THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE ST. LOUIS BROWNS HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND FAN CLUB
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Browns Web Site Updated More than 20 pages of Browns memories available The St. Louis Brown Historical Website has been updated. While itâ€™s still undergoing some fine tuning and debugging, itâ€™s suitable for access. Go to:
The Eyes of Memory By Bill Borst, St. Louis Browns Historical Society Memories have always been extremely important to both professional baseball players and their millions of fans throughout its long and variegated history. To me baseball has always been the human game because it rightfully focused more on the players and not as much on their statistics. The more baseball transforms to a Sabermetrician mode of Moneyball, the less attractive it will become to fans like me. I think this underscores the idea behind Roger Kahn’s historic 1972 book, The Boys of Summer. What made Kahn’s book so enduring was that it did not focus as much on the individual playing careers of many of the 195253 Brooklyn Dodgers, a team that had teased its fans with pennants, only to falter to the hated New York Yankees in the October Classic. To the contrary Kahn took the high road and looked at the players after the cheering had died down and they were left with declined health, old age and even ensuing death. Kahn underscored this in his lyrical title, a phrase lifted from Dylan Thomas’ poem of I See the Boys of Summer… I see them in their ruin. Kahn had stripped the players, especially Jackie Robinson, Clem Labine, Duke Snider and Carl Erskine of their uniforms, pretenses and defenses. He showed them in their pure humanity with Robinson’s illnesses, Erskine’s handicapped son, Labine’s war-handicapped son and Snider's ruinous business dealings. To most of us this was a new and troubling side of players whom we had seen mostly in terms of home runs and box scores. The ideas in Kahn’s book were reinforced for me years later at a card convention. I was walking among the crowd and I spied an old man sauntering about. He was bald, round-shoulders with a protruding stomach. He was Enos Slaughter, the old Cardinal great, known for his mad dash from first base in the 1946 World Series. To me he looked just like a little old man…like any other man of his generation I could see walking on any street in America. I thought, so this is what happens to old ball players. This reminds me of something Joe Garagiola told me when I interviewed on the set of his failed attempt to launch a pilot game show in 1974. (His producer had quipped that Joe had shot down more pilots than the Luftwaffe in WW II) Joe said that the people that had the hardest time in seeking a new profession were shepherds, Vikings and old ball players. I think there is an inherent wisdom in that because all players knew that their ticket would have to be punched sometime for them to get off the field.
I think that point is one of the underlying beauties of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club, which I started with Harmony Lineback in 1984. Over these past 29 years I have seen so many of these players---Ned Garver, Billy Jennings, Don Lenhardt, Ed Mickelson and so many others in their tragic ruin. For most it has been the slow but steady decline or what a gal at the MidCounty Y had said to me after our workout class many years ago, the ravages of age. I have seen it in its persistent sap the strength, cloud the vision and wobble the step of what were once hardy, muscular athletes. The inevitable scythe of death has cut down all but 24 of our Brownie players of the 796, who wore the colors since 1902. For most of these surviving few their memories are all they have left. It was this thought that prompted me to write my play, The Last Memory of an old Brownie Fan in 2007. My mother had died of Alzheimer’s in 2001. Since then I have been deeply concerned about losing my own memory, which has been key to my joie de vivre. After a certain age, our memories are really all we have left. The play served as a cathartic metaphor for the similarities between baseball and the game of life. Fortunately while their bodies have suffered their often painful and inevitable declines, the Browns Fan Club has given many of them a chance to renew old acquaintances but more importantly to relive their memories, entertain the fans, new and old with their innumerable stories of gags, games, and fights. Absent cameras, writers with pen and pad, our many events have created a speaker-friendly environment where players can freely and without inhibition tell their stories, and their personal histories in for all of us to vicariously experience what they have kept alive in the mystic chords of their baseball memories. In reflecting on all these years, I need only give one example to illustrate what I mean. Babe Martin, who admittedly had a short-lived career, spent a lot of time in spring training, sitting on the bench or warming up pitchers in the bullpen. He hobnobbed with Ted Williams and other luminaries of the game. At one luncheon he got up to talk and starting talking about his friendship with old Teddy Ballgame. I remember looking at his eyes. They weren’t focused on me or anyone else in the 110 people in attendance. He looked over all of us…straight into space…trying to picture the frozen images of his memory from 60 years in the past. It was as if he had suspended his mind, his feelings and emotions on the precipice of eternity and was viewing his life from the outside. His eyes saw something that only he could see. His frozen moment in time transcended time and space and has become part of my memory trace and will be frozen in my own mind so that I can tune it in with clarity of detail anytime I want to. That reality lives and breathes in the memories of all the millions of fans who have penetrated the mystique of a game played by boys in the hot summer’s day and now night.
3 is a http://thestlbrowns.blogspot.com http://www.thestlbrowns.com The St. Louis Browns Historical Society 501©(3) non-profit organization http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com http://brownsmerchandise.blogspot.com dedicated to preserving the memory of the St. Louis Browns and their era.
Thank You to Our Donors
Baseball Teams on the Move Relocation of Major League Baseball Teams
Welcome! The St. Louis Browns Historical Society established in 1984 is the premier source for St. Louis Browns information. The Browns Historical Society is the original and largest Browns Historical organization known. Our mission of preserving the memory of St. Louis baseball when our city had TWO professional teams can be seen in our publication, Pop Flies, video productions and annual events.
