Monday, December 20, 2010

How Can This be a Game Worn Cap from 1952?

A Browns Fan Club member writes . . . .

"In case I'm crazy - no idea how this could be a game worn 1952 Ned Garver cap since it has a tag with a ZIP code on it...ZIP codes didn't happen till the mid-60s.  Caveat emptor!"

eBay's Description:

VERY rare vintage 1952 Browns "KM Pro" professional cap issued to Brownies' All-Star ace Ned Garver during the '52 season. Classic, absolutely authentic vintage hat features classic "St L" interlocking logo embroidered on front with orange top button. Near mint, in gorgeous original condition with original KM shipping/storage insert, stating "This Is A Major League Cap." Displays all correct interior tagging with manufacturer's tag sewn in band and company logo and size ["6-3/4"] stamped to right.

The team switched to this all-chocolate brown (panels & bill) style in 1952, and wore it until the move to Baltimore in '54. Garver was traded to the Tigers mid-season in 1952. Purchased through auction of Garver's memorabilia in the late-90's. He provided additional provenance in the form of a beautiful autograph markerd under brim.

This is an extremely scarce Browns cap and likely, the finest known. A tremendous display and representation of era, player and defunct team. This is a tough one to let go of. You will never find a nicer specimen!

Click on Photos to Enlarge

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bob Feller's Connection with Browns & Sportsman's Park

Bob Feller, the Iowa farm boy whose powerful right arm earned him the nickname ''Rapid Robert'' and made him one of baseball's greatest pitchers during a Hall of Fame career with the Cleveland Indians, died on December 15, 2010. He was 92.
Feller died in a Cleveland hospice from the lingering weakness of his recent  pneumonia bout and the acute effects of his progressive leukemia, a disease he has been fighting through chemotherapy since its diagnosis in August of this year.

The death of Feller takes away the arguably greatest Cleveland Indian of all time. You can read more about Feller's career as told by Browns Fan Club member, Bill McCurdy,  at:

Remarkably fit until late in life, Feller had suffered serious health setbacks in recent months. He was diagnosed with a form of leukemia in August, and while undergoing chemotherapy, he fainted and his heart briefly stopped. Eventually, he underwent surgery to have a pacemaker implanted. In November, he was hospitalized with pneumonia and Feller was recently released into hospice care.

Bob Feller hit 8 home runs during his major league career. One of these is the answer to a Trivia question - "Who hit the first home run in a night game at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis?" The Answer - Bob Feller on May 24, 1940.

In his first career major league start (just his 7th big league appearance) at the age of 17, he picked up his first win pitching a complete game against the St. Louis Browns winning 4-1 in a game in which he struck out 15. In fact, his first two wins came against the Browns.

Hank Arft Gone 8 Years Now

Henry "Hank" Arft, a first baseman for the St. Louis Browns from 1948-52, died Dec. 14, 2002, at the age of 80 after a bout with cancer.

In 1951, Arft hit .261 with 7 home runs and 42 RBIs, his most productive season in the major leagues. In his career, he hit .253 with 13 home runs. Arft is reported to have written about his days in St. Louis in a St. Louis Browns Historical Society newsletter. At the time Arft played, Bill Veeck was drawing fans to see the team with stunts including Eddie Gaedel, a midget player.
"The Brownie fans were the best ... although Veeck should have owned a circus instead of a ballclub," Arft wrote.

He is also reported to have said, "Who else except a Brownie could say that they played ball with a midget or played in a game that the fans managed?"
Arft retired from baseball in 1953 and became co-owner of Schrader Funeral Home in St. Louis with his wife and brother-in-law.

Sources: AP, Total Baseball

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Quote from M*A*S*H

Hawkeye:  What does everyone here want?
Trapper:  To go home. 
Haskeye:  What do they really want? 
Trapper:  Sex. Except for those baseball perverts.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Major League Teams Who Have Changed Cities

Major League Baseball
  • 1902: Milwaukee Brewers became the St. Louis Browns.
  • 1903: Baltimore Orioles became the New York Highlanders and then the Yankees.
  • 1953: Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee; this was the first MLB relocation in 50 years.
  • 1954: St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles.
  • 1955: Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City.
  • 1958: Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles; New York Giants moved to San Francisco. These were the first major league teams on the West Coast; the teams moved simultaneously to facilitate travel for other NL teams.
  • 1961: Washington Senators moved to the Twin Cities area and became the Minnesota Twins. Not wishing to alienate Washington and its powerful baseball fans, MLB granted the city a new franchise, also called the Senators.
  • 1966: Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta.
  • 1968: Kansas City Athletics moved to Oakland.
  • 1970: Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers. The MLB would grant Seattle a new franchise in 1977.
  • 1972: Second Washington Senators moved to Arlington, Texas and became the Texas Rangers.
  • 2005: Montreal Expos moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. The Expos had split time between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2003 and 2004. This was the first MLB relocation in 33 years

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oldest Brownie Passes Away: George Binks, 96

George 'Bingo' Binks, the oldest Brownie, has died. 7-11-14 to 11-13-10
Here's a link that summarizes his career in baseball.

