Sunday, March 1, 2015
Roy Sievers, a regular at the annual St. Louis Browns Fan Club player/fan reunion luncheon, has become the oldest living Washington Senator (expansion franchise). This so, after the passing today of Minnie Minoso.
Roy was purchased by the Senators late in the 1964 season from the Philadelphia Phillies. This entailed for Roy moving from a first-place team to a 9th-place team. Still, Sievers performed admirably, banging four home runs in just 58 at bats. Thus he led the Senators that year in both pinch hit home runs and home run percentage.
Sievers, a St. Louisan who attended Beaumont high school, was American League Rookie of the year in 1949 as a Brown. He finished his career with the Senators in 1965, totaling 318 home runs. When Sievers retired, he was the oldest non-pitcher, non-manager in baseball (age 38.172). Roy and Minnie both played in the A.L. in the 40s, 50s and 60s. But unlike Minnie, Roy did not make "stunt bows" in the 70s and 80s to become a most-decades leader.
Several other Brownies are featured on the Oldest Living Baseball Player List. Chuck Stevens, 96, of Garden Grove, Calif., is the oldest living St. Louis professional ballplayer (Browns or Cardinals). A career Brownie, Chuck is also one of only six major league players who played before World War II.
Ned Garver, 89, is the oldest living member of the entire Los Angeles Angels franchise. Tito Francona, 81, who was signed by the Browns and played his first two years of professional baseball at the Browns' farm clubs at York and Aberdeen, is the oldest living player of two teams. First, he is the oldest living member of the Oakland Athletics. Second, Tito is the oldest-living Milwaukee Brewer (the Browns were originally derived from the 1901 Milwaukee Brewer franchise).
The St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles currently have six players in the Top 25 Oldest Living Major League Baseball Players list:
#7 Stevens, 96
#13 Tom Jordan, 95
#20 Wally Westlake, 94 (Oriole only)
#22 Dick Starr, 93
#23 George Elder, 93
#24 Jim Rivera, 93