♦1902: Milwaukee Brewers moved to St. Louis, Missouri and became the St. Louis Browns. ♦1903: Baltimore Orioles moved to New York and became the Highlanders. The team was renamed the Yankees in 1913. ♦1953: Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee. This was the first relocation in 50 years. During those 50 years, there had also been no expansions or contractions — Major League Baseball had consisted of the same 16 teams, 8 in each league, playing in the same 10 cities without interruption for half a century.
Thank you to our members who made donations during our recent Reunion Luncheon. Many others make donations when renewing their membership in January. We will also have a list of donors on our website and a complete list printed in Pop Flies next Spring.
♦1954: St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles.
Your donation helps to preserve Browns history and baseball yesterday.
♦1955: Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City, Missouri. ♦1958: Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles; New York Giants moved to San Francisco. These were the first major league teams on the West Coast. The teams moved simultaneously to facilitate travel for other National League (NL) teams.
In the corridor of a St. Louis-area hotel last month, Sam Cash waited in line for autographs from members of the long -departed major league team known as the Browns.
♦1961: Washington Senators (original) moved to the Twin Cities area and became the Minnesota Twins. Not wishing to alienate Washington, D.C. and its powerful baseball fans, the American League (AL) granted the city a new expansion franchise, also called the Senators.
The signatures secured, he then sat at an adjacent table with his own Browns display that featured team trivia, a team time line and photographs of his favorite Browns player, Bud Thomas. Fans and several former Browns took a look.
♦1966: Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta, Georgia. ♦1968: Kansas City Athletics moved to Oakland, California. Because Charles O. Finley broke a recently signed lease and public bonds were already issued for the building of what is now known as Kauffman Stadium, Major League Baseball was in danger of anti-trust legislation from Missouri Senator Stuart Symington. As a result, the AL granted Kansas City a new expansion franchise in 1969.
Sam was one of over 440 attendees at the annual Players/Fans reunion lunch for 2013. A featured player this year was Don Larsen, pictured below with Fan club president , Bill Rogers.
♦1970: Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers. The AL would grant Seattle a new expansion franchise in 1977. ♦1972: Second Washington Senators moved to Arlington, Texas and became the Texas Rangers. ♦2005: Montreal Expos moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. The Expos had split time between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2003 and 2004. This was the first relocation in 33 years.
Major League Attendance Down While Browns Attendance is Up
Browns Honor the Boy Bandit The Tigers, on their way to the American League pennant, were in town to play the Browns. The Globe-Democrat reported the next morning - "Johnny Niggeling slowed up the Detroit pennant drive in a Sunday game at Sportsman's Park by giving the Tigers just four hits. Harlond Clift, the Browns third baseman, was honored before the game with a special ceremony, and "the boy bandit" delighted the home town fans by socking a home run with Walt Judnich on base in the second inning."
Major League Baseball's average attendance fell 1.2 percent this year (2013), with the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies experiencing big drops. The average was 30,514, down from 30,895 last year and the peak of 32,785 in 2007. Total attendance of 74.03 million was down from 74.86 million last season but was the sport's sixthhighest. While many major league teams experienced a decrease, the St. Louis Browns increased attendance at their 2013 annual player/fan reunion luncheon. The number jumped 104% with 440 fans, up from 215 last year.
Down in the left field corner of the grandstand, the Browns Boys Brigade was Harlond Clift on hand to root for our popular third baseman. Two of the urchins were future Browns Fan Club members, Charles Hughes and Bud Kane. Browns PR man, Roger Bacon, came down to pick out a kid to represent the Boys Brigade at the ceremony and the lucky boy was Charles Hughes.
Fan Club President, Bill Rogers, credits the increase a result of former Browns players as key speakers. They included Don Larsen, a former Browns player who pitched the only perfect game in World Series history while with the Yankees; Roy Sievers, AL rookie of the year with the Browns in 1949; Ed Mickelson; Don Lenhardt, JW Porter and Bud Thomas.
Charles presented Clift with an electric clock trophy from the Boys Brigade. Heading the list of other presents was a $1,000 diamond-studded 21-jewel wrist watch from the Clift Day Committee and St. Louis friends. Other gifts included a western saddle from St. Louis friends, a rifle from teammates, shotgun from a St. Louis radio announcers, a rifle from fellow townsmen of Yakima, Washington, carving set from his "discoverer,' Scout Willis Butler of the Browns, a new glove from St. Louis friends, book of autographs from friends and fans and a telephoto lens from the Girls Brigade.
In addition, the first 200 registrants received a replica of the Browns August 19, 1951 scorecard where pinch hitter, Eddie Gaedel, made history. Gaedel was a small person standing 3 feet, 7 inches in height. This was his one and only appearance as a major league baseball player. From that day, his one time at-bat is part of baseball history.
Mrs. Clift was presented with a silver serving tray and Harlond's mother with flowers. Charles' reward was a handshake from Clift and a hot dog from the PR man. He remembered the Tigers players lined up along the first base line and needling the Boy Bandit with quips like "Hey, Clift. You'll get blisters on your ass from that saddle," and "Don't shoot yourself in the foot," etc. Harlond got a big ovation on his first at-bat and responded with a line drive into the left field bleachers for his 16th home run. The final was 8-2 and Niggeling went the distance (no, I'm not kidding. Pitchers were actually expected to do that). Judnich had three hits and Rip Radcliff, George McQuinn and Johnny (Hollywood John) Berardino all had two.