Surrounded by warm thoughts and prayers from a family that has grown and spread across the United States, George “Bingo” Binks, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, Professional Baseball Player, and master mechanic passed from the earth on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at the age of 96.

George was born on 11 July 1914 to John Binkowski and Teresa Lewandowski, the fifth of six children, in Chicago, Illinois.

To escape the shocking poverty of urban Chicago in the deep years of The Great Depression, George hopped a freight at night that was headed to the Southwest.  At dawn in Bloomington, Illinois George saw several hundred kids on a baseball field trying out for a minor league team.  At 30 mph, George and a friend jumped from the train, blackened by exhaust soot, into the trackside weeds. 

George was number 384 in the line-up.  He slept in the dugout for 2 cold April nights in 1933, stuffing newspaper into his clothes for warmth.  By the third day, George made the final cut and was paid a few dollars.  It was the first time in days that he had enough money to eat.  He changed his name to Binks, and later, was given the moniker “Bingo,” for his ability to hit in the “clutch!”

Thus began a baseball career in the Minors that skittered around the country, from

     Monessen Indians in the Pennsylvania State Association to the
     Owensboro Oilers in the Kentucky, Illinois, and Tennessee League to the
     Springfield Indians of the Middle Atlantic League to the
     Tyler Trojans of the East Texas League to the
     Wilkes-Barre Barons of the Eastern League to the
     Cedar Rapids Raiders and Charleston Senators of the Middle Atlantic League to the
     Madison Blues of the Illinois, Indiana, Iowa League to the
     Green Bay Blue Sox of the Wisconsin State League to the
     Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association

When the war broke out, Binks was classified 4-F, "not acceptable for military service," because he was deaf in one ear due to having mastoid trouble in his childhood.  Instead of sitting out the war and continuing his career, he sacrificed baseball to work as a machinist in a Studebaker aviation factory in Chicago, Illinois, producing war material for the war effort during 1942 and '43.

Late season 1944 George “Bingo” Binks was swinging a bat for the Brewers and was averaging over .400. So the Washington Senators bought his contract. In ’45 he played first base and outfield.  He batted and fielded left-handed. His RBI and doubles were tops on the team and he could have been ‘Rookie of the year,’ In 1947 he was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics, and in 1948 moved to the St Louis Browns.  In a five-season career, Binks was a .253 hitter (277-for-1093) with eight home runs and 130 RBI in 351 games, including 112 runs, 55 doubles, 10 triples, and 21 stolen bases.

After his baseball career, George worked at General Motors Locomotive in LaGrange, Illinois, where, over the course of 30 years, he became a master mechanic.  Management pleaded with him to stay 2 years past retirement, and he did.   The stories from his days fixing the ‘big machines’ at GM were as rich and savory as his stories about Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Yogi Berra.

George Binks Sr. 7-11-1914/11-13-2010. Late wife Ruth (Naus)and son Gregory. He is survived by his four children, Terrance,(Jenny) Shelbyville, Tn. Randall,(Claire) Mariposa, Ca. Jodee, Strauss/Wolff, Chico, Ca. and George Jr., D.G.,Il.

Ten grandchildren and ten great grandchildren George was a kind, loving, quiet, humorous, gentle man who possessed a deep and abiding testimony about life.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Browns/Cardinals Poster Available

A  Browns/Cardinal fan has available an artist's drawing picturing various players from the 1944 all St. Louis World Series. If interested in acquiring this, contact Jack Yegge at 636-297-1486. Below are some sample images from the poster.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

1944 Browns Uniform for Sale

The shirt is from the Cooperstown Collection. The pants were made by Ebbetts Field. Hat is a 44 model made also by Cooperstown. Very hard to find now. Comes with stirrup socks and also a late 40s, early 50s Marty Marion four fingered glove in very good condition. Shirt is Large, pants are 34 waist and hat is 7 1/4 +/-.

Asking $325 for everything and includes shipping. That's a firm price.

Contact Ed Williams []

(Click on Photo to Enlarge)

St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame Dinner Honored STL Sports Stars

In addition to the first St. Louis Browns player to be inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame, there were 15 others plus several special achievement awards. Two old time baseball players were inducted and were George Sisler of the Browns and Dizzy Dean of the STL Cardinals. Dean also wore a Browns uniform for a short period and was a broadcaster for the Browns. See the following article about George Sisler.

