Thursday, December 24, 2009

First African American To Hit Home Run in AL Was With the STL Browns

The great Willard Brown, whom some teammates would call "Sonny" because, they said, Willard would only play hard on sunny days. Sonny Brown was the first African American to hit a home run in the American League -- he borrowed a bat from teammate St. Louis Browns teammate Jeff Heath and hit an inside-the-park homer off Hal Newhouser. When Brown returned to the Kansas City Monarchs -- he only played 21 games in the big leagues -- he apparently told Buck that after the home run, Heath broke the bat.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Roy Sievers Wins Jack Buck Legends Award

Bill Borst's introduction of Roy Sievers, recipient of the Jack Buck Legends Award, December 17, 2009.

"It is both a privilege and a pleasure for me to be here tonight, representing the St. Louis Browns Historical Society. We started our club 25 years ago so people would not forget that there used to be two teams in St. Louis.

I am also tickled pink to have been invited to present the Jack Buck Legends Award to Beaumont High School’s: Roy Edward Sievers

I will not regale you with a long list of his Sabermetrics but will say Roy had the numbers! As Casey said “You could look it up!” Lets just say that Roy was a legitimate power hitter for several teams, including the Browns, Phillies and a pair of Senators.

He was hitting scores of home runs when players did not get their strength from a pill bottle or… a syringe. Roy’s numbers were so good in 1949 that you could argue---they named the award after him.

Would you believe the Brownies signed him for a pair of baseball spikes? That was their oddest deal since they traded infielder Buzzy Wares for stadium rent in 1913.

Roy was the first American League player to win a ROY and the last Brownie to achieve major recognition.

His boyish smile and good humor belie his 83 years of age. He is the personification of Roy Campanella’s observation that “you need a lot of the little boy in you to play this game.”

"I give you the 1949 ROY, Mr. Roy Sievers."

Sievers receiving award from Bill Borst

Friday, December 18, 2009

40th Annual Jack Buck Awards honor Sievers, Wainwright, Buehrle, others

The prestigious Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis hosted the 40th Annual Jack Buck Awards Thursday night.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz who received the Burnes Broeg Award. Francis Howell North graduate and Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle got the Hometown Hero Award for his perfect game last season.

Corey Frazier from Maplewood won the High School Coach of the Year.

Sports Personality of the Year went to Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, who won 19 games last season. Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak presented the award to Wainwright, who is the 17th Cardinal to win the award.

Other recipients included St. Louis Browns first baseman Roy Sievers, who received the "Legends" Award.

St. Louis University volleyball coach Anne Kordes received the Carl O. Bauer Award for her achievement in amateur athletics.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pop Flies Magazine in the Mail

The Fall 2009 issue of Pop Flies, the official magazine of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club, is in the mail (Dec. 10). That's the good news. The bad news is that last year it took the Post Office upwards to three weeks to deliver the publication due to the Christmas mail. Just be on the lookout and enjoy. Merry Christmas.

This issue features two known baseball players who were almost members of the St. Louis Browns. We call them "Almost Brownies." You can read all about Tommy Lasardo and Babe Ruth "almost" joining the Browns organization. Since we went to press, we learned about another known name player who was "almost a Brownie."  We'll give you an update in our next issue. (click on photo to enlarge)

A Great Christmas Gift

What a great gift for dad, grandfather, uncle, or any fan of old-time baseball (Baseball when it was a game). Make a donation to the St. Louis Browns Historical Society and we'll rush a copy of Pop Flies to you - or mail it direct as your gift.

Your donation of $25 can be charged to your credit card by clicking on the subscription information in the upper right hand corner of the website.  Or you can mail a check payable to the St. Louis Browns Fan Club to Frank Kane, 443 Fieldcrest Dr., St. Louis, MO  63119.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yogi Scared To Be a Brownie

From Fay Vincent: essayist and former commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Yogi Berra told me a story once that summed up this Yankee attitude. In his first season, Yogi hit a soft ground ball to second base and in frustration jogged to first base. The next time at-bat, he popped up and again failed to run hard to first. During the next half inning Yogi told me three senior Yankees — Keller, Dickey and Henrich — came down the bench and stood before the rookie.

“Look, kid,” one of them growled, “we saw what you just did. But here we bust our (butt) on every play. We count on winning that World Series money, and our wives count on it. If you want to play that way, we can get you back to St. Louis in a week. Got it?”

Yogi said he was so frightened of being shipped to the lowly Browns that he ran out every ground ball or pop-up from that day forward. That was how the great Yankees enforced their culture, and it certainly was effective. Everyone hustled on those teams from the great DiMaggio down to the newest rookie.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tommy Henrich, Oldest Yankee Dies at Age 96

Tommy Henrich, 96, a clutch-hitting outfielder for the New York Yankees who played on eight American League championship teams during his 11 big league seasons, died Dec. 1 in Dayton, Ohio. The cause of death was not announced. Mr. Henrich, who was the oldest living former Yankee, joined the team in 1937. Although overshadowed by 10 teammates who were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Mr. Henrich was known as "Old Reliable" for his steady play and his ability to deliver hits when they mattered most.

In 1941, during the 38th game of DiMaggio's unmatched 56-game hitting streak, the Yankee star entered the eighth inning without a base hit. Mr. Henrich, who often batted directly ahead of DiMaggio in the lineup, dropped a bunt against the St. Louis Browns, allowing DiMaggio to come to the plate. DiMaggio lined a solid single to left-centerfield to keep his streak alive.

More information at:


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Shorter Blog Address Makes Log On Easier

While the official address of this site is -

you can now access it by typing in a much shorter address as -

Bookmark this address for easier access. Give it a try.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bob Dillinger, 91, Former St. Louis Brown Dies

Former St. Louis Browns infielder and World War II veteran Bob Dillinger passed away November 7, 2009 at the age of 91 (1918-2009). Dillinger led the American League in hits in 1948 with 207, was an A.L. All-Star in 1949, and was the A.L. stolen base champion for three consecutive seasons (1947-1949). Dillinger played 6 seasons total in the Majors Leagues for the Browns, Athletics, Pirates and White Sox.

In a 2003 interview with Bob Kuenster in Baseball Digest, Dillinger reflected on his All-Star and wartime playing experiences. "We played hard and played to win. You wanted to do good," he said. "Even though it was my first and only All-Star game, I played in those types of games before. During the war, I played on the special service team with guys like Joe DiMaggio, Ferris Fain, Jerry Priddy and other big leaguers. I played center field for DiMaggio's club in Guam in front of 40,000 troops."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Orioles Tie Browns Consecutive Loss Seasons

The Orioles have now spent as many consecutive seasons below .500 as the St. Louis Browns did (12) . Going for lucky 13 fellas?