While a publicity stunt orchestrated by team owner, Bill Veeck, it's still discussed in baseball circles some 62 years later. Some sources say it's probably the biggest baseball event in history even though it was a stunt. Demand for a copy of the scorecard was high, according to Rogers. He said he received dozens of calls inquiring about the scorecard during the weeks before the luncheon. The scorecard is available for purchase at $10. Send your check to the Browns Fan Club, PO Box 510047, St. Louis, MO 63151 Fans stood in line for more than an hour to get autographs of the players. The luncheon was at the Sheraton Chalet Hotel in Westport in northwest St. Louis County. Itâ€™s expected the 2014 luncheon will be at the same location. No date has been announced and is usually contingent on the availability of speakers.
Note - the Browns did the Cardinals one better with the Boy Brigade and the Girls Brigade as their versions of the Cardinals Knothole Gang. So we can claim that the Browns were in the avant garde of the women's Equal Rights Movement. By Bud Kane, St. Louis Browns Board Member
Baseball Songs include the Browns
Bobo Hollomon’s No-Hitter May 6, 1953
Check out this link on the Internet to hear a demo of two songs dedicated to the Browns - First in Shoes, First in Booze and Brownie Pop Flies.
Some facts about the Browns’ Bobo Hollomon’s no-hitter, May 6, 1953. ♦
To this day, Bobo is the only pitcher in modern history, and in American League history, to throw a no-hitter in his first major-league start.
The Browns had not hurled a no hitter since Ernie Koob and Bob Groom threw back-to-back no-hitters, May 5 and 6, 1917. So the Browns almost escaped town without treating the fans to a no-no in 36 years.
In 2004, baseball expert Bill James dubbed Bobo’s feat the second-unlikeliest no-hitter ever.
Bobo’s no-no was actually pitched in Busch Stadium, as the venerable Grand & Dodier field had been renamed upon purchase by August A. Busch Jr. Bobo thus became the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in Busch Stadium, which continued to be the home of the National League Cardinals until 1966. That includes one year of the Browns, sixteen years of the Cardinals, and all their opponents who played against them in that stadium. Busch Stadium … or Sportsman’s Park, was never considered friendly to pitchers.
Scroll down to songs #7 & 8. Here’s some others you may enjoy on this disk. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Will the World End Before the Cubs Win It All Miss Fenway Did Pesky Hold the Ball? Willie Mays Come Back and Play
One of the duties of your Browns Board of Directors is to follow up on leads of all kinds. Sometimes this involves pursuing new directions that the club has never taken before. Imagine our surprise when the opportunity dropped in our laps to have two brand-new songs written about our beloved Browns. In this case, the songwriter was none other than Joe Pickering Jr. who has written songs for HBO Films and has four albums of material in the national Baseball Hall Of Fame and Museum's sound collection. Joe was interested in writing new song about the Browns, and was not going to charge us anything, and all we had to do was work with him by providing him some of the history and lore of the team. Which naturally we were happy to do.
Bobo’s wife Nan published a biography of Bobo (real name Alva) which fetches big dollars on the collector’s market. One of the few known copies is displayed in the Browns Fan Club glass case at the Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis.
The result of this collaboration is "Brownie Pop Flies", a delightful song with a catchy hook and another called "First in Booze, First in Shoes." The lyrics for "Pop Flies" are a meditation, of sorts, on the Browns penchant for hitting the ball in the air rather than on a line. The singer of "Brownie Pop Flies" is Danny Mack, who is a member of a Hall of Fame in his own right: the Country Music Association of America Hall of Fame. The song features full instrumentation including guitar, bass, banjo, and piano.
"First in Booze, First in Shoes" is sung by Phil Coley who has produced and played on more than 100 albums, which were all recorded in his studio. His radio spots can be heard daily around the West GA. area. Songwriters from all over the United States use Phil to demo their songs. Whether Phil is playing guitar, producing music, or writing music, he can be counted on to give a 100 percent in any situation. http://www.thestlbrowns.com http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com
break the color barrier. Those three would be principally responsible for scouting Robinson and eventually convincing Branch to make him the first player to integrate the game.
An Assist from the Pride of the Browns, George Sisler
In 1947 Sisler was asked by Rickey to move his life to Brooklyn and monitor the progress of younger players, plus to meet with the manager and coaches before and after each game. The Dodgers benefited as the club was good enough to win the pennant in Jackie Robinson's first season.
After the death of Judge Landis in 1944, Senator Albert "Happy" Chandler was elected commissioner. About a year later Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson to play for the International League Montreal Royals for the 1946 season.
In 1949, Sisler was placed in full charge of hitting beginning with spring training. Jackie became his most notable project. In 1947 and '48 Jackie hit .297 and .296, but George knew he was capable of more. He had Robinson spend hours with a batting tee at the Vero Beach training complex, learning to hit to right field, and to learn to prepare for the pitch, always look for the fast ball, never a curve. Sisler's theory was that if a fastball was expected it was easier to adjust to a slow curve, rather than vice -versa. Jackie learned patience at the plate and stopped lunging.