Pictured below are just a few of the attendees at the head table.

(Click photos to enlarge)

St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame Inducts Browns George Sisler

Gorge Sisler is considered the greatest St. Louis Brown of them all and one of the half-dozen finest first basemen in baseball history. He came to the majors as a left-handed pitcher, but his hitting was too phenomenal to be restricted to a pitcher's schedule. He arrived in St. Louis in 1915, the same year as Rogers Hornsby, and for 11 seasons they were rivals in excellence.

Branch Rickey was his mentor, coaching Sisler at the University of Michigan, where he was an outstanding pitcher. Rickey also counseled Sisler, helping him eventually land a spot with the Browns, a team Rickey would manage after Sisler arrived. Other major league clubs were interested in Sisler. He considered an offer from Pittsburgh, but opted instead to play for the Browns. (Click on photos to enlarge)

Sisler had promise as a pitcher. Still, it was unthinkable not to have his bat in the lineup every day, and his glove at first base - a perennial weak spot for the Browns. In the field, Sisler was fast and graceful, a combination that gave elegance to his execution of plays. He led the American League in assists seven times and his career total of 1,528 assists ranks No.1 on the all-time list. He led the league in double plays three times, including 13 in 1920. Once against Washington, with Joe Judge on third, Sisler anticipated a squeeze bunt by Roger Peckinpaugh. Darting in with the pitch, he fielded the ball before the righthanded Peckinpaugh started down the line. Sisler brush-tagged him and then flipped the ball to catcher Hank Severeid to nip Judge at the plate. The play resulted in two outs on a squeeze bunt.

For his career, Sisler hit .340, tying him for 15th place on the all-time list with Lou Gehrig. At just under 5-foot-11 and a trim 170 pounds, Sisler swung a 42-ounce bat. He often choked up on the handle, but few could handle the lumber as well as Sisler. He recorded 200 hits in six seasons. In 1920, he established a major league record with 257 hits, which still stands. Sisler was also an excellent run producer. He drove in 1,175 runs during his career.

His 1920 season was as mighty a performance as any player has ever produced. Playing every inning of every game, Sisler hit .407. Among his 399 total bases were 49 doubles, 18 triples and 19 home runs. He went hitless in only 23 games and climaxed the season with prodigious averages of .442 and .448 in August and September, respectively. He also drove in a career-high 122 runs and stole 42 bases. In 1922, when the Browns missed winning the American League pennant by one game, Sisler hit safely in 41 consecutive games en route to a .420 average.

He missed the 1923 season with severe sinusitis that infected his optic nerves, which caused double vision. Sisler returned in 1924, signing a $25,000 contract as player-manager. He hit .305 in 151 games. In 1925, he was back on track with 224 hits and a .345 average. In fact, he only had one sub-.300 season in seven after recovering from the illness.

In 1928, the Washington Senators bought Sisler for $25,000, and then moved him to the Boston Braves, where he was reunited with Hornsby. The St. Louis prodigies put on a good show. Hornsby led the league with a .387 batting average, while Sisler hit .340. In 1929 at the age of 36, Sisler ripped 205 hits and batted .326.

After 1930, Sisler drifted into the minors and eventually went into private business, operating printing and sporting goods companies. Rickey recalled him to baseball in the 1940s as a scout and special hitting instructor at Brooklyn and Pittsburgh.

Pictured below is Bo Drockelman, Grandson of George Sisler commenting on the aware from the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame at their dinner on Tuesday, November 16, 2010.
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The High School Kid Who Hit it Out of The Park

We know this may be impossible to read, but you can click anywhere on the letter to enlarge it. It's a great piece of history. It's not too often we come across a document of note that is 90 years old. You can also read a featured article about how Lou Gehrig was almost a member of the St. Louis Browns. It's part of the Fall 2010 of Pop Flies, the official publication of the St. Louis Browns Historical Society. You can join by clicking on the BUY NOW bar in the upper right hand corner of the first page of this blog. We will rush a copy to you.

Click on picture below to enlarge.

Click to enlarge to read

Monday, November 8, 2010

St. Louis Auction Featured Browns Memorabilia

Members of the St. Louis Browns Historical Society were on hand at a recent auction for one of the last living World War II-era St. Louis sportswriters/reporter who covered the Browns. Jon Hagar (about age 90) saved every scorecard from the Cardinals and Browns games that he covered. He worked for the St. Louis Star-Times 1943/44 to 1946 and had some assignments from William DeWitt (Browns). 