Since last year’s winning percentage is the second-lowest the team has posted during the 12-year run, 13 seems likely. Having a winning franchise is not as easy as it looks, is it?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mickelson Got the Last RBI in St. Louis Browns History

From Bill McCurdy, Houston, TX

Today at 83, Ed Mickelson is a silver-haired Cary Grant type living out his happy life in St. Louis, Missouri. Yesterday at 27, he collected the last run batted in recorded in St. Louis Browns history. He did it in a 2-1 losing cause against the Chicago White Sox on the last day of the 1953 season at old Sportsman’s Park. I wrote a parody to commemorate the event, once upon a time. That signature RBI wasn’t the only thing that Ed ever did in baseball, but it is the thing he wants to be remembered for having done as a member of the Browns’ far from legendary last club on earth back in 1953. The next season, the franchise moved to Baltimore and hatched upon the scene as the Orioles.

In 2007, Ed Mickelson personally wrote his own story and published it through McFarland’s. Still available through Amazon, the Mickelson biography is entitled “Out of the Park: Memoir of a Minor League Baseball All Star.” It’s well written and a good read, detailing Mickelson’s eleven season career (1947-57). He started with Decatur and ended up with Portland, achieving a lifetime minor league batting average of .316 and 108 home runs in 1,089 minor league games played. Ed even went 3 for 9 as a Houston Buff in 1952 before being reassigned by the parent Cardinals club to Rochester. (click on photo to enlarge)

Mickelson also played 18 games total in the major leagues for the 1950 St. Louis Cardinals, the 1953 St. Louis Browns, and the 1957 Chicago Cubs. That record RBI single that scored Johnny Groth from second base in 1953 also was one of only three RBI that Ed managed in his brief major league career. His MLB average of .089 helps to explain his limited action beyond the minor leagues.

Ed Mickelson is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He’s a bright guy who looks the part of his current role as an aging gracefully first baseman. The BR/TR, 6′3″ and still lanky guy could not better look the part if he tried.

Mickelson compiled a number of honors for his minor league play over the years, but that’s the stuff of Ed’s story in the book. Just one peek here: Ed Mickelson is also notably proud of the fact that he got his first major league hit in the form of a single off the great Warren Spahn back in 1950. I definitely remember Ed’s short 1952 stay with the Buffs too, but the Cardinals didn’t leave him here long enough to do that sad Buff team much good.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Susie Remembers Sportsman's Park and Stan the Man

I am writing to share some of my memories of “Sportsman’s Park” and the Cardinals along with my favorite player Stan “the Man” Musial.

My dad, Matt, was a barber in a St. Louis Hotel and my Mom, Martha, was a clerk there. They got married a few years later. When they started their family, they moved to St. Louis County. My Dad and Mom loved baseball and they took my brother, Patrick, and me to ball games at the old Sportsman’s Park when we were young, then later to Busch Stadium.

One of my aunts had a friend who was a neighbor of Stan Musial. When I was about 9 or 10, I got to meet Stan while visiting his neighbor with my aunt. After that we saw him several times. Through that friendship, he signed a ball for me and one for Patrick and gave them to us. I now have both those balls signed by #6 himself. Patrick passed away at an early age and my parents are also gone.

I also remember times when he gave us signed pictures of himself and us all going to games to see him play. One such time he hit a home run and as he ran the bases, he was looking into the crowd and then waved at us in the bleachers. It made us feel very special to be friends of this great man. Everyone around us thought he was waving to them.

I have Cerebral Palsy and was able to take part in the Easter Seals Camp for about 25 years. After Musial retired from ball, he was on the board of some charities, including Easter Seals, and I got to see him several times there.

In 1995 I came to the New Florence Nursing and Care Center to live. My parents sold our home in Montgomery City and came here to live out their lives. I used to go to their room and we would pop popcorn and have sodas and enjoyed the Cardinal games on TV.

Fred Bird and his driver came out to see us a few times and the driver would ask questions since Fred Bird didn’t talk. I recall his driver asked a question about Stan Musial and I answered it correctly and was given another autographed ball from Stan. All 3 of the signed balls are in a safe place with my friend and caregiver. My first ball got messed up a little from showing it off so much, but the others are in great shape.

I was very young when we all went to Sportsman’s Park and don’t remember all the names of the players. But baseball was always a big part of our family time and still is to me.

Thank you for letting me share my story with everyone.

Sincerely, Susie Ryan.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Living Browns Players - 2009

Chuck Stevens is now the oldest St. Louis Brown in terms of major league debuts. He debuted with the club in September 1941. All living St. Louis Browns have played for the club from 1941-1953.

Name & Birthdate, Plus Age in 2009:

1. George Binks 07/11/14 - 95

2. Virgil Trucks 04/26/17 - 92

3. Marty Marion 12/01/17 - 92

4. Chuck Stevens 07/10/18 - 91

5. Ken Holcombe 08/23/18 - 91

6. Bob Dillinger 09/17/18 - 91  Deceased 11/7/09

7. Fred Sanford 08/09/19 - 90

8. Tom Jordan 09/05/19 - 90

9. Babe Martin 03/28/20 - 89

10. Dick Starr 03/02/21 - 88

11. George Elder 03/10/21 - 88

12. Al LaMacchia 07/22/21 - 88

13. Matt Batts 10/16/21 - 88

14. Bob Savage 12/01/21 - 88

15. Neil Berry 01/11/22 - 87

16. Johnny Hetki 05/12/22 - 87

17. Ray Coleman 06/04/22 - 87

18. Jim Rivera 07/22/22 - 87

19. Duane Pillette 07/24/22 - 87

20. Don Lenhardt 10/04/22 - 87

21. Don Lund 05/18/23 - 86

22. Tom Wright 09/22/23 - 86

23. Les Moss 05/14/25 - 84

24. Billy DeMars 08/26/25 - 84

25. Bill Jennings 09/28/25 - 84

26. Ned Garver 12/25/25 - 84

27. Frank Saucier 05/28/26 - 83

28. Johnny Groth 07/23/26 - 83

29. Lou Sleater 09/08/26 - 83

30. Ed Mickelson 09/09/26 - 83

31. Don Johnson 11/12/26 - 83

32. Roy Sievers 11/18/26 - 83

33. Hal Hudson 05/04/27 - 82

34. Jim McDonald 05/17/27 - 82

35. Al Naples 08/29/27 - 82

36. Billy Hunter 06/04/28 - 81

37. Perry Currin 09/27/28 - 81

38. Joe DeMaestri 12/09/28 - 81

39. Bud Thomas 03/10/29 - 80

40. Don Larsen 08/07/29 - 80

41. Bob Turley 09/19/30 - 79

42. J.W. Porter 01/17/33 - 76

Radio Broadcaster For Eddie Gaedel (Midget) Game

Can someone tell us what broadcaster called Eddie Gaedel's plate appearance over the radio (St. Louis)? Was it recorded?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 2: This Day in Sports

November 2

1938 -- Babe Ruth applies for the job of St. Louis Browns manager.

