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LOUIS BROWNS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Discov er Browns ed in vault aft er 68 y W orld’s rs! Series Film (p g. 3)
Spring 2012 Spring 2010
2012 Browns Luncheon
June 14, 2012 ~ 11:30 a.m.
Holiday Inn St. Louis Southwest-Viking Conference Center (See pg. 4 for details)
Browns play-byplay Announcer, Hall of Fame
Sportscaster Milo Hamilton to Speak (see pg. 5)
Suitable for Framing: Club Issues FullColor Posters of Browns History
(order yours now, pg. 12)
Browns Fan Club Display, with Costas Video, Moving into Scottrade Center in Downtown St. Louis (get a sneak preview at luncheon)
http://www.thestlbrowns.com http://thestlbrowns.blogspot.com "Let me assure you that while the Browns are no longer on the baseball scene, http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com Hank Severeid (d. 1968 ) their memory will never die." –http://brownsmerchandise.blogspot.com
Browns World Series Movie Discovered!
Luncheon Lineup - June 14 Whole Lotta Browns Talk! PBP for Browns Was His 1st Gig Broadcaster Milo Hamilton Brownie Bits Founder Bill Borst’s Column Hot Springs, Arkansas Browns Spring Training Site 100 year-old Fan Saw Urban Shocker Pitch Two Complete Game Wins in Doubleheader Obituaries Dee Pillette, Marvin Yawitz “Brownie Pop Flies” Song Drops! Old Team, New Music Browns ‘44 Video, Collectors’ Item Posters Available Now! Greatest Individual Seasons…. ...on Terrible Teams Browns/Orioles Hall of Famers Milo Hamilton, Added Browns on the Internet Old Team, New Technology Browns Trivia How Good Are You? The Fans Remember Letters from die-hards New Fan Club Collectors’ Item Posters, Order Form
Open Letter to Fan Club Members
For the past several years, fan club members have been saying “How are going to top this luncheon next year?” We must admit it has been a challenge. We have some changes in the mill and with more special guests pending for our up coming lunch in June. Information on this year’s luncheon is included on several pages throughout Pop Flies. Here are a few items for your planning purposes.
3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19
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We plan to have a SILENT AUCTION this year offering a chance to purchase memorabilia items from various baseball sources. Logo shirts will be available for purchase and include denim, polo and T-shirts. Quantity will be limited so plan to arrive early. Replica jerseys will be available for purchase. This will be the third year in a row where we’ve had Hall of Famers present. We will have autograph tables set up outside the banquet room. Autograph time will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. DVDs will be available for purchase to include programs from past luncheons in 2010 (Tommy Lasorda, Bob Costas) and 2011 (Bob Turley, Whitey Herzog, Ned Garver). A DVD of the Cardinals-Browns 1944 World Series will be available for purchase. Instructions on purchasing this DVDs today is included in this issue of Pop Flies. The collectors item posters featured in this issue on page 12 will all be available on display. They may be ordered on site with delivery to you within the following week. Admission will be by ticket which will be mailed to you around May 25. Seating will be open so you can choose your location in the ballroom. You can make your reservation on-line today from our blog site at http://thestlbrowns.blogspot.com.
• • • •
Please join us. We want to see all of you come June!
President/COO St. Louis Browns Fan Club http://thestlbrowns.blogspot.com http://brownsmerchandise.blogspot.com
Browns World Series Movie Discovered After 68 Years
Film in good shape; Being Converted to Digital DVD
Officials of the Browns Fan Club were pleasantly surprised when they discovered a reel of 16mm movie film tucked away in a box of memorabilia donated by a club member. Club President, Bill Rogers, said he was carefully removing items from the box which included photos from the 1940s along with some plaques, newspaper clippings and financial records of the Browns when he discovered a film container resting in the bottom of the box. The container was Pictured above is Fan Club President, labeled "World Bill Rogers, opening the discovered Series 1944." Rogers didn't touch the container for a couple of weeks. He was concerned due to the age of the film and any possible deterioration until he could locate a company who could handle restoration of the film. As it turned out, the film was fully recoverable and now converted to digital DVD. It’s available for purchase from the Fan Club. See more information and ordering instructions on page 11. The film includes the first and only world series home run hit by Stan Musial and, yes, it was against our St. Louis Browns. The poster to the right, as part of our collector item posters, includes a photo of Musial crossing home plate.
movie case for the first time. Looking on is Billl’s wife, Mary Ann.
