Friday, February 17, 2012

Taking a Look at the Four Missouri MLB Teams

I don’t know how many people realize that Missouri has hosted four different major league teams since 1901, the same number as New York and one behind California’s five. Here is a chart showing how many years each of those four teams has played through 2011:

A look at how many World Series the four teams have won:

And how many World Series they’ve played in:

The St. Louis Cardinals began play in 1882, as the St. Louis Brown Stockings (37-43). They became the St. Louis Browns in 1883 (1059-1029 from 1883 through 1898); they became the Perfectos in 1899 (84-67), then the Cardinals in 1900. In 130 years of existence, the franchise has 10195 wins and 9490 losses.

The St. Louis Browns began play in 1902, after leaving Milwaukee, where they were known as the Brewers for the duration of the 1901 A.L. season. The Browns left after the 1953 season for Baltimore. They went 3414-4465 in their 52 St. Louis seasons.

The Kansas City Athletics went 829-1224 in their 13 seasons, 1955 through 1967. And the Kansas City Royals have 3281 wins and 3546 losses after 2011. So, cumulatively the A.L. teams in Missouri are 7524-9235, more than 1700 games below .500. It’s a little odd that an A.L. team has been in Missouri every year but 1901, 1954, and 1968, despite three different teams occupying that slot. The Cardinals are in no danger of being overtaken by their A.L. counterparts, in terms of total win-loss percentage or World Series titles and pennants won, at any point before about 2040.

There are a couple other other notes on MLB in Missouri: Kansas City’s new Municipal Stadium existed from 1955 to 1976. The A’s played there for their full 1955 through 1967 tenure, and then the Royals played there 1969 through 1972.

Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis was the Cardinals’ home from mid-1920 to May 8, 1966, and the Browns’ home from mid-1920 through 1953. So the two St. Louis and Kansas City franchises have both played in the same stadium for at least part of their existence.

Who was the Browns best player? I suppose George Sisler, although Harland Clift and Vern Stephens are two other very good Brownies.

The Royals best player continues to be George Brett. It is hard to say who was the Kansas City A’s best player. The mind thinks of people like Bert Campaneris, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, and Roger Maris, who had their best years for the Oakland A’s and/or New York Yankees. But if you consider only their time in Kansas City, it’s probably Bob Cerv or Norm Siebern.

From the following blog site:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Milo Hamilton: St. Louis Browns Announcer 1953

Astros play-by-play man Milo Hamilton has decided to retire following the 2012 season after broadcasting Major League baseball games for the last 59 years.

Milo, 84, began his legendary career in the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Browns of the American League in 1953. After stops with the Cardinals organization along with the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs, Hamilton finally landed with the Houston Astros in 1985, and has become a Houston baseball fixture for the last 27 years.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


February 15, 1908
Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette
Scheduled to Reach French Lick This Week
            His Rubelets Waddell, far famed as a left-handed pitcher, is due to arrive at French Lick the latter part of this week to begin training for the 1908 season.  Rube is now the property of the St. Louis American league club, having been bought from the Philadelphia Americans last week. His first action when apprised of the deal was to wire President Hedges, of the St. Louis club, from Mobile, Ala., for $100. What he got was a railroad ticket and a coupon for a berth, with an order to a report immediately in St. Louis.
            Hedges never even thought of standing for the touch. Imagine Rube in Mobile with $100 in his clothes.  He probably would give an automobile parade through Main street. Rube and Jack Powell, of the St. Louis staff, will be shipped to French Lick one week ahead of the other members of the team.
            Hedges smiled and was pleased when he received Waddell’s telegram asking for money.  He knew Rube had not changed and he wants him just as he was when he was with the Athletics.  He hopes that there also will be no change in his ability and that he can win a couple of pennants for St. Louis as he did for Philadelphia.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Some Batting Greats on the Mound

A number of batting greats have taken a turn or two on the mound. Stan Musial, who pitched regularly (and well) in the minors for three years, threw an incomplete inning for the Cards in 1952. Ted Williams yielded three hits and one run in two innings in 1940. Jimmie Foxx (534 career home runs) pitched a perfect inning for the Red Sox in 1939 and then, winding up his career with the Phillies, threw 23 innings in 9 games in 1945, for a earned run average of 1.52 for his career.

Going further back, Ty Cobb gave up six hits and two walks in four innings in 1918 and pitched a perfect inning seven years later. Truly impressive was the St. Louis Browns’ George Sisler, a kind of Ruthian double-threat man who twice hit over .400 and yet managed to pitch 111 innings in 24 games between 1915 and 1928, posting an e.r.a. of 2.35 for his career.