Thursday, March 24, 2011

Whitey Herzog to Attend Browns Fan Club Lunch May 25, 2011; Ned Garver & Bob Turley also Attending

"Whitey" Herzog made his debut as a player in 1956 with the Washington Senators. He played for the Baltimore Orioles (formerly the St. Louis Browns) in 1961 and 1962. After his playing career ended in 1963, Herzog went on to perform a variety of roles in Major League Baseball. Most noted for his success as a manager, he led the Kansas City Royals to three consecutive playoff appearances from 1976 to 1978.

Hired by Gussie Busch in 1980 to helm the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cardinals won the 1982 World Series and made two other World Series appearances in 1985 and 1987 under Herzog's direction. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 25, 2010.

Bob Turley at 2011 St. Louis Browns Luncheon

Bob Turley (born September 19, 1930 in Troy, Illinois and grew up in East St. Louis) (known as "Bullet Bob") was signed by the St. Louis Browns in 1948

Turley played his first game on September 29, 1951 for the Browns and moved with them to Baltimore in 1954. He was traded to the New York Yankees after the 1954 season and played for the Yankees from 1955 to 1962. After beginning the year 1963 with the Los Angeles Angels, he finished the year, and his career, with the Boston Red Sox.

His best year was 1958, when he won 21 games and lost seven. As a result, he won the Hickok Belt as top pro-fessional athlete of the year, and the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in Major League Baseball.

Turley started his 1958 World Series on a low note, giving up a leadoff home run and lasting just one-third of an inning as the Yankees fell behind the Milwaukee Braves two games to none. With the Yankees one game away from elimination, Turley threw a shutout in Game Five, then picked up a 10th-inning save in Game Six.

A day later in Game Seven, he relieved Don Larsen in the third inning and won his second game in three days, with 6 2/3 innings of two-hit relief. The Yankees became just the second team to recover from a 3-1 World Series deficit, and Turley was voted the World Series Most Valuable Player Award.

Mr. Turley is attending the Browns Fan Club for the first time.

Ned Garver at Browns Luncheon May 25

Ned Garver (born December 25, 1925) played from 1948 to 1961 winning 129 games in his major league career. Most of his career was spent playing for the St. Louis Browns and Kansas City Athletics.

In 1951, Garver fashioned an outstanding season. Pitching for the St. Louis Browns that season, Garver compiled a 20-12 record, which was noteworthy considering the Browns lost 102 games that year. Garver also posted a 3.73 ERA that season.

Out of the Browns' 52 total wins, Garver accounted for nearly 40 percent of them. Ned also led the American League in complete games with 24 in 1951, and when he pitched, he often batted sixth in the order rather than the customary ninth compiling a .305 batting average with one home run.

Garver remains the only pitcher in American League history and modern baseball history (post-1920) to win 20 or more games for a team which lost 100 or more games in the same season and the only pitcher in Major League history to do so with a winning record.

Garver was the starting pitcher for the American League in the 1951 All-Star Game held in Detroit.

Ted Williams, perhaps the greatest hitter in the history of baseball, said of Garver, "He could throw anything up there and get me out."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eddie Robinson: My 65 Years in Baseball

Eddie never played for the Browns, although he played for the minor and major league Orioles and worked for Paul Richards.  He certainly played against the Browns and made the last out in Bobo Holloman’s no-hitter, for example.  He is 90 years old but in great shape, still playing golf several times a week and enjoying life. 

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Anyone Remember Butz's Tavern in Dutchtown in S. St. Louis?

Keith M. Eckrich,  Albuquerque, NM


In 1948 I was 9 years old. Back then St. Louis neighborhood taverns were family friendly. Kids were welcome to play the pinball machine for a nickel and munch on those famous soft pretzels while dad downed a cold glass of locally brewed Griesedieck Brothers beer. Butz’s Tavern, in “Dutchtown” in South St. Louis, was a haven for baseball fans, especially for the American League’s St. Louis Browns. In front of the huge mirror behind the bartender was a collection of baseball paraphernalia. I pointed to a baseball balanced atop a beer glass and asked Mr. Butz what that baseball was all about. He handed it to me: “Here, kid, it’s a souvenir from the ball park. It’s all yours.” Wow! My own baseball, a real one, right from the big leagues, and it even sported an autograph!

That baseball thrilled me and my buddy Joey. We played catch by the hour. We hit grounders to hone our infield skills. We slammed “home run” fly balls to emulate Stan Musial. We were in training to become major leaguers to play at Sportsmans Park, the St. Louis Cardinals’ home field on North Grand Avenue.

One day Joey asked me: “Say, there was an autograph on your baseball, but it’s all worn off now. What team did he play with?” I pondered. “I don’t know, but I do remember it’s some guy by the name of “Ted Williams.”

Joey gasped in disbelief: “Hey, guy, you just struck out!”

If you remember Butz's Tavern, drop us a note to tell us what you remember.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Marty Marion at St. Louis Browns Fan Club

Art Richman, NY Yankees Exec with Marty Marion
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

Marty Marioin with Bill McCurdy, Fan Club Member

Marty with Stan the Man

The Marty Marion Glove

The Rawlings retail glove endorsed by Marty Marion in the 1940s and early 1950s was one of the most popular gloves in Rawlings history behind the Bill Doak glove, the basemen trappers and Musial and Mantle Rawlings gloves later.

Elmer Blasco, the Rawlings promotion man who came up with the company's "Gold Glove Award," said that Marty always fretted that he wasn't getting high enough royalties on his glove sales and always wanted a higher percentage, Blasco reported.

(Click on photo below to enlarge)
"He would march into Rawlings president's office every off season to try and negotiate a better deal."