Thursday, August 6, 2009

St. Louis Browns All-Stars

The recent All Star game here in St. Louis brought back memories of many St. Louis Browns players who were All Stars in their playing days. Thanks to Cecil Wayne Williams for contributing the following on the Browns All Stars. The following is just a portion of his research.


During the history of the St. Louis Browns (1902-1953) eighteen different players appeared in the major league All-Star games (a total 29 appearances. Three of those players are still alive.

Bob Dillinger was one of two third basemen for the American League in 1949 as a manager selection. He pinch ran for the starting third baseman, Hall of Famer George Kell of the Tigers in the sixth inning and scored a run. Dillinger went on to single and score a run in the seventh inning. At third, Bob got two assists without an error.

Ned Garver was the starter in the 1951 game as a manager selection. Garver, one of seven Browns pitching selections over the years, is the only Brown to start an All-Star game. He went three innings, giving up one hit, one walk and one unearned run. He also had one strikeout. He left the game with a one to one tie.

The third surviving Brown All-Star is Billy Hunter. He was one of four shortstops selected for the 1953 game at old Crosley Field in Cincinnati. In a written interview, Billy stated he was thrilled to be selected and be a pinch runner in the game. He pinch ran for Mickey Mantle. He did not get an at-bat or play in the field.

There were 20 All-Star games played during the Browns existence (1933-1953). No game was played in 1945 because of a wartime curtailment on travel. As stated above, 18 Browns made 29 appearances in the All-Star games. In the first two years, 1933 and 1934, fans had a hand in picking players with the manager’s assistance. From 1935 through 1946, managers made the selections. From 1947 to the Browns last year in 1953, the eight starters were picked by a fan poll with the managers picking the pitchers and reserve players. Eighteen players were selected for each All-Star team in 1933, 20 in 1934-35, 21 in 1936, 23 in 1937-38 and 25 in 1939 through 1953, the last Browns year.

The 18 Browns All-Stars are as follows:

Beau Bell, 1937
Harlond Clift, 1937
Roy Cullenbine, 1941
Bob Dillinger, 1949
Ned Garver, 1951
Rollie Hemsley, 1935*, 36
Myril Hoag, 1939
Billy Hunter, 1953
Jack Kramer, 1946,47
Chet Laabs, 1943*
Sherm Lollar, 1950
George McQuinn, 1939,40,42,44*
Bob Muncrief, 1944
Bobo Newsom, 1938
Satchel Paige, 1952, 53
Vern Stephens, 1943*,44*,46*
Sammy West, 1933,34,35,37*
Al Zarilla, 1948


Sammy West was the first Brown All-Star (1933) and is tied with George McQuinn for the most appearances as a Brown. Rollie Hemsley was the first to start and play an entire game (1935). Ned Garver was the only Browns pitcher to start an All-Star game. Vern Stephens was the only Brown to start each of his All-Star appearances (three). Billy Hunter and Satchel Paige were the last Browns All-Stars (1953).

The first All-Star Game was played at Comiskey Park in Chicago on July 6, 1933. It was the brainchild of Arch Ward, sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, who sold the idea to Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. This game is remembered for aging Babe Ruth’s two-run homer in the third inning which provided the margin of victory in the A.L.’s 4-2 win.

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