When Jackie was to join the Dodgers for the '47 season, he would benefit from Rickey's design, as well as his coaches and especially from George Sisler. George had played college ball for Rickey at the University of Michigan in 1912 and 1913, where they formed a strong relationship. During Sisler's sophomore year Rickey left Michigan to join the front office of the St Louis Browns. So when Sisler was ready to try professional ball in 1915, it was Branch who came calling. The Browns would pay him $300 a month as well as a $5,000 bonus..
In 16 games in the Grapefruit League, he hit .521 in 48 at bats; On opening day against the Giants Jackie hit a homer and two singles. However, he would slump in the coming weeks and after 13 games was hitting around the .200 line. But confident that his training with Sisler had changed things for the better, he joked, "the Dodgers will have a great club, once Robinson joins them".
He entered the majors as a left handed pitcher, plus working out at first base and in the outfield. Pitching 70 innings with a 2.83 ERA, he also ended the season with a .285 average and 29 RBI's. Rickey would leave the Browns during Sisler's second season, but the young player continued to thrive. From 1916 to 1925 Sisler hit over .300 nine consecutive times and hit over .400 twice. In 1920, as an every day player, he hit .407 with 257 hits- a record that would stand for 84 years. In 1922 he hit .420, was named the American League's MVP, and led the Browns to within one game of winning the pennant. He ended his career in 1930 with a career average of .340 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939.
1949 was to be his first great season. He was named to the AllStar Game, hit a double in the first inning, and scored three runs. By mid-September he was in a tight race for the batting title, and when the smoke cleared in October he beat out Stan Musial and Country Slaughter for the top spot with a .342 average. In November, the Baseball Writers Association named Jackie the MVP in the National League. So it was determined that Jackie could play at the major league level after all. With an assist from the Pride of the Browns, George Sisler.
In 1942 one of Rickey's first moves with the Dodgers was to ask his former player and good friend to take a scouting position and be an assistant during spring training. In 1945 Sisler, along with Clyde Sukeforth and Wid Mathews, were responsible for scouting the Negro Leagues, as Rickey was looking to
~ Bud Kane Based on an article in the "Mature Focus" Magazine, April 2013
Pee Wee Reese. Gabriel founded the Brooklyn Dodger Fan Club in the late seventies. His was the original dead team fan club. We were second to him. I even christened our newsletter the Pop Flies in honor of his Line-Drives monthly one-man publication, which dealt more with his Hall of Fame predictions and Dodger trivia and minutiae. He also had a wonderful personal Dodger museum sequestered in his basement. *** But Gabriel’s club disintegrated with his early death four years ago. It was his show and his alone. I think he had only 125 or so on his mailing list. He did have a barbeque or two but never for 440 people. Ours became the Cadillac to his Plymouth in fan clubs. Now we are at least in the BMW category if not Mercedes category.
*** If someone had told me 10 years ago that the Browns’ Fan Club would someday host an event for 440 people, I would have checked to see if their pupils were dilated. But indeed we did thanks to Bill Rogers and his team of fearless and tireless assistants.
*** Incidentally SABR has dedicated an award to the bestwritten article on the Brooklyn Dodgers each year. Maybe we should do that for the Browns. Perhaps our members could alert us to any article of interest on the team and we could honor the best writers at the next luncheon. Let us have some feedback on that.
And what a glorious luncheon it was. The interview format utilized by Emmett McAuliffe worked like a charm to entice a great deal of candid information from Don Larsen who has told us that he plans to be back next year.
*** Kuttler also mentioned without naming the five or six other fan clubs, lumping us unfairly in the pack. But what the heck, he didn’t have to write anything about us and I am thankful for that. It is just that this franchise has been the brunt of far too many jokes and even the catchy phrase First in Shoes, First In Booze and Last in the American League is without known authorship.
*** The local press treated us like a Tea Party convention by ignoring the importance of what we are about and we still drew more than a number of Brownie games from the 1930s but even more than the game that got Red Barber fired from the Yankees in 1964. *** We did get a half page spread in the New York Times that ran on Sunday, October 20th. It was written by a freelance journalist, Hillel Kuttler. The writer immersed himself in Brownie lore for several hours. Bill Rogers and I talked to him separately for 90 minutes each. Bill told him about the importance of Bob Costas and Tommy Lasorda to our club as well our future plans that may include singer Roy Clark, and so on. But little was mentioned about our past. *** Granted he did include a good deal of perfunctory things about the Browns’ historical memories but little about the club’s past history. It may be sour grapes on my part but the only thing I know I told him that appeared was that Harmony Lineback and I started the club on October 4, 1984. He could have gotten that from Bill Rogers.
Billboard sponsored by Harster Heating
*** What may have wound up on his cutting room floor were the reasons and the occasion for the idea of founding a unique club such as ours. Sure there was a forerunner of old Brownie fans in Chicago (but not St. Louis) but they were not serious about the team’s history and its future memory. *** He missed the fact that we were inspired by the late Ron Gabriel, a SABR friend whom I accompanied to Cooperstown in 1984 to attend the induction of Brooklyn Dodger shortstop, http://www.thestlbrowns.com http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com
Are you ready for winter? 8
Award presented to Ned Garver by Greg Marecek, President, STL Sports Hall of Fame & accepted by Bill Rogers.
http://thestlbrowns.blogspot.com ack Buck http://brownsmerchandise.blogspot.com
Batts retired to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where fans asked him to coach baseball clinics. He and wife Arleene started Batts Printing, donating programs and tickets for games.