1960 -- Roger Maris beats Mickey Mantle, 225-222, for AL MVP

1974 -- Art Modell gets snowed in and misses his first Cleveland Brown game in 33 years.

1991 -- Nevada makes the biggest comeback in NCAA football history, overcoming a 35-point deficit in the third quarter to beat Weber State 55-49.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Anniversary Dinner: Browns Hitting Home Runs While Cards, Mizzou and Blues Lose

The St. Louis Browns were hitting home run after home run at their 25th Anniversary of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club on October 8. As one fan put it, "Those people who were not here don't know what they missed." More than 80 fans - club members, guests, and ball players - heard from former Brown's players, Ned Garver, Ed Mickelson, J.W. Porter and Bud Thomas. Other players present were Roy Sievers and Bill Jennings.

Mike Veeck, son of Bill Veeck, was a featured speaker. Mike gave insight into a family totally dedicated to baseball. Veeck is part owner of 6 minor league teams. He is a consultant and frequent speaker promoting baseball.

Veeck said he called his mother that day to tell her he was speaking to the St. Louis Browns Fan Club. The first thing she said was, “Tell them you’re sorry.” Mike said “For what?” “For moving the team out of St. Louis,” replied mom. Veeck said, “Mom, I was just a kid and didn’t have anything to do with that. It was you guys who moved the team?”

Mike told a story about his dad receiving a call from a fan requesting “the best seats in the house.” Bill Veeck replied, “How about second base. We haven’t used it all year.”

(Mike) Veeck said, “I lived here three years in Sportsman’s Park. When I was invited here, I was a little hesitant. I wasn’t certain what I should say.”

“I walked to the stadium last night and I told my wife, Libby, that the cardinal fans and the people in St. Louis are the best baseball fans in the country. The reason why is when you go to a Cardinal game and you see people wearing hats and shirts from another team, they’re polite. They may razz you all day long, but always polite.”

“My father loved his time here. If it sounds like I’m crazy about my father, I am. My father’s favorite line about St. Louis is, “If as many people who tell me they were there the night I put the midget in were actually there, I’d still be in St. Louis. Thanks for making us feel so welcome.”





 For even more photos,
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Does Baseball Need Umpires

During Friday's playoff game at Yankee Stadium, Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins hit an 11th-inning fly ball down the left-field line that landed clearly fair, a foot inside the line. As millions looked on, umpire Phil Cuzzi, who was standing just 10 feet away, fixed his eyes on the spot and gave his signal: Foul.

This blown call wasn't the only reason the Twins lost the game. They were eventually swept by the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. But all anyone could talk about was Mr. Cuzzi's gaffe.

Once again in baseball's postseason, a spate of bad calls has turned the focus away from the excitement of October to the competence of the umpires. And like always, the debate has turned to why the men in blue might be prone to making such big mistakes (Are they blind?) and whether there's anything that can be done.

But amid all the yelling, there's another fundamental question that is oddly absent from the debate. Why are there so many umpires in the first place? And do we really need so many of them?

If an institution is only as strong as its founding principles, then the grand tradition of umpiring would be ripe for reexamination. Umpires weren't introduced to baseball to improve the accuracy of calls—they were brought in during the 19th century to cut down on rampant cheating. Historians say players routinely pushed base runners off base, then tagged them out. Runners would occasionally run straight from first to third without touching second.

Eventually, cheating tailed off—but the umpires remained. In fact, they multiplied. In the early days, one umpire was the norm, and that person was chosen by the home team. By the 1930s baseball crews were assigned by the leagues and had three umpires each. The modern, regular-season umpire crew, which has four members, dates from the 1940s—long before television entered the game.

Oddly, in the postseason, when there are even more cameras trained on the field, the number of umpires also expands—to six. This number, too, is a bit of a relic. It came about in 1947 when then-commissioner Happy Chandler decided that the two substitute umpires who usually came to World Series games might as well take the field, too. (What could it hurt?) They were inserted in the outfield.

(Hey, there's more to this story at:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sports broadcaster Buddy Blattner dies of lung cancer at 89

Robert G. "Buddy" Blattner, a former major leaguer whose broadcast career included being the longtime voice of the NBA's St. Louis Hawks, has died.

Blattner died Friday of complications from lung cancer at his home in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, his daughter said. He was 89.

Blattner was born in St. Louis in 1920. He began his baseball career with the Cardinals in 1942, then missed the next three seasons while serving in the Navy. Blattner then played three seasons with the Giants and one with the Phillies.

As a broadcaster, he did play-by-play on national games for ABC in 1953 and 1954, and for CBS from 1955 through 1959.

He also did play-by-play stints for the Browns, Cardinals, Angels and Royals.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Why The Cardinals Are Winning

Is it any coincidence that the Cardinals are winning after acquiring Matthew, Mark, Lugo, and John?

(Holliday, DeRosa, Julio, and Smoltz)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This Date in Baseball - August 24

Aug. 24
1940: Outfielder Ted Williams pitched the last two innings for the Boston Red Sox against Detroit at Fenway Park. He allowed one run and three hits but struck out Rudy York on three pitches. The Tigers, behind Tommy Bridges, won 12-1.

1951: St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck gave more than 1,000 fans behind his dugout YES and NO placards, allowing them to have a part in the strategy of the game. The fans flashed the cards when asked by the coaches what the Browns should do, and it worked as St. Louis beat the Philadelphia Athletics 5-3.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How Veeck Put Entertainment Into Baseball

Today, August 19, is an important anniversary date in baseball history. An event took place on this date during a game between the St. Louis Browns and the Detroit Tigers. This "event" will never happen again.