Here are a few of the photos of memorabilia at the auction.  (Click on photos to enlarge)
Pictured above (L-R) Dwayne Isgrigg, John Hagar and Emmett McAuliffe (Browns Fan Club)

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Orioles Break Franchise Record for Consecutive Last-Place Finishes

The 2010 Orioles have broken the franchise record for consecutive last-place finishes, with three. The previous record was two consecutive seasons, posted by the 1910 and 1911 St. Louis Browns.

Despite their reputation as “St. Louis, First in Shoes, First in Booze, and last in the American League”, the Browns in their 52-year history avoided finishing in the cellar two years in a row, except for that one instance in their first decade.

It is to be noted:

  1. the Orioles play in a five-team division whereas the Browns played in an eight-team league.

  2. There is an expansion team in the division, however, the Tampa Bay Rays.

  3. If it were not for the Devil Rays, the Orioles would have finished in last place 12 out of the last 13 seasons.

In order to avoid a fourth-straight last place finish in 2011, the Orioles will have to make up at least 19 games between them and their 4th-place rival.

But there is great hope for the Orioles to do exactly that, under new manager Buck Showalter. Go O’s!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hall of Fame hitters who played for the Browns but never played in a World Series

Not every ball player who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame played in the World Series. Here are two Browns' hitters whose skills with the bat and glove earned them membership in the Hall of Fame, but who never played in the World Series.

Rick Ferrell

Rick Ferrell was an excellent defensive catcher who played from 1929 through 1945, and returned again in 1947. Ferrell played for the St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, and Boston Red Sox. Ferrell had a .281 lifetime batting average and struck out just 277 times in 7072 plate appearances. Rick Ferrell was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964.

George Sisler

First Baseman George Sisler spent 15 years in the big leagues from 1915 through 1930, missing the 1923 season. Most of his career was spent with the St. Louis Browns, but he also played for the Washington Senators and Boston Braves. Sisler could hit for average and drive in runs, and was swift on the base paths with 375 career stolen bases. Sisler put up some incredible numbers. In 1920, Sisler won the first of two American League batting titles with a .407 average; he also hit 19 home runs and drove in 122, plus he stole 42 bases. His 257 base hits was the major league record single season record until 2004, when it was broken by Ichiro Suzuki(notes). In 1922, Sisler hit .420, drove in over 100 runs, and stole 51 bases. Sisler had a lifetime batting average of .340. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939.

Monday, November 1, 2010


From Bob in Delaware's Blog -

A friend was recently lamenting the sad performance of his beloved Baltimore Orioles. "After making it to the post-season playoffs in 1996 and 1997, they've had thirteen straight losing seasons!" he exclaimed.

I tried to cheer him up. "Look at the accomplishments the Orioles have achieved over the years", I said, "They won the American League pennant six times and they won three World Series (1966, 1970, and 1983)." "Yeah", he said, "but they haven't been to the World Series for twenty-seven years!"

"Look at me", I said, "I've been a Phillies' fan since I was a little kid. I had to wait thirty years after the 1950 pennant for them to finally win their first World Series in 1980. Then I had to wait 28 more years for them to win the World Series again in 2008! You don't have it so bad!"

He still seemed down in the dumps, so I then reminded him that the Orioles' predecessors were the St. Louis Browns. The Browns spent 52 seasons in the American League and won only one pennant in all that time. "Well", he concluded, "I guess the Orioles sure have done a whole lot better than the Browns did." And that ended the discussion.

Afterwards, I decided to do a little research on the St. Louis Browns and their only pennant-winning season. It was very intriguing...

Read more:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bill Jennings 1925 - 2010

We learned that Bill Jennings, a former St. Louis Browns player passed away this past week. Bill played shortstop for the Browns during the 1951 season appearing in 61 games. He was 84 years of age.

Bill was diagnosed with cancer recently and decided not to undergo the extensive treatment required. His last public appearance was at the Browns fan club luncheon on July 16, 2010. Mr. Jennings is pictured below with Roy Sievers at the luncheon. Bill turned 85 on September 28. (1925 – 2010)

Jennings is the fourth former Browns player to pass away this year and the third since September 15. The others were Ray Coleman, Al LaMacchia and Ken Holcomb (March).


Jennings, William L. asleep in Jesus, Wed., Oct. 20, 2010. Beloved husband for 60 years of Correne Jennings (nee Chambers); dear father of Nancy (Paul) Hutchinson, Peggy (Mike) Noonan and Janet (Wayne) Tucker; dear grandfather of Aaron, Stephen, Brian, Mark and the late Buddy; dear great-grandfather of 3; dear brother of Jerry (Marilyn) Jennings; special friend of Bob Pelc; dear uncle, cousin and friend to many.