Former Browns Player, Matt Batts, Who Caught Satchel Paige, Passes Away at Age 91
Former 5-time CWS Championship Baseball Coach and LSU Athletic Director Skip Bertman recalls, "Matt Batts really was an unsung hero who was legendary for helping kids play better ball. Long after he left the big leagues, he always gave of himself as an instructor, and he and Arleene donated printing to help the clinics and LSU baseball. He will be missed."
Former Major League catcher Matthew Daniel "Matt" Batts died at his home in Baton Rouge on July 14, 2013 at the age of 91.
James Carville adds, "Matt Batts had arguably one of the greatest names in the history of baseball. All of his contributions to baseball serve only to compliment his later contributions to Baton Rouge. The city lost one of its great citizens and treasures in Matt."
In 1951, he was among the first catchers teamed up with Satchell Paige when Paige became the first black pitcher in the American League. He was also catcher for Detroit pitcher Virgil Trucks when Trucks became only the third Major League pitcher to throw a second no-hitter in a season.
Bob Savage Deceased at 91
Born in San Antonio and a standout player for Baylor, 20-year-old Batts accepted tuition money from the Boston Red Sox for signing in 1942. As a result, he was kicked off the team and joined the Army Air Corps for the duration of World War II. Batts would later be inducted into the Baylor Hall of Fame.
Bob Savage passed away on July 26, 2013 at the age of 91. He played one year with the Browns in 1949 appearing in 4 games as a pitcher. He started his major league career in 1942 with the Philadelphia Athletics playing with them from '42 through 1948.
In a fluke position change on San Antonio's semipro team, Batts found his niche behind the plate. Hired as backup catcher in Boston, Batts wowed Sox fans at his debut in 1947 by cracking a home run in his first Major League at bat. He batted .500 in his first sixteen appearances at the plate.
Savage was selected off waivers by the Browns on December 16, 1948.
"When you woke in the morning," he recalled to New York sportswriter Peter Golenbock, "you wanted to get to the ballpark because you enjoyed itâ€Ś loved the people, loved manager Joe McCarthy, coaches and the great ballplayers."
Eddie Gaedel Scorecard Aug. 19, 1951 Available
After four seasons, Boston traded Batts to the St. Louis Browns in 1951 where he hit .302 and caught for Satchell Paige. He was there when, as a publicity stunt, 3-foot-7-inch tall pinchhitter Eddie Gaedel made his only at-bat wearing Browns' jersey number "1/8." The following year, St. Louis traded Batts to the Detroit Tigers where he started 116 games as catcher.
This replica is an exact duplicate of the August 19, 1951 card when Eddie Gaedel stepped up to the plate. Order today. Quantity limited. 1 @ $10, 2 @ $15.
On August 25, 1952, Batts caught for Virgil Trucks when Trucks threw his second record-setting no-hitter. In 1954, Detroit traded Batts to Chicago, then to Baltimore later that year. Finally, the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds purchased Batts' contracts. His last appearance on the diamond was May 8, 1956, catching for Cincinnati. In 546 games of which he started 409, Batts racked up 26 home runs, 219 runs batted in, a batting average of .269 and a fielding percentage of .985.
Make check payable & mail to: St. Louis Browns Historical Society PO Box 510047 St. Louis, MO 63151 Questions? - 314-892-8632
Babe Martin, Last Surviving Member of ‘44 Browns, Cardinals Dies Babe Martin, former St. Louis Browns player, passed away on August 1, 2013 at his home in Tucson, AZ. Babe was the last surviving member of the Browns/Cardinals World Series teams in 1944. He was 93 years of age. Don started his baseball career in 1947 appearing in 16 games with the Aberdeen Pheasants. He had a 4-3 win-loss record and a 3.42 earned run average. He made his way the following seasons with different minor league teams such as the Miami Browns, the Wichita Falls Spudders, and the Wichita Indians.
Martin (March 28, 1920 – August 1, 2013) was an outfielder for the St. Louis Browns (1944 - 46 and 1953) and a catcher for the Boston Red Sox (1948 - 49). Babe was born Boris Michael Martinovich in Seattle, Washington to Serbian immigrant parents. He started his professional baseball career in 1940 and had a breakout year in 1944 with the Toledo Mud Hens batting .350 in 114 games.
In 1951, Larsen was drafted to the United States Army for the Korean War. He spent the next two years in the Army, working in a variety of non-combat jobs. He was discharged from the Army in 1953 and made the St. Louis Browns roster prior to the beginning of the season.
The following season, he joined the St. Louis Browns and was sent back down to the minors. Martin retired in 1954. In 69 major league games, he had 2 home runs, 18 RBI, and a .214 batting average.
Don Larsen started his major league baseball career pitching his first game on April 18, 1953. During a 15-year MLB career, he pitched from 1953–1967 for seven different teams. Larsen pitched for the St. Louis Browns / Baltimore Orioles (1953–1954; 1965), New York Yankees (1955–1959), Kansas City Athletics (1960–1961), Chicago White Sox (1961), San Francisco Giants (1962–1964), Houston Colt .45's / Houston Astros (1964–1965), and Chicago Cubs (1967).
Martin was a popular figure at many of the Browns player/fan reunions in recent years. You can view comments from Martin on the Internet along with Roy Sievers, Al LaMacchia, and Ed Mickelson from a recent fan clubs dinner at http:// bit.ly/14ssZlB .
