Saturday, June 16, 2012

Local St. Louis Baseball Legends At STL Browns Fans-Players Reunion

St. Louis, MO  June 15, 2012 - How many baseball Rookie's of the Year prior to 1950 are still around? There's only one and he lives here in St. Louis. That's Roy Sievers, American League Rookie of the Year in 1949 with the St. Louis Browns.

How many pitchers are still around who won 20 games in a year while his team lost 100 games and finished in last place? There's only one and it's Ned Garver who achieved this distinction in 1951 with the St. Louis Browns.
How many sports broadcasters who called games for the St. Louis Browns are still around? Just one and is Milo Hamilton. Milo broadcast Browns games on television in 1953 over channel 54 WTVI in Belleville, IL.

All three of these greats along with other former Browns players gathered at a Fans-Players Reunion on June 14 at the Holiday Inn in Sunset Hills in St. Louis County.  Other Browns players present included Don Lenhardt, JW Porter and Bud Thomas. Over 210 fans were in attendance to hear stories of baseball past.
The program included a video history of the Browns narrated by Bob Costas. The Browns played in St. Louis from 1902 through the 1953 season before moving to Baltimore. They play today as the Baltimore Orioles.

The Browns were the predominant team in St. Louis until the mid 20s when the Cardinals took over this role. The Browns built St. Louis' first major stadium in St. Louis, Sportsman's Park, in North St. Louis and rented it to the Cardinals. The two teams shared the same ballpark for more than 30 years.  It's believed more major league baseball games were played here than any other stadium in the country.
The Browns won only one pennant in their history and played the Cardinals in an all-St. Louis World Series in 1944. A video of the 1944 World Series is available from the Browns Historical Society.

Roy Sievers is a 5-time all star, 1949 Rookie of the Year, 1957 AL home run champion and the 1957 AL RBI champion. Sievers also played for the Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies during his career.
Ned Garver was with the Browns from 1948 to 1952. He was the starting pitcher in the 1951 All Star game. He also played with the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels.

Milo Hamilton started his major league broadcast career with the Browns in 1953. It’s easy to speak of Milo Hamilton in terms of baseball history. The voice of the Houston Astros today is one of six living members of the Broadcaster’s Wing of the baseball Hall of Fame. Hamilton has called some 9,000 games, worked for six major league clubs and has, arguably, the most famous play-by-play call of all-time - Hank Aaron’s number 715.

 If you were there, you were a part of the action. If you could not attend, you missed Milo's closing remarks and a standing ovation.

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