Mr. Jennings played professional baseball for 8 years for several teams including the St. Louis Browns and was a retired milk man from Bailey Farms Dairy. Services: Visitation at KUTIS AFFTON Chapel, 10151 Gravois, Sun., Oct. 24, 3-8 p.m. Funeral Service at Salem Lutheran Church (8043 Gravois) Mon., Oct. 25, 10 a.m. Interment National Cemetery. Memorials to Salem Building Fund appreciated.

Roy Sievers (l), Bill Jennings (r)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shoeless Joe Jackson

Joseph Jefferson Jackson (July 16, 1887 – December 5, 1951), nicknamed "Shoeless Joe", was an American baseball player who played Major League Baseball in the early part of the 20th century. He is remembered for his performance on the field and for his association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox participated in a conspiracy to fix the World Series. As a result of Jackson's association with the scandal, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Major League Baseball's first commissioner, banned Jackson from playing after the 1920 season.

Jackson played for three different Major League teams during his 12-year career. He spent 1908–09 as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics and 1910 with the minor league New Orleans Pelicans before being traded to Cleveland at the end of the 1910 season. He remained in Cleveland through the first part of the 1915; he played the remainder of the 1915 season through 1920 with the Chicago White Sox.

Jackson, who played left field for most of his career, currently has the third highest career batting average in major league history. In 1911, Jackson hit for a .408 average. It is still the sixth highest single-season total since 1901, which marked the beginning of the modern era for the sport. His average that year also set the record for batting average in a single season by a rookie. Babe Ruth later claimed that he modeled his hitting technique after Jackson's.

Jackson still holds the White Sox franchise records for triples in a season and career batting average. In 1999, he ranked number 35 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The fans voted him as the 12th-best outfielder of all-time. He also ranks 33rd on the all-time list for non-pitchers according to the win shares formula developed by Bill James.

Jackson was reported to be illiterate, and he was sensitive about this. In restaurants, rather than ask someone to read the menu to him, he would wait until his teammates ordered, and then order one of the things that he heard.

The sworn testimony given by Shoeless Joe Jackson on Sept. 28, 1920 is interesting. Click here to read the deposition.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Browns Stirrup Socks Available

I've about finished putting together a Browns 44 uniform including the jersey, pants, hat, team jacket and a close glove. The glove is a late 40s, early 50s Marty Marion endorsed four finger glove. I have always worn my Browns jersey and hat at any Cards game I attend. Great fun doing so.

The stirrup socks won't be exactly but very close. I had to order twelve pair to get one, so if anyone is looking for a pair to complete a uniform, please contact me. Can't see them going to waste and someone else having to order ten pair also.

Contact Ed Williams at:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dizzy's Last Game

1947 - On the season's last day, the St. Louis Browns, desperate for a ticket seller, bring announcer Dizzy Dean in to pitch against the White Sox.

Diz gives up only three hits in four innings and laces a clean single in his only at bat, but a pulled leg muscle forces his retirement. The White Sox score all their runs in the ninth to win 5-2.

Even with Diz, the game draws less than 16,000, and the Browns finish the year with only 320,000 attendance, less than half that of 1946.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ray Coleman 1922-2010

Former Browns player, Ray Coleman, passed away on September 18, 2010 at the veteran’s home in Norman, OK. His step son, Michael Deaton, called to advise us of his passing. Ray suffered from dementia and recently moved from California to Oklahoma to be closer to his daughter.

Ray’s wife, Peggy, died about four years ago.

Coleman was born on Sunday, June 4, 1922, in Dunsmuir, California. He was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 22, 1947, with the St. Louis Browns. Ray was an outfielder and played with the Browns in 1947-48-50-51-52. He also played a short time with the Athletics and White Sox.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

St. Louis Cardinals at Camden Yards, June 28-30, 2011

It's amazing that they're still letting new interleague configurations trickle out more than a decade down the road, but this is the first time the Cardinals have ever played the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. That's interesting in its own right—we have Camden Yards to blame for the proliferation of retro ballparks that eventually invaded St. Louis, and the Orioles, for all their problems, have several exciting young prospects on their roster.

But this is also the Cardinals' first-ever visit to the adopted hometown of their Chuck Cunningham'd brother franchise, the St. Louis Browns. I don't think there are a lot of fans of George Sisler, Ken Williams, or Buster Stephens left, but I get misty-eyed at the thought of them getting misty-eyed at the thought of this 1944 World Series rematch.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Al LaMacchia, 1921 - 2010

Al LaMacchia, a former Browns player and former executive with the Blue Jays during their World Series championships and a longtime scout for several teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers, died Wednesday. He was 89.

Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said LaMacchia died at his home in San Antonio on September 15 following a stroke on Sept. 4.

"Al was the epitome of a baseball scout. He loved the game and the people in it," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "Knowing that Al was always available to help with a player or a thought process was always a comforting combination. I found his wisdom of life and baseball to be rare."

LaMacchia pitched in 16 games for his hometown St. Louis Browns (1943, 1945-46) and the Washington Senators (1946) after 16 seasons as a pitcher in the minor leagues, including a 15-2 mark for San Antonio in the Texas League in 1942.

He scouted for the Braves organization from 1961-1976, and later for the Devils Rays and finally for the Dodgers, beginning in 2002. He joined the Toronto organization at its inception, in 1977, and was a vice president when the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1992 and 1993.

LaMacchia was born on July 22, 1921, in St. Louis.

The Dodgers said players he scouted or signed included Dale Murphy, George Bell, Cito Gaston, Dave Stieb and David Wells. He touted Double-A outfielder Andre Ethier to Colletti before the Dodgers acquired him from Oakland in 2005.

July 22, 1921 - September 15, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

How Many Baseball Players Were Prisoners of War and Resumed Their Baseball Career

Andy Holm Anderson (November 13, 1922 – July 18, 1982) was a professional baseball player whose career spanned 10 seasons, including two in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Browns (1948–1949).

Over his major league career, Anderson compiled a batting average of .184 with 23 runs, 41 hits, eight doubles, one triples, two home runs and 17 runs batted in (RBIs) in 122 games played. Anderson also played in the minor leagues with the Class-D Paragould Browns (1941), the Class-B Springfield Browns (1942), the Double-A San Antonio Missions (1946–1947, 1950–1951), the Class-B Longview Cherokees (1952), the open-class Los Angeles Angels (1952), the Class-A Spokane Indians (1953) and the Class-A Yakima Bears (1953).

Anderson also served in the United States Army during World War II. During his service, he was captured by German soldiers and taken as a prisoner of war. He was later freed and resumed his baseball career.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Old Time Pitchers Knew How to Pitch

Teams today celebrate if a starting pitcher can go 6 innings. That was not the case years back. Check out the pitchers of old.

1905 — Frank Smith of the Chicago White Sox pitched a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers in a 15-0 victory in the second game of a doubleheader. The score is the most lopsided margin of victory for a no-hitter in AL history.

1924 — Urban Shocker of the St. Louis Browns pitched two complete games against the Chicago White Sox and won both, 6-2.

1943 — At 16 years, eight months and five days, Philadelphia A’s pitcher Carl Scheib became the youngest player to appear in an American League game.

1950 — Don Newcombe missed pitching complete games in a doubleheader for the Brooklyn Dodgers by leaving in the seventh inning of the second game trailing the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0. Newcombe had won the first game 2-0.

1981 — Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 to tie a National League record of seven shutouts by a rookie pitcher.

Friday, September 3, 2010

We Know How It Feels

Letter to the Editor:

On behalf of the St. Louis Browns fanclub, we would like to extend our condolences to KTRS for losing the Cardinals. We understand the pain of losing a baseball team. However, we can offer KTRS the exclusive broadcast rights to the Browns. Granted, the Browns do not exist anymore. But love of the Ol' Brownies is still very much alive in the hearts of their fans and the forty living players, many of whom journey to St. Louis for an annual reunion dinner.

The Browns had a midget batter, a one-armed outfielder, and won an American League pennant in the middle of WW2, when all the teams were "equalized". And they had really cool colors. KTRS could do worse than airing a "Voice of the Browns" promo on occasion. And if the major leagues ever come to their senses and decide that a St. Louisan's true rival team is the Yankees and not the Cubs, and resurrects an AL team in St. Louis, we will give KTRS first dibs.

- Emmett McAuliffe

Board, St. Louis Browns Historical Society and Fan Club

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Browns Logo Shirts Now Available; Jerseys, Too; Order & Pay On-Line

Be among the first to get your St. Louis Browns logo shirts. Order 2 or 3 or more, because shipping applies to your first article while all the rest have FREE shipping. You'll be surprised on how many people recognize the logo and ask you where you got it.

Also available is a limited number of player jerseys.  You can see both and link to both by visiting the Browns Merchandise Mart.  Go to:

Or you can take a short-cut to check out the shirts, caps and more at Shirts are available in short or long sleve, men or women, T-shirts, denim and more. You can order and pay online for both the Jersey or shirts.