Hub Pruett Had the Babe’s Number
Don pitched the only perfect game in MLB history, doing so in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. It is currently the only nohitter or perfect game in World Series history. He won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award and Babe Ruth Award in recognition of his 1956 postseason.
Hubert S. (Hub) Pruett, a left-handed pitcher who was once a nemesis of Babe Ruth.
After his historic achievement, asked whether he gets tired of talking about the same game, Larsen replied, "No, why should I?"
Pruett started a seven-year major league career in 1922 with the St. Louis Browns. He had an uncanny fadeaway delivery, with which, as a rookie, he struck out Ruth 10 of the first 13 times that Ruth faced him. During his career, Pruett struck out Ruth 15 of the 30 times he pitched to him.
Don pitched another perfect game for the St. Louis Browns Historical Society on September 26, 2013 for more than 440 baseball fans. While Larsen was not the only former Browns player present, fans lined up for hours to get his autograph . . . and Don didn't disappoint. He spent more than an hour signing a variety of documents before lunch and more than two hours after lunch. He didn't leave the area until the last fan walked away with his signature. A perfect afternoon.
Pruett retired from baseball after a seven-year career in which he pitched for the Browns, the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Giants and the Boston Braves. His career record was 29 victories and 48 losses.
Larsen entertained attendees while being interviewed by Emmett McAuliffe a member of the board of the Browns Historical Society. McAuliffe and Larsen "clicked" with a smooth flow of questions and answers about Don's baseball career and life after baseball. Continued Next Page
While still playing baseball, he had enrolled in the St. Louis University School of Medicine, and, having earned his degree after eight years, he became a practicing physician. http://www.thestlbrowns.com http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com
Missouri History Museum Says Browns Uniform the BEST
Other events of the day included: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Comments from Browns players present (Sievers, Mickelson, Thomas, Porter, and Lenhardt) A return of the Browns Bazaar and Silent Auction. Sales of logo merchandise - golf shirts, caps, T-shirts, DVDs, lapel pins Telephone interviews with Browns players, Ned Garver and Don Lund Induction of Ned Garver into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame A remembrance of deceased Browns players and in particular the six who passed away this year Memories of the Browns last season in St. Louis 1953 Video taping of the event which will be available for purchase.
St. Louis turns 250 years old in 2014, and the Missouri History Museum will commemorate the anniversary with an exhibit that tells the history of the city through 50 people, 50 places, 50 moments, 50 images, and 50 objects. History Happens Here is taking its readers behind the scenes of the making of the 250 in 250 exhibit, which will open in February 2014. When it comes to thrilling tournaments, we believe our Artifact Madness competition topped all others. And now the time has come to announce the winner. Appropriately enough, it was a sports artifact that dominated the tournament and became the last object standing. In the championship matchup the St. Louis Browns uniform beat out a dress worn by Lillian Lemp.
Feedback from attendees has been excellent. The "new" location at the Sheraton Chalet Hotel was a plus. While no date has been set for next year, we're already at work to make 2014 an even better and bigger event.
Winner of Artifact Madness: Jim Delsing's St. Louis Browns uniform from 1952. Missouri History Museum.
The Browns uniform will be included in 250 in 250, our upcoming exhibit commemorating the 250th anniversary of St. Louis and will be labeled as the “People’s Choice” artifact. I am particularly excited about this outcome because the uniform was considered by our curators as one of the 50 objects to include in the 250 in 250 exhibit but didn’t make their final list. It really was the visitors who ensured its inclusion. The uniform belonged to Jim Delsing, who played for the St. Louis Browns from 1950 to early 1952. The uniform, of course, tells more than a story of one player; it reminds of a time when St. Louis hosted two major league baseball teams, one American and one National. The Browns played in St. Louis from 1902 to 1953 before moving to Baltimore and being renamed the Orioles. It didn’t take long for us to realize that the Browns uniform was going to dominate Artifact Madness. We started with 16 objects. And while some matchups were incredibly close—the Century Camera from the 1904 World’s Fair beat out the Hawken rifle by only two votes—the Browns uniform won its first round face-off with 92.35 percent of the vote. That early victory was a foreshadowing of the uniform’s dominance. In both rounds two and three, it won with more than 85 percent of the vote. It had tougher competition in the final round, but still won with nearly 58 percent of the vote. http://www.thestlbrowns.com http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com
Ned Garver Named to St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame Greg Marecek announced the addition of Ned Garver to the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame during the ceremonies at the Browns Player/Fans annual luncheon on September 26, 2013. More than 440 fans were on hand to applaud Garverâ€™s achievements and recognition. The recognition which took place during the luncheon may be the first in baseball history made over the telephone. Since Garver was unable to attend the ceremony in person, the society arranged for a telephone connection which broadcast the conversation to all 440 in the banquet room. Society president, Bill Rogers, welcomed Garver to the believed first ever award ceremony done over the telephone. Greg Marecek, President of the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame gave the plaque to Rogers which was subsequently delivered to Garvin. More on Ned Garver on page 19.
Historical Society President, Bill Rogers, getting ready to welcome Ned Garver via a telephone conference call broadcast to all in the ballroom.