Reminder: Membership Dues for 2012 are now due. Please send your donation of $30 payable to the St. Louis Browns Fan Club to:
St. Louis Browns Fan Club PO Box 51047 St. Louis, MO 63151-0047
St. Louis Browns Luncheon 2012
irm Conf ed
June 14, 2012 Holiday Inn Viking
10709 Watson Rd. ~ St. Louis, MO 63127 10-11:00 Autographs 11:30 Program/Lunch
Milo Hamilton Hall of Fame Sportscaster St. Louis Browns, TV 1953 Houston Astros 1987 - 2012 Roy Sievers
irmed Conf ed
Bob Turley Invited
Don Larsen Invited
Bud Thomas Babe Martin Invited
Reservations can now be made on-line at our blog site: http://thestlbrowns.blogspot.com
Reservation deadline - June 10
Hall-of-Fame Broadcaster, Started with Browns, to Speak at Browns Luncheon
Houston Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton, an inductee in the broadcasters’ wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, will be a featured speaker at the St. Louis Browns Fan Club lunch on June 14, 2012. The lunch is set for 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn St. Louis Southwest-Viking Conference Center. Hamilton is a sportscaster best-known for his stints with the Astros, Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves and for famous calls like Henry Aaron’s record 715th homerun. But what is often forgotten is that he launched his long and distinguished broadcasting career with none other than the St. Louis Browns. He got his start with the Browns in 1953, as playby-play announcer on the TV side, broadcasting the games on KSD-TV (now KSDK-TV). KSD-TV is itself distinguished in the annals of television broadcasting: it is the eighth TV station in the United States and the second west of the Mississippi river. Like most St. Louis Browns employees in 1953, and indeed many players, Milo did not move with the team to Baltimore for 1954. Instead, he jumped to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he worked alongside Harry Caray and Jack Buck during the 1954 season. He later moved to the Chicago Cubs, partnering with Jack Brickhouse, Vince Lloyd and, eventually, Harry Caray again. [Caray is another Hall of Fame broadcaster who called Brownies games early in his career –Ed.] Milo also did stints with the White Sox and the Pirates and, as of the beginning of 2012, he has broadcast major league games in 59 different ballparks. Milo has received numerous awards for his work in broadcasting. In 1992, he received his induction in the National Baseball Hall of Fame by receiving the Ford Frick Award. In 2000 he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.
Now Open: St. Louis Browns Digital Museum
Page through hundreds of photos, autographs, baseballs, contracts, letters and more. You are invited to add your own memorabilia collection to the Browns digital museum. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please identify the players in any photos. We will include your name and city as a supplier unless requested otherwise. New items displayed every week. We expect the “museum” to expand fairly rapidly during the coming year. The Internet web address is: http://stlbrownsmuseum.blogspot.com
“Brownie Pop Flies”
Introducing …. a new song about the St. Louis Browns by songwriter Joe Pickering Jr. Full details and how to download your copy can be found on page 11. Here are the lyrics: A million memories of Sportsman's Park In day or night games oh what a lark We never won a World Series in the fall But we were champs: popping up the ball Decades roll by in our heart's eyes We still see Brownies popping up pop flies No team, but no team, hit them as high Popping them into the clouds in the sky Lazy pop flies twisting and turning Left us sighing and truly yearning For homers, and triples and doubles too Too few of those our Browns could do Line drives by our foes put tears in our eyes Our team battled back with our famous flies If our Browns had straightened them out They'd have gone further than the Babe could clout Our Brownies’ pop flies were never good enough Yet, like the Browns, they had the right stuff Our Brownies’ pop flies were never good enough Yet, like the Browns, they had the right stuff (to fade)
Download “Brownie Pop Flies” at:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dannymack13 Purchase for only $.99 http://www.thestlbrowns.com http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com
when the late Hall of Famer, Kirby Puckett of the Twins asked about his upcoming fatherhood. When Bob said he and his wife had not chosen a name for their baby yet, the bright-eyed outfielder with the infectious smile volunteered his name as suitable for either gender.
ï Sensing some sort of inherent challenge, Bob was more
than up to the task. “I’ll tell you what. If you are hitting .350 when the kid is born, we will name him after you.” As the season progressed, Puckett is well over the mark and Costas is getting unmerciful needling from his sidekick, Tony Kubek and I assume others. After Keith’s birth, Bob welshes on his wager. The ribbing only intensified. Bob rips up Keith’s original birth certificate and his name now reads: KEITH MICHAEL KIRBY COSTAS. [Sadly, Kirby Puckett passed away in 2006. –Ed.]