The following is an article by Les Kinsolving with WorldNetDaily. You can view the entire article at:


For all who have undergone the horrendous experience of losing a limb – especially those in our armed forces – let me recall one Marine Corps veteran of that World War II bloodbath at Bougainville, who lost his leg.

He died almost a quarter of a century ago, but he remains an absolute legend in the field of bringing unforgettable (if controversial) entertainment to that hardly-renowned-for-humor realm called professional baseball.

He should never, ever be forgotten for one night of the 1951 season, when he was owner of the old St. Louis Browns, those perennially cellar-dwellers who were playing the Detroit Tigers.
Suddenly, the crowd let out a great roar of delighted mirth.

Coming up to bat for the St. Louis Browns was a midget!

His name was Eddie Gaedel.

>> More on this day in history at:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Win Streak After 40-Games Under

Has any team in baseball, before the 2009 Nationals, ever reached the 90-game mark with a winning percentage under .300 and then managed a winning streak of eight games or longer?

Four teams in baseball history -- so long as we're including the cotton gin era here -- have amassed Win streaks of eight or more after hitting the 40-games-under mark.

In order...

1890 Cleveland Spiders, 10 games, Sept. 13-23. They were 32-82-3 when streak began.

2009 Washington Nationals, 8 games, Aug. 2-. They were 32-72 when streak began.

1907 St. Louis Cardinals, 8 games, Aug. 8-16. They were 23-78 when streak began.

1950 St. Louis Browns, 8 games, Sept. 7-14. They were 44-86 when streak began.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

St. Louis Browns All-Stars

The recent All Star game here in St. Louis brought back memories of many St. Louis Browns players who were All Stars in their playing days. Thanks to Cecil Wayne Williams for contributing the following on the Browns All Stars. The following is just a portion of his research.


During the history of the St. Louis Browns (1902-1953) eighteen different players appeared in the major league All-Star games (a total 29 appearances. Three of those players are still alive.

Bob Dillinger was one of two third basemen for the American League in 1949 as a manager selection. He pinch ran for the starting third baseman, Hall of Famer George Kell of the Tigers in the sixth inning and scored a run. Dillinger went on to single and score a run in the seventh inning. At third, Bob got two assists without an error.

Ned Garver was the starter in the 1951 game as a manager selection. Garver, one of seven Browns pitching selections over the years, is the only Brown to start an All-Star game. He went three innings, giving up one hit, one walk and one unearned run. He also had one strikeout. He left the game with a one to one tie.

The third surviving Brown All-Star is Billy Hunter. He was one of four shortstops selected for the 1953 game at old Crosley Field in Cincinnati. In a written interview, Billy stated he was thrilled to be selected and be a pinch runner in the game. He pinch ran for Mickey Mantle. He did not get an at-bat or play in the field.

There were 20 All-Star games played during the Browns existence (1933-1953). No game was played in 1945 because of a wartime curtailment on travel. As stated above, 18 Browns made 29 appearances in the All-Star games. In the first two years, 1933 and 1934, fans had a hand in picking players with the manager’s assistance. From 1935 through 1946, managers made the selections. From 1947 to the Browns last year in 1953, the eight starters were picked by a fan poll with the managers picking the pitchers and reserve players. Eighteen players were selected for each All-Star team in 1933, 20 in 1934-35, 21 in 1936, 23 in 1937-38 and 25 in 1939 through 1953, the last Browns year.

The 18 Browns All-Stars are as follows:

Beau Bell, 1937
Harlond Clift, 1937
Roy Cullenbine, 1941
Bob Dillinger, 1949
Ned Garver, 1951
Rollie Hemsley, 1935*, 36
Myril Hoag, 1939
Billy Hunter, 1953
Jack Kramer, 1946,47
Chet Laabs, 1943*
Sherm Lollar, 1950
George McQuinn, 1939,40,42,44*
Bob Muncrief, 1944
Bobo Newsom, 1938
Satchel Paige, 1952, 53
Vern Stephens, 1943*,44*,46*
Sammy West, 1933,34,35,37*
Al Zarilla, 1948


Sammy West was the first Brown All-Star (1933) and is tied with George McQuinn for the most appearances as a Brown. Rollie Hemsley was the first to start and play an entire game (1935). Ned Garver was the only Browns pitcher to start an All-Star game. Vern Stephens was the only Brown to start each of his All-Star appearances (three). Billy Hunter and Satchel Paige were the last Browns All-Stars (1953).

The first All-Star Game was played at Comiskey Park in Chicago on July 6, 1933. It was the brainchild of Arch Ward, sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, who sold the idea to Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. This game is remembered for aging Babe Ruth’s two-run homer in the third inning which provided the margin of victory in the A.L.’s 4-2 win.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Found: Uncle in Babe Ruth Photo

We receive a fairly steady stream of letters asking for help in identifying a player or family member, family looking for information on a relative that may have played with the Browns, researching information on Browns uniforms, and others. The following is one of those heart-warming series of letters we received in recent weeks. Every once in a while, we get lucky.

Mr. Rogers,

In making my way through numerous Google links to finally land on the St Louis Brown's Historical Society and Fan Club page, I am writing to see if you can help me find a photo. My uncle was 10 years old on June 19, 1948 when Babe Ruth made his last appearance at Sportsman's Park. He was one of the kids who ran out onto the field to be in a group photo with Babe Ruth. He was on Babe Ruth's left side with a baseball hat on. I am trying to find out how I can get a copy of the photo. I am not sure what paper it was in and how I go about requesting a copy. Would you be able to help me?


(Click on photo to enlarge)


Patty, let me know if your uncle is in this photo. Hope this helps. This is the only one I have with the kids around Babe. Picture is below and file attached. The primary newspapers that would have covered this would have been the St. Louis Globe Democrat and/or the Star Times. Both papers were acquired by our present St. Louis Post Dispatch.




I don’t think I ever thanked you for this photo. My uncle is definitely in it. He passed in 1995 unexpectedly and my aunt was thrilled beyond belief to have a copy of this. She has passed it on to her two boys. As soon as my mother saw it, she remembered it exactly as she had gone to the game with her brother and pushed him to run out on the field! Thank you so much for taking the time to send it to me.

Warm regards,

To Bill Rogers:

My niece, Patty, forwarded me the picture taken in 1948 of my husband with Babe Ruth and the kids. It's such a nice picture. My husband looks so sweet. It's a nice memento for me and my two sons.Thank you for taking the time to research this event and send the picture onto Patty.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Saints and TOPPS to Induct Former Browns Scout into Scouts Hall of Fame

The hard work of a baseball scout is often overlooked.

