Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mystery Hat Uncovered

See the second article below for an explanation on the mystery St. Louis Browns cap.

Bill Irvin, Jr. writes . . .

This hat appears to be a hat designed/used by the original St. Louis Browns Fan Club, organzied in the 1950's by a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and comprised of a number of Chicagoans.

 I own a couple of press photos depicting "members" wearing the hat--one from 1956 in which members "serenade" Bill Veeck (he also was wearing the hat for the occasion), and one at Sportsman's Park in the 1960's in which club members, wearing the hat, have their picture taken with exBrownies wearing reproduction 1940's style uniforms.

Bill Rogers writes . . .

While we don't know the exact designation of the letter "B", we assume it's for Baltimore.
(Click on photos to enlarge)

I am thinking this style cap was adopted by the fan club as their official hat.

Jim Brosnan writes in the 1964 Atlantic Magazine . . .

The most unusual, and without a doubt jolliest, fan club of baseball history is devoted to an extinct organization, a team with no live ballplayers. The St. Louis Brown's Fan Club was created on the day the team disbanded.

Bill Veeck, the man who put the team out of business, once said: "I found out the Brown fans were a myth. You heard about 'em, but you never saw 'em." As owner of the Browns, Veeck had searched river bottom and wheatland in and around St. Louis for customer-fans. Unfortunately for him they were in Chicago, where they paid the White Sox a nominal fee for bleacher tickets. There they cheered for the Browns, who epitomized the all-American underdog.

"They needed us," says Bill Leonard, a charter member of the S.L.B.F.C. and a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. "They didn't have anything else."

On the last weekend of the 1953 baseball season the S.L.B.F.C. traveled to St. Louis to see the final games played by the Browns.

"They lost," wrote Leonard. "We were unsurprised and undaunted."

Today the S.L.B.F.C. carries on its motto: "To perpetuate the proud name of the St. Louis Browns, file progress reports on the reincarnation of the Browns, drink toasts in nut-brown ale, and maintain jolly times."

As fans, they're out of this world.

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