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.