Few may realize that the gentlemen critiquing the swing of a prospect in Tampa, aiming a radar gun at a fastball in Cape Cod or noting the fine footwork of a youngster at a high school game in a tiny town are the backbone of any Major League organization. On August 6, the St. Paul Saints will induct Tom Greenwade of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees into the TOPPS Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame.

Greenwade, who passed away in 1986, is best remembered for signing Mickey Mantle and later Bobby Murcer. He joined the Yankees organization in 1949 and was instrumental in building the clubs dynasty through the 1960s. He also gave Branch Rickey the definitive scouting report that made him decide that Jackie Robinson was the player best suited to integrate the Major Leagues.

Born on August 21, 1904, Greenwade, was a lifelong resident of Willard, Missouri. After a career as a. minor league pitcher and manager, he turned to scouting and became the most successful scout in the history of baseball. He got his start scouting with the St. Louis Browns in 1941. He found time to serve as a civic leader, farmer and banker.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sievers Lends Support to Fund Raiser

Former Browns standout, Roy Sievers enjoys time with Red Schoendienst, Mike Shannon and Jay Randolpf, Sr. The setting was Mike Shannon's Night at the Races event which raises money for scholarships at CBC, Mike's high school. The fund helps pay tuition for deserving students based upon need.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Browns Fans Yell FOUL BALL on Election for St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame

Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial, a unanimous choice of a committee of media members and sports figures, heads the first class of inductees into the new St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.

President Greg Marecek announced the first inductees earlier this month. The remainder of the first class in the baseball category included Bob Gibson, Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Yogi Berra and Whitey Herzog.

Additionally, four men will be inducted in a special "oldtimers" class. They are Cardinals Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby, Joe Medwick and Frankie Frisch in the baseball category.

While all of the players elected in the first class of inductees are excellent players, it looks as if the media members and sports figures didn’t do a lot of homework in their selection when it comes to statistics. At first glance, the inductees look like they were voted in based on media popularity.

Where the homework really needs to be done is in the old timers category. St. Louis had two major league baseball teams for more than 50 years and both teams had outstanding players during this period. The St. Louis Browns were the predominant team during the first 25 years of the last century before the Cardinals took over the spotlight. One obvious oversight was the Browns best player – the equivalent of a Stan Musial or Albert Pujols. The shining star was George Sisler.

If the voters would have done their homework fully, they would have noticed the difference in performance of Sisler to Joe Medwick. Here’s how the two compared. (Click on photo to enlarge)

Games Played
Medwick 1984 – Sisler 2055

At Bats
Medwick 7,634 – Sisler 8,267

Medwick 2,471 – Sisler 2,812

Medwick 1,383 – Sisler 1,175

Batting Average
Medwick .324 – Sisler .340
Musial's lifetime average was .331

Slugging Average
Medwick .505 – Sisler .468

Stolen Bases
Medwick 42 – Sisler 375

Positions Played
Medwick OF – Sisler 1B, P

Years Played
Medwick 16 – Sisler 13

We don't mean to balk at the election, but it appears there was an error or perhaps just a fielder's choice. Maybe there were just too many players on the field. We don't want to kill the umpires or maybe this was just a rain delay with play to be resumed at a later date. Maybe George Sisler will be the player to be named later.

St. Louis Born Home Run Hitters

Q. - During the telecast of the All-Star Game Tuesday night, they flashed one of those pieces of trivia on the screen that always make you wonder about how they can possibly keep track of all that stuff. It said that on a list of all pro baseball players born in St. Louis, Ryan Howard ranks third in career home runs. My question, of course, is who are the top two?
-- S.L., of Fairview Heights

A. - In only his sixth pro season, the 29-year-old Phillie slugger has ripped 200 homers (as of Thursday) faster than anyone in baseball history. But he's going to have to keep eating his Wheaties if he's going to surpass the two in front of him, one of whom should be familiar to any fan while the other might have you reaching for a baseball encyclopedia.

At the top of heap is that legendary master of the malapropism, Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra, who, by some accounts, is the best catcher ever to wear the tools of ignorance. One of the great products of The Hill neighborhood, Berra ripped 358 home runs during 18 seasons in his Yankee pinstripes. (Click on photos to enlarge)

Give up on the second? It's Roy Sievers, a St. Louis Browns signee, who, after some early arm and shoulder injuries, starred for the Washington Senators and became a favorite of then Vice President Richard Nixon. Before he retired in 1965, Sievers would belt 318 home runs during stints with five teams.

And, what local sluggers has Ryan Howard belted his way past already? Those who hit more than 100 were Nate Colbert, 173; Elston Howard, 167; Al Smith (of Kirkwood, Mo.), 164; Norm Siebern, 132; and former St. Louis Cardinal Bernard Gilkey, 118.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Browns Race to The Pennant Heats Up

July 18, 1944

Browns Homers Sink Yanks, 8-0

19,003 See Muncrief Fan 9

Appearing before the largest crowd yet far in the season, the Browns "put up a championship exhibition" by beating the Yankees in a shutout. Milt Byrnes, Gene Moore and Chet Laabs each had homers for the Browns.

Get the daily details of the Browns race to the pennant in 1944.

Thanks to Dale Isgrig for the daily updates.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ichiro visits Sisler's grave

During an All-Star Weekend when history is made and honored, Ichiro Suzuki paid respects to a man whose achievements are linked with his own.

Ichiro, in St. Louis for his ninth All-Star Game, visited the grave of St. Louis Browns star George Sisler, whose single-season record of 257 hits was broken by the Mariners outfielder in October 2004.

Sisler's descendants -- including Sisler's 81-year-old daughter, Frances Sisler Drochelman -- had traveled to Seattle to witness Ichiro break the record that was set in 1920, and last weekend, Ichiro returned the gesture.

"I wanted to do that for a grand upperclassman of the baseball world," Ichiro told "I think it's only natural for someone to want to do that, to express my feelings in that way."

Ichiro, accompanied by his wife, Yumiko, and some friends, laid flowers at Sisler's grave, at Des Peres Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Sisler, a Hall of Famer, died on March 26, 1973. His career was marked by a lifetime .340 batting average, and a .407 average in 1920. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939.

"There's not many chances to come to St. Louis," Ichiro said, according to the Seattle Times. "In 2004, it was the first time I crossed paths with him, and his family generously came all the way to Seattle."