The past six months have been the most exciting and personally satisfying to me since we started the BFC over 27 years ago. Our new display in the St. Louis Hall of Fame is akin to being included in the Pantheon of American sports. For some reason, “fame” and “Browns” never really seemed to go together. I hope everyone who reads this will be able to view our growing exhibit over the ensuing months. There is only one gem left in the crown of goals I had in 1984 - a Browns History research Center at some local college library. We have lots of papers, books and artifacts that would make the beginnings of a repository for people from all over the country. If you have such a contact at a college, please get in touch.
ï We now have more websites than the Browns had All-Star
ï Thanks to Bill Rogers and company, the St. Louis Browns
Historical Society stands far above all other similar organizations, second only to SABR in my modest opinion.
ï While on vacation I came across an article in the Sunday
New York Times written by stalwart journalist, Robert Lipsyte. In his paean to the struggling NY Mets’ franchise, 50 seasons after their origin, he wrote a nostalgic article on the Amazin’ Mets. He recounted some interesting anecdotes on former Brownie field general, Rogers Hornsby, who was a coach on that first team. Lipsyte was in the lobby, sitting with Stengel and Hornsby. The latter was dressed nattily in his doublebreasted suit, open to a starched white shirt. Lipsyte stated that his icy eyes missed nothing. He was a font of personal advice, couched in baseball’s unique argot. Eyeing some of the lobby ladies he suggested that if I don’t get the pitch I want between 7 PM and midnight, he would retire for the evening, knowing that he would have another chance to bat the next evening. [Hornsby was noted for his batting vision as well, and would not read a newspaper.—Ed.]
I saw Jim Delsing’s widow, Roseanne at the 39th anniversary Mass of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in January of 2012. She always impressed me as a real lady and was a viable presence at many of our dinners. I was glad she said something to me after the Mass.
ï We all owe a big debt of gratitude to my friend of 35-years,
Bob Costas, for his ardent support of the club. I’m not certain what possessed him to get involved. Maybe it was his recent immersion in the Veeck-era Browns to make MLB Network Remembers: The Eddie Gaedel Story (2009). Or maybe it was simple gratitude from a Yankee fan to the team that made so many of those championships possible!
ï Hornsby was definitely a link to an earlier time in baseball
and America. He had been forced out of baseball 10 years earlier for mean-spirited behavior. This was the same kind of Rajah-like behavior that got him fired twice in St. Louis, the latter being the near mutiny in April of 1952 that Bill Veeck had to fly to Boston to end.
ï Bob was at one of our recent BFC luncheons and I was
fortunate to share a table with his son Keith at that one. Perhaps you are unaware but Keith’s christening 24-25 years ago came with a story honed from the stuff of legends. This was the first opportunity for me to actually speak with the young man. Of course he had heard the story many times.
ï His worst crime as a manager or a coach was when he
punched the saintly Branch Rickey for lecturing him on morality.
ï Hornsby warned Lipsyte about writing unfavorably about
him because, “If I don’t like it, I’ll be on your back so fast you wont know what happened.” And he would have!
Bill Borst Ph.D., founded the St. Louis Browns Historical Society and Browns Fan Club in 1984.
ï Also at our table was William DeWitt III, the president of
the Cardinals. He said he hadn’t heard the story. With Keith’s permission, I proceeded to tell the story with a fair amount of enthusiasm. Over the years I have told it many times. Bob was chatting around the batting cage years ago http://www.thestlbrowns.com http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com
Browns, Pirates, Dodgers and Reds were on hand. The following year the Red Sox, Dodgers, Phillies and Pirates shared the Spa. Hot Springs was a favorite spot with the Red Sox from 1915 through 1923. They joined with the Pirates for training during most of those years and in 1917–18 the Bostonians had the Dodgers as their exhibition game sparring partners Blake Harper, concessionaire at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, who spent the winter in Hot Springs, acted as representative of the Browns in the negotiations there. Normally, that city would be capable of taking care of a couple of clubs in addition to St. Louis and Pittsburgh, but there had been a heavy demand on its hotels that winter. As for as park accommodations, the Spa is well set. The Ban Johnson Field, where the Hot Springs team of the Former Cotton States League played its games, is available for one of the squadrons and just adjacent to the Johnson field is another park. California, we can’t come The Browns had arranged to go to Anaheim, California, former base of the Philadelphia Athletics, but the Pacific coast state was dropped as a result of a travel saving request by the head of Defense Transportation. Last year the Browns drilled at DeLand, Florida and prior to that made their spring headquarters at San Antonio, Texas. During the latter years of the Phil Ball regime, West Palm Beach, Florida was the regular camp of the Brownies. Incidentally, a deal was being cooked up between the Browns and Senators will probably bring pitcher Paul Dean to the St. Louis club in exchange for infielder Bob Dillinger and a sum of cash. Dillinger was with Toledo in 1942. [The Browns purchased Dean outright on February 1, 1943, so Farrington's scoop was partially true. But the Browns hung on to the future All-Star, Dillinger. Thank God! Since Dean only managed to pitch 13 innings for the Browns and was finished as a major leaguer by May of ‘43, the trade would have ranked up with the worst in Browns’ history. -Ed.]
