Saturday, July 17, 2010

St. L Browns Fan Club Hosts Annual Luncheon

Two of the biggest names in sports were on hand for the July 16 annual luncheon of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club. More than 155 attendees enjoyed the presentations from Tommy Lasorda, Bob Costas and 6 former Browns players dating back to 1944. Also on hand was Erma Bergmann, a professional baseball pitcher from the 40s and the All American Girls Base League. She was one of the real players from the movie “A League of Their Own.”

Also in attendance were Bill DeWitt, III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals; Fred Buchholz, former batboy for the Browns and Cardinals from the 40s & 50s; Rosanne Delsing, wife of popular Browns player, Jim Delsing; Joan DeWitt McKean, daughter of Browns owner Bill DeWitt, Sr.; Chuck Diering, signed by the Browns but became a popular face with the Cardinals; Bo Drochelman, Grandson of Browns’ George Sisler; Julie Drochelman, Great Granddaughter of Hall of Famer, George Sisler; Bob Muncrief, III, grandson of Bob Muncrief of the Browns and Greg Marecek, President of the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.

Bob Costas came as an unannounced guest and introduced Tommy Lasoda. Before introducing him he showed a video on the Browns and Eddie Gaedel, the midget, and all of the special promotions Bill Veeck tried. But it was Tommy Lasorda stole the show. As guest, Ron Paul, said, “He was awesome and inspiring.”

See photos at:

Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda of the Dodgers spoke at a St. Louis Browns luncheon here Friday, attended by ex-Brownies.

Lasorda, originally a Brooklyn Dodgers farmhand, recalled how he was almost in the Browns' rotation and, in fact, trained with them in San Bernadino, Calif., in 1953, the Browns' last season.

"I'd had a good spring," said Lasorda, "and we're on the train going from San Bernadino to Phoenix and I go to the dining car and (coaches) Harry Brecheen and Joe Schultz tell me I'm going to be one of the starters. I'm thinking, 'That's great.' We get off the train in Phoenix and then there's (owner) Bill Veeck waiting for us. He hadn't been with us all spring. I put my uniform on and the phone rings and (manager) Marty Marion wants me to come up to his room.

"When I got there, Bill Veeck was there. He said, 'I feel bad, Tommy.' I bought you for $50,000. ... but I can't pay the Dodgers."

So Lasorda went back to the Dodgers' system and, though still a promising lefthander, never won a game for the Dodgers in the big leagues (he was 0-4 for Kansas City in 1956).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Former Browns Pitcher Ken Holcombe Passes Away

Ken Holcombe actually died on March 15, 2010, however, it was not widely reported. Mr. Holcombe pitched for the Browns in 1952, going 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 12 appearances (one start).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tommy Lasorda to Speak at STL Browns Luncheon; Open to Public

St. Louis, MO June 30, 2010 - Hall of Fame manager, Tommy Lasorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been confirmed as a featured speaker at the St. Louis Browns Fan Club luncheon set for July 16, 2010. The lunch will be at the Holiday Inn Viking at 10709 Watson Rd. at Lindbergh in Sunset Hills.

If it weren't for Bill Veeck's cash-flow problems 50 years ago, Tommy Lasorda might never have bled Dodger Blue but instead he would have been a member of the St. Louis Browns.

Before spring training in 1953, the last year the Browns existed, the Brooklyn Dodgers sold Lasorda, a 25-year-old, lefthanded pitcher, to the St. Louis Browns for $50,000.

Tommy Lasorda was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania and is a former Major League pitcher and manager. This year marks his 61st year in one capacity or another with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers organization, the longest tenure anyone has had with the team.

Lasorda became the Los Angeles manager September 29, 1976 upon Walter Alston's retirement. He compiled a record of 1,599 wins and 1,439 losses as Dodgers manager, won two World Series championships in (1981 and 1988), four National League pennants and eight division titles in his 20 year career as the Dodgers Manager.

His 16 wins in 30 NL Championship games managed were the most of any manager at the time of his retirement. His 61 post-season games managed ranks fourth behind Bobby Cox, Casey Stengel and Joe Torre. He also managed in four All-Star games.

Lasorda managed nine players who won the National League Rookie of the Year award.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 as a manager in his first year of eligibility.

About the St. Louis Browns Fan Club

The St. Louis Browns Fan Club is in its 26th year. The goal of the organization is to preserve the history and memory of the St. Louis Browns. The team played in St. Louis from 1902 through the 1953 season when it moved to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Orioles. Information on the luncheon is available from Bill Rogers, Editor of the team’s magazine, Pop Flies at 314-892-8632 or .

Reservations for the July 16 luncheon can be made by sending a check for $24 payable to the St. Louis Browns Fan Club to:

     Rick Stamper
     509 Geyer Rd.
     Kirkwood, MO 63122.

Further information is available through the organization’s websites at, at  and their “digital museum” at

A League of Her Own: Erma Bergmann at Browns Fan Club Luncheon

Erma M. Bergmann (Bergie) - Amateur Softball and Professional Baseball Player is expected to attend the July 16 reunion luncheon of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club.

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.

Member of Brownie Fan Club Remembers the '64 Cardinals World Series

1964 World Series!
Marvin Herskowitz, Hicksville, NY

During the 1964 series, I was having breakfast at the Commodore Hotel with, at that time, Bo Milliken, pitching coach of the Saint Louis Cardinals. The tables were inches apart as I overheard the Cardinal manager and coaches debating which pitcher they would throw that afternoon. It was crucial that they win the fourth game of the series as the Yankees were leading 2-1.

I mentioned to Bo that for some reason the Yankees always had trouble with a certain type of pitcher. I explained further that such as Mike Fornieles and Lew Burdette were thorns to the Yankees. The latter never enjoyed facing an unorthodox pitcher. "Bo, the Cardinals have a pitcher who throws with an unorthodox delivery. The Cardinals hardly use him and his career is ending...but he could beat the Yankees!" Yankee manager Johnny Keane leaned over and asked, "Who do you mean?" "Roger Craig."

The Cardinals started Ray Sadecki and although he won the first World Series game against the Yankees...Bo was ordered that on Sadecki's first pitch...he was to start warming Roger Craig up in the bullplen.

Sadecki allowed three runs without retiring a single Yankee . . . as Roger Craig was beckoned to the mound. The Yankees could only muster two hits off Roger who became the winning pitcher. Roger Craig's career with the Cardinals ended in 1964!

Marvin Herskowitz (aka playwright Mark Weston)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

If The Browns had Stayed in STL, Herzog may Have Been a Brownie

The Hall of Fame induction weekend (7/23/10) is the busiest time of year, and hotel rooms and restaurant tables are booked well in advance. The Hall of Fame's exhibits honoring this year's inductees include a cap from Herzog's 1,000th managerial win, a uniform he wore when he managed the Cardinals, an Orioles uniform that he wore as a player and the scouting card he created on fellow inductee Andre Dawson when he played for Montreal.

"St. Louis baseball has had such a long and rich history that the number of artifacts we have from the teams who play(ed) there are staggering," said Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson.

Among his favorites are Bob Gibson's glove from 1968, 'since his dominance led to the change in the height of the mound"; the glove of one-armed Pete Gray of the St. Louis Browns, 'showing baseball is truly an equal-opportunity employer"; Cool Papa Bell's sunglasses and St. Louis Stars cap, "as they take us straight back to the Negro leagues and speak to James' coolness"; and Stan Musial's locker, 'since Stan is The Man."