Another All-Star Game might be old hat to Ichiro, who was the MVP of the 2007 game and has won a Gold Glove in each season since entering the major leagues out of Japan in 2001.
But this time, Ichiro got to meet President Barack Obama, who threw out the first pitch. Obama, visiting the clubhouses, stopped and signed a ball for Ichiro, who gave a slight bow upon meeting the President and appeared as giddy and excited as a kid.

"My idea, when I saw him, was to say, 'What's up?' to him," Ichiro said. "But I got nervous. You know, he has that kind of aura about him. So I got nervous and I didn't say that to him. I was a little disappointed about that.

"But I realized after seeing him today that presidents wear jeans, too. So my hope is that our skipper, [Don] Wakamatsu, was watching that and we can wear jeans on our flights, as well."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Browns Debs Garms: The Forgotten Texas Batting Champ!

From Bill McCurdy, Houston, TX

Debs Garms may simply be one of the most underrated players to hail from the Lone Star State.

In a twelve season major league career (1932-35, 1937-41, 1943-45), utility infielder-outfielder Debs Garms batted .293 for his career work on four MLB clubs (St. Louis Browns, Boston Bees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and St. Louis Cardinals.)

In 1938, while playing for the NL Boston Bees, Garms' single with two outs in the 4th inning broke up Johnny Vander Meer's shot at a third consecutive no-hit game for the Cincinnati Reds.

By 1940, Debs Garms won a controversial (by today's standards)National League batting title as a Pittsburgh Pirate by hitting .355 in only 358 official times at bat. Today the rules require a batting champion to have attained 3.1 total plate appearances for each game on his club's season schedule. (That includes official times at bat, walks, all the times a batter reached base because he had been hit by the pitcher, and all those far less frequent times a batter reached base due to catcher's interference.) Had those same qualifying rules been in place back in 1940, Debs Garms would not have qualified for the title due to an insufficient number of total plate trips, but, as folks are inclined to say, he did enough to get it done by the rules in place in 1940. Debs Garms is a native Texan batting champion too, and not just some faceless "Who Dat Guy?".

In 2004, Debs Garms was finally honored by his home state with a posthumous induction into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame. We only wish it could have come in time to honor the scrappy Texan prior to his death in 1984 at Glen Rose, Texas at the age of 76.

Debs Garms took a lot of pride in his hitting and he protected his bats like a mother hen protects her chicks. All of his theories about the care of wood may or may not have helped him. As you may observe in the above painting by Texas artist Opie Otterstad, Debs believed that it was good for his bats to spend the winter on the roof of his barn. Debs lived on his own ranch near tiny Glen Rose, Texas in the off-seasons and he definitely had a barn that worked out well for bat-tanning. Whether that practice really tempered the wood better - or even bought a few extra base knocks for Garms the following season, who can say?

All we can know from his career numbers is that the guy was a persistently good hitter for average without any long ball power - and a player who would try his hand at just about any position, if it helped his team and also kept him in the game.

We could use a few more people like Debs Garms today - in baseball and in life.
- - - - -

More on Texas batting champs at: Debs Garms: The Forgotten Texas Batting Champ!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Browns Ned Garver Was Starting Pitcher in 1951 All Star Game

Browns ace, Ned Garver was selected to the summer classic as a member of the St. Louis Browns in 1951. Garver started the All-Star Game for the American League at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, surrendering one run on one hit in three innings.

Garver remains the only pitcher in modern baseball history (post-1920) to win 20 or more games for a team which lost 100 or more games in the same season.

He is the only pitcher in Major League history to do so with a winning record.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Browns Bob Turley Developed a System to Identify Opposing Pitchers Throws

It's reported that Bob Turley helped Mickey Mantle call pitches in the 1950s. Seems that Turley, when he pitched for the St. Louis Browns earlier in the decade, figured out a way to read an opposing hurler's mannerisms to determine what pitch he was going to throw.

When Turley joined the Yankees for the 1955 season and Mantle found out about his skill, he wanted in.

They developed a system based on Turley whistling. Turley told Mickey to assume the first pitch would be a curve, but if he heard the whistle it would be a fastball. If the pitch after that was another fastball, there would be no whistle. If it were going to be a curve, Turley would whistle again. So the pattern went.

While some opposing pitchers figured out what Turley was doing, no one was ever really able to stop it. The Yankees certainly were fine with the idea: They'd put Turley in a prime stadium seat if he was on the disabled list, and would set him up in a TV studio to study new arms before New York had to face them.

According to Turley, Mantle said half of his 320 home runs from 1955-1962 — the stretch the two played together — came on called pitches.

Whether it's technically cheating is a personal debate, and it isn't the point ... it was about getting an edge. The drug method is certainly a bit more blunt (and a lot less skilled), but this is what professional athletes do.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Look at The Life of Former Brownie, Satchel Paige

AMERICA AT LARGE: A new book celebrates the life of legendary American baseball pitcher, Leroy Paige, writes GEORGE KIMBALL

HE DEBUTED with the Cleveland Indians on July 9th, 1948, and pitched two scoreless innings in a 4-1 loss to the St Louis Browns. A week later in Philadelphia, pitching in relief of fellow Hall of Famer Bob Lemon, he recorded his first major league victory in an 8- 5, comeback win over the Athletics.

He didn't start a game until August 3rd of that year, but when he did, more than 75,000 people packed into Cleveland's Municipal Stadium for the occasion, a 3-2 win over the Athletics.

By the season's end he was 6-1 with an earned run average of 2.48, second-best in the American League. Though instrumental in helping the Indians win their first pennant in 28 years, he only pitched once as Cleveland took four of six games from the Braves to win the '48 World Series. (The Indians haven't won one since.)

You can read the rest of this great story at:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Which Browns players were in spring training 1954 with the Baltimore Orioles?

If you recall, the St. Louis Browns were sold and moved to Baltimore to become the Orioles. The Browns players in spring training were:

Connie Berry; Billy Hunter; Don Larsen; Don Lenhardt; Les Moss; Duane Pillette; and Bob Turley

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

American Eagle Credit Union: A Browns Fan Club Sponsor

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

Click here to go to American Eagle Credit Union

What is a Credit Union? It's a financial institution owned by all who have money on deposit there. They offer the same range of financial services provided by the big banks - only you own the business. Why not do business with a place you own?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

102 Year Old Baseball Fan Still Calls the Plays

Bill Rogers interviews John Pitman

The year was 1907 when the Cubs were in the World Series winning back to back titles in 1907-08. It was also the time when their infield consisted of Tinkers to Evers to Chance. In 1907, it was also the birth year for John Pitman. Now 102 years later, Mr. Pitman is still talking baseball. I recently had an opportunity to visit with John where he resides at the New Florence Nursing and Care Center in New Florence, Missouri. This is just over an hours drive west of St. Louis. He grew up in Eureka, Missouri and moved into St. Louis after his school years.