Friday, August 20, 2010

River City Rascals Salute St. Louis Browns Historical Society & Eddie Gaedel Anniversary

August 19 is the date and 1951 is the year when the shortest man in baseball history stepped into the  batters box and walked on four pitches.  The River City Rascals recreated the event last night and the revived "Eddie Gaedel" also took four pitches. Unfortunately, three of them were strikes and a defiant Gaedel walked back to the dugout. There was no joy in O'Fallon, MO as the mighty Gaedel has struck out.

Prior to the start of the game, Eddie surprised everyone by jumping out of a large cake wheeled on to the field - just as it happened back in 1951. Eddie waved to the crowd and made his way to the Rascals' dugout.

The visiting Oakland County Cruisers went down in order in the top of the first inning. As the Rascals' first batter was about to approach the batters box, Gaedel was announced as the pinch hitter. As he approached the plate, the fans cheered him on . . . only to see him go down on strikes.

Fans from the St. Louis Browns Historical Society and Fan Club were on hand to cheer for the Rascals. Pictured above is Bill Rogers, Editor of Pop Flys, the Browns Official Publication, along with Nick Hagan in the role of Eddie Gaedel.

The following photos will give you an insight into the festivities. (Click on Photos to Enlarge)

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Famed home run hitter Bobby Thomson dead at 86

Bobby Thomson, whose "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in 1951 has echoed through baseball history as perhaps the game's most famous home run, has died. He was 86.

Thomson had been in failing health for several years. He died at home in Savannah, Ga., on Monday night, the Fox & Weeks funeral home said Tuesday.

On that October afternoon, with one swing, Thomson transformed a pennant race for one season, and his life forever. He connected off Ralph Branca for a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning in the decisive Game 3 of a National League playoff, lifting the New York Giants over their dreaded rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The drive into the left-field stands at the Polo Grounds and broadcaster Russ Hodges' ecstatic call of "The Giants win the pennant!" remain one of the signature moments in major league history.

"I never thought it was going to be that big. Hell, no," Branca told The Associated Press from his home in suburban New York. "When we went into the next season, I thought it'd be forgotten."


More at:

The Human Game -

By Bill Borst, founder of the St. Louis Browns Historical Society and Browns Fan Club

Read entire article at:

Baseball is much more than a funny game as Joe Garagiola quipped many years ago.

It is a refreshingly human game that brings to the forefront all the best and the worst facets of human nature.

We all know about the recent scandals with steroids and performance-enhancing drugs but even that is part and parcel of man’s human nature.

This flows from the very nature of the game. They keep score. There are winners and losers. Everyone wants to be a winner.

Conversely, no one wants to lose. But some teams do–just ask the old St. Louis Browns players, survivors from the 1962 Mets and the 1988 Baltimore Orioles, the linear descendants of the Browns.

We have it in our nature to bleed every chance we can to ensure a victory.

Players are no different. When skill is lacking, sometimes players will opt for guile. That’s why they have umpires.

We have it in our nature to bleed every chance we can to ensure a victory.

When skill is lacking, sometimes players will opt for guile. That’s why they have umpires.

Years ago I interviewed an author, Martin Quigley, who had made a study of the physics of the curve ball and other pitches of that era that broke, dipped, dropped or made some unpredictable movement.

His book was entitled The Crooked Pitch — a double entendre he used because many of these pitches were also patently illegal from a rules’ standpoint because they had been doctored that is, foreign substances had been added surreptitiously to cause the pitch to behave in a funny manner.

These crooked pitches included the shine, mud, coffee and the most infamous–the spit ball.

These pitches were outlawed for all but a select list of current pitchers who were grandfathered in.

This all happened in the wake of the death of Ray Chapman, who in August of 1920 became the first and so far onlymajor league player to be liked during a game.

A Carl Mays side-winding fastball struck him in the temple, breaking his neck in the process. After lingering for several hours he died the next morning.*

So dirty was the ball that Mays was using that Chapman could not see it.

Since then Major League baseball has done everything to stop this practice.

Early modern pitchers from the 50s-70s like Preacher Roe, and Gaylord Perry became notorious for teasing the public with does he or doesn’t he types of questions.

The doubt just added to their unpredictability.

In a book a few years ago, Derek Zumsteg documented just how players have cheated over the years.

When he was a player, Hall of Fame manager, John McGraw used to grab the belt of a tagging runner at third base, trying to impede his ability score.

Click here to read the rest of the story:

Coming: Browns Polo Emblem Shirt; T-Shirts & Jerseys

Interested in obtaining a Browns memorabilia logo shirt? Drop us a note and we'll put you on a preferred mail list. The shirts will be available "in the next couple of weeks."

Send an e-mail to Show subject as: "Send Browns Shirt Info."

(Click on Photo to Enlarge)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Interesting Facts About Rogers Hornsby

Rogers Hornsby, nicknamed "The Rajah", was a Major League Baseball second baseman and manager.
Born: April 27, 1896 in Winters, Texas.

