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.