While both a Browns and Cardinal fan in his early years, he switched over to being a Cardinal fan after the Browns moved to Baltimore. John well remembers the Browns citing players from the 1944 pennant winning team, to seeing Pete Gray play the outfield to Sig Jakucki on the pitcher’s mound. He gave me a complete description of Sportsman’s Park naming all streets surrounding the park. He easily recognized the photo of George Sisler and gave me background on Sisler’s family. He did the same thing seeing a photo of Dizzy and Paul Dean.

(Pictured on left is Bill Rogers with John Pitman. Click on picture to enlarge)

A photo of Bill Veeck jogged his memory more. John related some interesting stories about Bill Veeck I never heard before. Of course there are a lot of things I never heard before so I took them at face value.

Our conversation bounced back and forth between the Browns and the Cardinals. As we walked back to his room from the sitting room, I had to step lively to keep pace with him. While he moves with the help of a walker, he was moving faster than I was walking. John’s room looked like a mini-baseball library with some great books on the sport. He insisted I take one home about the Cardinals.

I told Mr. Pitman I played baseball until I was 27 and wished I would have played longer. He said he played until he was 46 and also wished he would have played longer.

John has been to the new Busch Stadium and even dined at Mike Shannon’s Restaurant, although he thought it was a bit “expensive.”

John's daughter, Dottie Steffan, joined us during our visit along with Louise Parks.

Louise is a Certified Nursing Assistant at the Care Center. She does a variety of jobs at the Care Center and helps keep an eye on John and other residents. She gave us some Browns history and memorabilia – a letter signed by Bill Veeck on Browns letterhead showing the team’s phone number at LUcas 3385. The letter included two tickets to any Browns game. The letter was addressed to her husband’s parents when they had a baby girl in 1952. She lived only 10 days. The tickets were packed away in a trunk until a few years ago.

Louise told us later after we left and John went back to his room, he said, "I may live 10 more years after today." I said yeah just cause Mary Ann gave you that big hug." He said, "That didn't hurt any!"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wicked video: Minor leaguer performs major league bat trick

If some mad genius ever creates a rodeo for baseball, his or her first call should be to the man in this video, Josh Womack, who currently plays for the Long Beach Armada of the independent Golden Baseball League.

Womack, a second-round pick of the Mariners in 2002, didn't have enough success with them to advance beyond Class A (other than some apparently token at-bats) before being let go in '08.
That he is batting .293/.387/.402 for the Armada this season in a league that features the likes of Jose Lima(notes), Mac Suzuki and Hideki Irabu must be great for Womack. After all, he's still getting paid to play a kid's game.

But it's not Womack's hitting that has the Internet Tubes abuzz. Add a ball to the equation and, sorry Josh, but few care. It's his nimble digits, the lightest fingers this side of a cabal of Times Square pickpockets, that are providing him this 15 minutes.

If you listen to the video, you'll hear Womack say he bruised a palm sliding into home. He's doing magic while injured!

Of course, the first thing one thinks about this video in this cynical society probably is:
Is it fake?

It seems real. No Photoshop or Final Cut Pro kind of sleight of hand here. Steroids? Well, who knows in this day and age. Let's hope not. Click below to view:,171207 or this short version:

In case you're not convinced, here's another routine caught on tape (VIDEO) that includes Prentice Redman, a former major leaguer.

Friday, June 12, 2009

This Date In Baseball

June 12 - On this date 1922 - Hub Pruett struck out Babe Ruth three consecutive times as the St. Louis Browns beat the New York Yankees 7-1.

June 14 - On this date 1938 - Jimmie Foxx didn't get a chance to hit as the St. Louis Browns walked him six straight times. The Boston Red Sox won anyway, 12-8

June 14 - 1953 - The St. Louis Browns beat New York 3-1 to break the Yankees' 18-game winning streak and end their 14-game losing streak.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Browns Fan Club 25th Anniversary Dinner

Mark your calendar for Thursday, Oct. 8 for the St. Louis Browns 25th anniversary celebration dinner.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Coming This Fall: "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan"

The First Run Theater presents "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan" by Bill Borst, Founder of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club. (Click on picture to enlarge)

It's the summer of 1979, some where in South St. Louis, and an old man is helping his granddaughter with a school project. Despite his increasing forgetfulness, he dictates the events of his life on a tape recorder.

As he talks, he can’t help intertwining his life memories with those of his favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Browns. His life’s ups and downs mirror the record and adventures of this one time St. Louis team. This one-man play is a tour de force for a single actor, as it deals with life, aging, baseball, being a die-hard fan of a losing team, and the loss of precious memories.

"The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan" will be presented on September 24-26 and October 1-3, 2009 by the First Run Theater produced at the "Sound Stage" one of the three theaters in the Crestwood Mall. Availability of tickets, prices and times will be announced within the next few weeks. We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

Mark your calendar if you have memories as an Ol' Brownie Fan.

Another Browns Record Surfaces

As of May 29, 2009

The Rays have lost 17 straight at Cleveland, the longest home win streak by the Indians since winning 27 straight against the St. Louis Browns from 1952-54.

(Just another "record" held by the Browns)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mike Veeck to Speak At Browns Dinner Oct. 8

Mike Veeck will be one of our featured speakers at the 25th Anniversary Dinner of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club. The date is Thursday, October 8, 2009.

The Veeck family started in baseball nearly a century ago when Veeck’s grandfather was president of the Chicago Cubs. Veeck’s father, Bill, was a Hall of Fame owner with the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and the then-minor league Milwaukee Brewers. Bill Veeck will always be remembered for signing Larry Doby, the first black man to play in the American League and for signing the best midget player in the history of baseball along with a 42-year old rookie.

(Click on photo to enlarge)

For more information on Mike Veeck and the 25th Anniversary Dinner, visit the Browns web site at:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some of the Strangest Characters in Baseball in 1944-45

Some of the strangest characters in baseball history emerged during the war. In 1944, the Cincinnati Reds sent 15-year-old Joe Nuxhall to the mound to pitch. He was the youngest player in Major League history and played like it as well. Not lasting even an inning, he gave up five earned runs and faced only nine batters.