Jimmy Austin Manages Browns 3 Years Spread Over 10
In 1913, Jimmy Austin managed the Browns for 8 games while George Stovall managed 138 and Branch Rickey managed 11. In 1918, Austin managed 16 games while Fielder Jones managed 46 and Jimmy Burke managed 60. Austin finished his managing career in 1923 managing 51 games while Lee Fohl handled 101 games. The bottom line is Austin was a manager in three different year spread over a 10 year period, possibly a “record” that still stands.
§ ERA: Barney Pelty, 1.59 (1906)
Even Rube Waddell didn’t win 20. Just 19. Even in ’44 we didn’t have a 20 game winner . Nels Potter got 19. The Orioles have not had a 20-game winner for 27 years: (last was Mike Boddicker in 1984).
§ Wins: Urban Shocker, 27 (1921) § Innings: Urban Shocker, 348 (1922) § Strikeouts: Rube Waddell, 232 (1908)
Even though the Orioles have been around 5 more seasons than the Browns have, the Browns still have most of the important franchise single season pitching records: http://www.thestlbrowns.com http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com
§ Complete Games: Jack Powell, 36 (1902) 16
Joe Pickering, Browns Songwriter According to an article in my VFW Magazine titled "Sports Stars Turned Doughboys in WW1", one of only three verifiable former baseball major leaguers killed by enemy action in WW1 was St Louis Browns catcher, Harry Chapman. He was fatally wounded in combat and died at Camp Clark in Nevada, MO, on Oct 21, 1918. Harry played for the STL Feds (Terriers) in 1914 and '15 and 18 games for the Browns in 1916 Bud Kane, St. Louis —————————————————————
Joe Pickering writes professional songs of all types with a focus on sports, sports heroes and novelty songs. Songs have been in HBO Film, major TV and Radio Networks Song Lyrics in Major Sports Books and numerous newspapers. Five of his CD's are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame Sound Collection. King of the Road Music is the music publisher of the songs. Joe was delighted to write two songs about the Saint Louis Browns.
Who is the only pitcher ever to win more games in a World Series than he did in the regular season? In '45 GI's returning from the war were allowed to rejoin their old teams and were eligible for the World Series. Trucks and Greenberg took part in the series and Ol' Virgil beat the mighty Cubs in the second game 4-1 going 9 innings, thus Virgil won 0 games during the season and 1 game in the World Series. Bud Kane, St. Louis —————————————————————
Here’s Joe’s thoughts and comments on “Brownie Pop Flies.” Although the St. Louis Browns left Saint Louis over 60 years ago, the Fan Club holds in their hearts their magnificent memories of the team. Sadly, the Browns never won a world series in all the decades they played at Sportsman's Park. Nevertheless, their fans had many magical moments. This song is dedicated to the Saint Louis Browns Fan
August, 1940 John Whitehead of the St. Louis Browns pitched a rainshortened, six-inning no-hitter for a 4-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers in the second game of a doubleheader. Club. —————————————————————
While the Browns tried hard, it was seldom good enough. The major offensive weapon in their arsenal was their thousands of pop flies which only led to more outs and lost games. Pop flies became a symbol of the Browns so much so that the Saint Louis Browns Fan Club's magazine is called "Pop Flies." From this I had the idea of creating the song Brownie Pop Flies which I hope will please the most tenacious of baseball fans, the St. Louis Browns Fan Club, and all of those who love baseball and good and true humor.
Don Larsen recorded a save in the last win in Browns history, September 22, 1953, sixty years ago. ————————————————————— The STL Cardinals Matt Adams’ two home run performance on September 4, 2013 made baseball history.
CMAA award winner and Hall of Famer, Danny Mack, is the singer and producer of the song. With guitar, bass, banjo, piano, special effects and his distinctive voice, Danny brings out the devotion for Browns in this song.
According to the Elias’ Sports Bureau, Matt Adams became the first Cardinal to hit two home runs during extra innings in the same game. Adams also became the first player in MLB history to hit two home runs in the 14th inning or later in the same game.
It is a wonderful fun song about one of the most beloved teams of the past which remains in the present and will continue into the future. The Brownie Pop Flies were never enough, but like the Browns they were the right stuff!
Elias also said Adams became the first visiting player since 1943 to hit two goahead extra innings home runs in one game. The last player to accomplish the same feat was Vern Stephens of the St. Louis Browns.
Another great song First in Booze, First in Shoes! More on music by Joe Pickering on Page 8.
The Fans Remember Bob Muncrief III , Duncanville, TX My dad played against Virgil Trucks when my dad pitched for the Browns and Indians. Dad would talk about the good time he had after the 1948 season when he and my mother went to Michigan and camped out with the Trucks and the Swifts. Dad always thought highly of Mr. Trucks. _______________________________________
There are 30 former Browns players still with us with tons of memories about their playing days in baseball. Plus, there are tens of thousands of memories about the Browns from fans like yourself.
Paul Christman, Brooklyn, NY
How about sharing some of your memories with us? You can read memories from some of the fans in this issue. Just type or write up your recollection and either e-mail this to us at — firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to us at:
I got my copy of (Spring 2013) “Pop Flies” last night and enjoyed it. The 1953 St. Louis Browns was the only Browns team that played after I was born (in October 1952). My mother once said I cried a lot, and I’ve said I cried only after a Browns loss. So, in 1953, I cried a lot. _______________________________________
St. Louis Browns Fan Club P.O. Box 510047 St. Louis, MO 63151-0047
Cliff Bragdon, Melbourne Beach, FL
I wanted to describe two memorable St. Louis Brown games I saw as a member of the "Knothole Gang" at Sportsman's Park.