Hornsby's first name, Rogers, was his mother's maiden name.

Height: 5’11"

Rogers Hornsby spent the majority of his playing career with the St. Louis Cardinals, though he also had short stints with the Chicago Cubs, the Boston Braves, and the New York Giants, and he ended his career as the player-manager of the St. Louis Browns.

Married: Sarah Martin (1918), Jeanette Pennington Hine (1924) and Marjorie Berniece Frederick (1957).

Rogers Hornsby is the only player to win the National League Triple Crown twice.

Rogers Hornsby was so obsessed with hitting that he refused to watch movies or read newspapers (except to check his batting average) for fear of corrupting his eyesight.

His career batting average of .358 is the highest in National League history, and also the highest in major league history for any right-handed hitter.

Seven National League Batting Titles (1920-1925, 1928)

His batting average for the 1924 season was .424, a mark that no player since has matched.

Rogers Hornsby is the only member of the 40–400 club—having 40 or more home runs and batting .400 or more in the same season.

The Baseball Hall of Fame elected Hornsby in 1942.

Died: January 5, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Special Guests at Fan Club 2010 Luncheon

The Fan Club Luncheon on July 16 included a number of Special Guests. Among them were the following.

Erma M. Bergmann (Bergie) - Amateur Softball and Professional Baseball Player (Click on Photo to Enlarge)

A St. Louis native, Bergmann grew up playing baseball with her two brothers until at age 14 she was asked to play organized amateur softball. At age 19 she was asked to try out professionally for the All American Girls Baseball League in Pascagula, Ms. Bergmann, one of the real players from the movie "A League of Their Own", made the team and was recruited to play for the Muskegon Lassies in 1946. This was the first time in U.S. history women played professional baseball. Known for her strong throwing arm, Bergmann pitched a no hitter against the Grand Rapids Chicks...a career highlight. Bergmann pitched in this extraordinary baseball league from 1946 to 1951. After baseball ended, Bergmann returned to St. Louis and became one of the first pioneer policewomen in 1956. Bergmann retired after 25 years of honorable service in 1981.

Fred Buchholz - Batboy for St. Louis Browns

Fred served as a batboy for both the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals, as well as every visiting AL team.  He was recently featured on the Bob Costas narrated program, "MLB Network Remembers: The Eddie Gaedel Story.”

Rosanne Delsing - Wife of Jim Delsing, St. Louis Browns

Jim Delsing was a popular player with the Browns from 1950-52. He also played for the White Sox, Tigers, Yankees and Athletics. Rosanne is the mother of PGA golfer, Jay Delsing.

Bill DeWitt, III - President, St. Louis Cardinals 

Bill DeWitt III was appointed president after the 2007 season and was previously the team's vice-president of business development.

Joan DeWitt McKean

Ms. McKean is the daughter of Browns owner Bill DeWitt Sr.   She resides in Grosse Point, Michigan.  Sportswise, Ms. McKean is a 4-time Michigan bridge champion who competed last year with 3,000 bridge players from across America and Mexico.

Chuck Diering – St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles

Diering, a St. Louis native and Beaumont High graduate, was drafted by the Browns/Orioles in November 1953 and ended up being the Orioles team MVP for 1954.  He was the last original Oriole still with the team, departing June 24, 1956.  He played in 396 games for the Cardinals from 1947-1951 and was the everyday centerfielder between Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter in 1949. 

Bo Drochelman - Grandson of George Sisler, St. Louis Browns
Julie Drochelman - Great Granddaughter of George Sisler, St. Louis Browns

George Sisler, ranked as the #1 player in the history of the Browns, played for the team from 1915 - 1927. He was the AL batting champ in 1920 & 1922.

Charlie Hopkins - Browns Minor League System

Charlie Hopkins was a standout catcher for the San Antonio Missions during the early ‘50s. Catching future major leaguers such as Ryne Duren. (Charlie Hopkins Photo Shown)

Archie Jones - Browns Minor League System

Jones signed with the Browns in 1953 and was assigned to play with the Pine Bluff Judges in the Class C Cotton States League. Upon completion of military service the following year, he played with the San Antonio Missions and Lubbock Class B League, which was now part of the Baltimore Orioles farm system.

Greg Marecek - Founder/President, St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame

The St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame became a reality in 2009. The HOF will tell the stories with artifacts and presentations on the great tradition of sports in St. Louis.

Bob Muncrief, III - Grandson of Bob Muncrief, St. Louis Browns

Pitched for the Browns from 1937 - 1947. Also played for the Indians, Cubs, Pirates and Yankees.