Eight years later, he would re-emerge as a very good pitcher and play until 1966.
Probably the most storied case of a has-been or never-should-have-been making it to the majors was that of Pete Gray. Pete was right-handed until he lost his right arm, at age 6, when he slipped while riding on a farmer’s wagon and his right arm was caught in the spokes. The arm had to be amputated above the elbow.

Gray played in the Majors for only one season with the St. Louis Browns, but racked up 51 hits in 234 at-bats. He hit two triples and carried a batting average of .218. Interestingly, he only struck out 11 times all season. In 61 games in the field, he only allowed seven errors.

This Day In Baseball May 14: Babe Beats Browns

May 14, 1919 — Babe Ruth won a game on the mound and at the plate. He hit his first career grand slam as the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Browns 6-4.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bill McClellan Says "Sometimes doing the obvious is best, even for geniuses"

Bill's column of April 8, 2009 includes a possible suggestion for the Cardinals.

In August 1951, Bill Veeck, who owned the St. Louis Browns, had a promotion called Grandstand Manager Day. Thousands of fans were given signs. On one side, the signs said "Yes," and on the other side, "No." As the game developed, Public Relations Director Bob Fischel would hold up cards - Steal, Bunt, Change Pitcher.

The fans facing the Browns dugout would vote. (The opposing team couldn't see the vote.) Fischel would relay the decision to manager Zack Taylor, who sat in a rocking chair, puffing at a pipe.

Newspaper accounts say the fans called a fine game. The Browns won 5-3 and broke a four-game losing streak.

That's a bit of St. Louis baseball history that probably gives LaRussa nightmares.

Thanks for the reminder, Bill. (Bill McClellan is a writer for the St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Red Sox great Dom DiMaggio, Joe's brother, dies

Dom DiMaggio, who despite having to share an outfield with Ted Williams and a name with his older brother Joe became a diamond standout in his own right, earning All-Star status seven times during 11 seasons with the Red Sox, died at age 92.

DiMaggio died at his home in Marion of complications after a recent bout with pneumonia, the Red Sox said in a statement. (Click on photo to enlarge)

The author David Halberstam described Mr. DiMaggio as “probably the most underrated player of his day.” Playing in the shadow of the era’s two biggest superstars made that inevitable, perhaps. But neither of his great contemporaries failed to appreciate Mr. DiMaggio’s talents. Williams considered him “the best leadoff man in the American League,” and his older brother called him “the best defensive outfielder I’ve ever seen.”

Elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1995, Mr. DiMaggio spent his major league career in Boston, playing for the Sox from 1940 to 1942, then from 1946 to 1953. He lost three seasons to wartime service in the Navy.

Mr. DiMaggio, who stood 5-feet-9-inches tall and wore eyeglasses, was nicknamed “the Little Professor,” a tribute to his intelligence on the field as well as his scholarly mien and slight stature. Along with canniness, Mr. DiMaggio brought quickness and speed to the Red Sox lineup. He led the American League in stolen bases in 1950, with 15 (the lowest figure ever to lead either major league in that category). He also led the league that year in triples, with 11.

Mr. DiMaggio had a lifetime batting average of .298. He scored more than 100 runs seven times, twice leading the American League in that category. He hit safely in 34 consecutive games, a Red Sox record, in 1949. Two years later, he hit safely in 27 consecutive games.

Mr. DiMaggio’s skill as a hitter inadvertently helped create one of the darkest moments in Red Sox history, their defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh and deciding game of the 1946 World Series. In the top of the eight inning, he doubled home two runs to tie the game at 3-3 — but pulled a hamstring on the way to second base.

Leon Culberson replaced him in center field. In the bottom of the eighth, with two outs, the Cardinals’ Enos Slaughter tried to score from first on a single. Culberson was slow to field the ball, then made a mediocre throw to shortstop Johnny Pesky, whose throw home was too little, too late. Slaughter was safe, giving the Cardinals the lead and, half an inning later, the championship.

“If they hadn’t taken DiMaggio out of the game,” Slaughter later said of his daring sprint, “I wouldn’t have tried it.”

Mr. DiMaggio, who had started in baseball as a shortstop, played the outfield like an infielder. He specialized in charging balls hit through the infield and using his powerful throwing arm to cut down advancing runners. (Slaughter had good reason to be leery of Mr. DiMaggio: He threw out three runners in the ’46 Series.) He was also celebrated for his range, using his quickness to get a good jump on the ball and positioning his body to face left field rather than home plate, which he felt saved him a step on balls hit in front of him.

“He was the easiest outfielder I ever played with,” Williams said. “When he yelled ‘Mine!’ you didn’t have to worry about the rest of that play.” Williams was uniquely qualified to comment on Mr. DiMaggio’s fielding ability. It was often said that because of his teammate’s slowness afoot Mr. DiMaggio had responsibility for both his own center-field position and Williams’ in left.

One of Williams’ closest friends, Mr. DiMaggio begrudged the Splendid Splinter neither his interrogations nor his preeminence with the Red Sox. Relations with his brother were more charged. Mr. DiMaggio never suggested he was the superior ballplayer. “I can do two things better than he can,” he would say when asked to compare himself to Joe, “play pinochle and speak Italian.” He did, however, resent those who saw him only in terms of Joltin’ Joe.

The two DiMaggios played the same position (as did an older brother, Vince, who spent 10 seasons playing in the National League). They played for teams that were each other’s fiercest rival. Joe’s most famous achievement was hitting safely in 56 consecutive games. Having hit safely in 34 straight games, Dom found his own streak ended when Joe made the put-out on his final at-bat of what would have been the 35th game.

Without the St. Louis Browns, St. Louis fans would never have seen the likes of Dom and Joe DiMaggio along with the many other stars in baseball.

For more on Dom DiMaggio, visit:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Browns Fan Club Luncheon Video & Photos

Memories and good times came pouring out during the St. Louis Browns Fan Club Luncheon on April 28 honoring two surviving players from the Browns' pennant winning season of 1944. Honorees were Babe Martin and Al LaMacchia.

Other Browns players present included Roy Sievers, Bud Thomas, and Ed Mickelson. Rosanne Delsing, wife of former Brown, Jim Delsing, was also in attendance along with Bud Byerly who pitched for the Cardinals against the Browns during the 1944 World Series.

More than 140 Browns fans enjoyed the baseball history program and look forward to the next. The Fan Club will celebrate its 25th anniversary at a dinner on October 8, 2009. Some "surprise" guests are already booked and more are expected. Mark your calendar.

A short video is available from the lunch at:

The following are photos from the event. (Note: Click on photos to enlarge)