One: In 1952 Bill Veeck had a bullpen rocking chair exclusively for Satchel Paige. He had an impressive record of 12 wins and 10 losses with ten saves and a league high of 8 relief wins that season.
One of my wife's great-uncles (Mel Jones) was Manager of the Browns in the 1930's. Her Dad (his nephew) would receive Christmas gifts from him -- baseballs signed by the team of the day. That must have been quite a status symbol back then. _______________________________________
On that day the Browns were playing the New York Yankees at home and Satchel got out of his contour chair and went to the pitching mound to face Mickey Mantle, Gil McDougald and Hank Bauer. Taking his time with that over-the -head wind-up, he struck out all three batters in a row and returned to his special contour chair to the delight of the St. Louis Brown fans!
Vicki Martin, Webster Groves, MO I loved the article about Don Larson and Bob Turley playing ball in Wichita. Our Dad, Bob, was a scout for the Giants and Dodgers. When I was little my Mother and I went on scouting trips with him. Daddy's region was the Midwest and we went to Wichita many, many times. I would have been 5 or 6 years old. So no doubt I saw these gentlemen play ball before other St. Louisans did. I just didn't know the talent of the future. _______________________________________
Two: I believe it was 1953 when the Browns were playing the Boston Red Sox at home. It was a fairly close game, but the St. Louis Browns were losing. Ted Williams came up to the plate, with no one on base. The crowd booed him, which was fairly common. On one of the pitches, he lined it deep out of the ballpark. Williams then ran slowly around the bases smiling. When he rounded third base he spit at the booing fans, before he touched home plate. _______________________________________
Which three Brownies appeared in the Monty Stratton story with Jimmy Stewart? His comeback attempt was the subject of the film “The Stratton Story” which starred Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson, with big -leaguers Gene Bearden, Bill Dickey and Jimmy Dykes in cameo appearances. Al Zarilla and Chuck Stevens were in minor uncredited roles.
George Baker, Puyallup, Washington
Bill Christine, Redondo Beach, CA
As a young kid growing up in Montana, St. Louis was the closest major league city to my town. Some nights I could pick up radio broadcasts of the Browns or the Cardinals if weather conditions were correct. I really liked Ned Garver. I thought it was cool that he could win 20 games for such a woeful team.
My wife and I attended the 1994 luncheon. Ned Garver was photographed with friends of ours from Belleville, Marv and Sandy Spirtas. My wife Pat took the shot of them with Ned. All of them thanked Ned and started to walk away. "Hey, wait a minute," he said, pointing to Pat. "Don't you wanna get a shot of me with you, too?" So Sandy took the camera and shot Pat and Ned.
TV did not come to Montana until 1954. Live baseball broadcasts came a couple of years later. I had little opportunities to see my early favorites play.
But this was Ned. A lot of current major-leaguers could take a lesson.
I grew to like both St. Louis teams. I preferred Musial's Cardinals. I preferred the National League. I usually rooted for the NL in All Star games and the World Series, unless the Dodgers were involved.
I have a memory of Ned. When I was a sandlotter in East St. Louis, our team was going to play a short game before a Browns' game one night. Garver, naturally, was one of my heroes. I stepped into the Browns' dugout before our game, and the first guy I saw was Ned, sitting in the corner, smoking a cigarette. I was all of 12 and I was horrified.
I followed the Browns after they moved to Baltimore. Usually I dislike teams that desert areas. I did not dislike the Browns. The Cardinals were still in St. Louis. am glad that the team did not carry the name Browns with them to Maryland. I don't like teams that keep names after
But that was probably the worst thing Ned ever did. By the way, Marv and Sandy attended this year's St. Louis Browns luncheon and sent me a Browns' shirt. I've worn it a few times and people come up and ask if I'm from Cleveland. _______________________________________
abandoning cities. I attended games in Great Falls, Montana, in what was then the Class C Pioneer League. The league had teams in Billings, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Boise, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Great Falls in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Great Falls was usually a Dodger farm team.
> As usual I'm a day late and a dollar short, just remembered a good trivia question for Pop Flies. Who is the only pitcher ever to win more games in a World Series than he did in the regular season?
Now I live about 40 miles from Seattle's Safeco Field. I live about 20 miles from the home of Tacoma's Pacific Coast League team. I know what it is like to follow a woeful franchise. Seattle has largely been an expansion team for most of its 37 seasons.
In '45, GI's returning from the war were allowed to rejoin their old teams and were eligible for the World Series. Virgil Trucks and Hank Greenberg took part in the series and Ol' Virgil beat the mighty Cubs in the second game 4-1 going 9 innings (What?)
I still like the Cardinals. In fact, my favorite teams all play in the NL Central. I dislike all the California teams, especially the Walter O'Malley Dodgers. I tend to be a National League fan near an American League city, unless the Dodgers are involved.
~ Bud Kane, St. Louis Browns Historical Society
How to Contact Us
I am happy that members of your organization are keeping the memory of the Browns alive. I would like to attend the coming meeting, but my finances and my health restrict me these days. I well remember Don Larsen's gem. I was a high school junior that fall. I never liked the Yankees, but I disliked the Dodgers even more. I will never forgive the charlatans who took the Dodgers out of Brooklyn.
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