both of these items are in perfect condition.

Asking $50. Contact Mike Cleary at . (Click on photos to enlarge)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Browns Tip O'Neill One of 12 Not In Hall of Fame

Tip O'Neill is one of only 12 different players in the history of MLB to hit for the triple crown. He was the first to do it, and he remains as the ONLY player in the history of MLB to do it and NOT be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Hitting for the triple crown is "known" as a sure way to get in the Hall of Fame, and many assume that hitting for the crown puts you in, for sure. It's true, except for O'Neill.

He hit for the triple crown, but so did 11 others. Here's a fact about O'Neill that no one else can say: O'Neill still remains as the only player in the history of MLB to lead the league in 2B, 3B, and HR during the same season, the only player ever. Many historians believe that accomplishment will never be duplicated.

His 1887 season was incredible. He had a .435 BA that season and that .435 BA still ranks second on the all-time single season BA list. His 167 R that season still ranks fourth on the all time single season R list. They were both MLB records at the time. Here are his stats for that 1887 season.

1887: .435 BA, .490 OB%, .691 SLG%, 30 SB, 167 R, 52 2B, 19 3B, 14 HR and 123 RBI.

Not a bad season, he not only led the league in BA, HR and RBI to hit for the triple crown. He also led the league in OB%, SLG%, R, 2B, 3B and hits. That's at least nine categories he led the league in.

I don't even know what the hell you call that. The Octagonagle crown, I don't even think that's enough. The only major categories that he didn't lead the league in were FA and SB and he had 30 SB, not bad.

(There is more to this story at:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Browns Spring 2009 Luncheon Set for April

Back by popular demand, we are scheduling a St. Louis Browns Fan Club Spring 2009 luncheon tentatively set for April 28, 2009. The location is the Missouri Athletic Club West in West County at 1777 Des Peres Road St. Louis, MO 63131 (same location as the 2008 luncheon).

If you are not a member of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club, you can join with a donation of $25 to help preserve the memory and history of the Browns. Send your check payable to the St. Louis Brown's Fan Club to:

Bud Kane, Treasurer
443 Fieldcrest Dr.
Webster Groves, MO 63119.

Our Spring luncheon will honor Babe Martin, the last surviving member of the 1944 pennant winning Browns. The Browns played their only World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Mark your calendar now to take in this outstanding program. Pictured below are John (Sandy) Buchheit on left with Jim Christen (right) at the Spring 2008 Brown's Fan Club Luncheon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kansas City Goes Major League in '54 Following Browns in '53

The announcement in November 1954 that Arnold Johnson had bought the Philadelphia Athletics was “really big news” in Kansas City. Accompanying the announcement of the purchase came the added tidbit that Johnson planned to relocate the team to Kansas City. This was a decision that carried great import beyond the obvious sense that Kansas City had finally “arrived” with its belated entry into Big League professional sports.

The makeup of Major League Baseball began to change in 1952 when the Boston Braves indicated they would move their franchise to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The following year the American League St. Louis Browns announced removal to Baltimore where they would be known as the Baltimore Orioles. In 1954, it was Kansas City’s turn. Pride exuded from Main Street to Bannister Road, newly annexed into the city itself.

Once the move of the A’s to Kansas City was announced, city officials purchased Ruppert Stadium, added the upper deck to expand seating to 33,000, and made arrangements for everything but parking. This photo now graces the information kiosk at the site of the old stadium at 22nd & Brooklyn. (Click on photo to enlarge)


For close to 60 years, Kansas City had been home to a minor league franchise in what evolved into the American Association. The Kansas City Blues were white Kansas City’s pride and joy. When the owner of the New York Yankees purchased the franchise in 1939, renovated Muehlebach Field into “Ruppert Stadium” [modestly named for himself], and sent the New York team’s best farm players this way, it seemed we had reached the pinnacle.

Of course, there was another tenant at Muehlebach Field that continued to pay rent to play in Ruppert Stadium. The Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League usually performed more successfully on the field although their attendance numbers often fell short of those attracted by the white Blues team. Interestingly, the Monarchs games featured integrated seating in the Stadium while the Blues required seating to be segregated by race.

During the years of the Blues and Monarchs co-occupancy of Muehlebach Field and then Ruppert Stadium, a number of current and future stars played for the teams. In their later Yankee-connected years, Mickey Mantle, Hank Bauer and Whitey Ford spent parts of their careers toiling at 22nd & Brooklyn for the Blues. The Monarchs featured the likes of Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and, of course, Buck O’Neil.

One player actually played for both the Monarchs and the Blues in the early 1950s—Elston Howard. A gifted catcher, Howard eventually became the backup, and then successor, to Yogi Berra in the Yankees lineup, but he made his debut playing for the Monarchs. Later, he signed with the Yankees who, in turn assigned him to the Blues to gain more experience before joining the major league team. He went on to a solid career in the Yankees organization.