Browns camp was once host to as many as four clubs
From an article written by Dick Farrington in 1942 The expected convergence of the Browns and Pirates from California on Hot Springs, Arkansas, as a training site, will find them treading ground where many of the great players of the past flashed their spikes. The Arkansas watering place at one time was the chief training center of the country for four major league clubs. It was in 1886 that the spot was first visited by a squad of major leaguers. That was the year Pop Anson helped make baseball history by taking his famous old Chicago White stockings there. Anson’s trip was one of the first, if not the first, on which a squad went south for practice. However, there began a gradual trek away from Hot Springs in the early 1920s and not since 1923 has a major league squad practiced there as club owners preferred to go into the deeper south or to the coastal states of Florida and California. The weather at Hot Springs was not always entirely favorable to conditioning muscles but the baths and mountain hiking were beneficial to the athletes. Many managers in more recent years have sent their battery men and older players to Hot Springs for preliminary drilling and boiling out prior to the work at the regular camps. Thus, such famous players as Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner and scores of others were familiar figures at the Spa early each spring. The Pirates made Hot Springs their base for many years, starting right after the turn-of-the-century, and the Browns, who were expected to team up with the Pirates next spring, did their exercises there back in 1911 when Bobby Wallace was manager. Starting with 1901 there was one run when the Pirates did not miss visiting Hot Springs for 15 seasons. Spot entertained four clubs at once A checkup reveals that at times as many as four big-league teams practiced there. That happened in 1911 when the
http://thestlbrowns.blogspot.com ack Buck http://brownsmerchandise.blogspot.com
Recognition of Donation
In support of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club - 2011-2012
Thanks to the many fans of the St. Louis Browns contributing to their memory and the history of baseball in the City of St. Louis
Ernest Accorsi, Jr. Ernest Accorsi, Jr. Larry Babich Larry Babich Phil Barry Alan Blumkin Hugh Bucheit John Bergman Donald Berra Paul Christman Alan Blumkin Larry G. Cox Robert Bolznd Keith Crider John Bucheit Vic Doder Don Boniface Edward Dzielenski James Byrne Rick Eichhorst John Buchheit John Faris Albert Bujewski Ken Fischer Keith Castelluccio Frank Gronn Paul Hart Matt Christman Don Chrzanowski Fred Heger Larry G. Cox Marty Hughes Keith Crider Robert Hulsey Bill DeWitt, Jr. Henry Iske Charles Jones Landon DiMercurio Vic Doder Chuck Koerner DanielDunavan Jr. John LaMacchia, Edward Dzielenski Gene Edwards Rick Eichhorst John Faris Ken Fischer Brad Friese Frank Gronn, Jr Ray Gilliam Richard Hartsook Matt Hart Fred Heger Alan Hiles Charles Hopkins Marty Hughes Robert Hulsey Laverne Isenberg Henry Iske Landon Jones Chuck Koerner John LaMacchia, Jr. Al Lazure Lewis Levey Al Lazure Byron Levey Lewis Martin Joseph McCann Byron Martin TomMashak / Leo McCauley Joan Baseball Comm. WI DeWitt McKean GeneMoran Mike McLaughlin Leo Mashak / Tom Murrah WI Nikolaisen LeroyBaseball Comm. Mike O’Toole Tom Moran William Moriarity Charles Rea Tom Murrah John Reinebold LeroyRyan John Nikolaisen Tom O’Toole John Schoon Ron Paul Dan Shirley Charles Rea Douglas Sidel John Reinebold Robert Smith John Ryan Oscar Soule John Schoon John Sponsler Dan Shirley Warren Stegmann Douglas Sidel Steve Steinberg James Smith Roxy Stotler Robert Smith Wayne Williams Oscar Soule John Sponsler Phillip Stefaniak Warren Stegmann Steve Steinberg Roxy Stotler George Walden Wayne Williams
A “Tip-of-the-Hat” to those fans who contributed to the St. Louis Browns Historic Society. This helps support our long retired Browns players to attend our annual reunion gatherings. Your contribution is earmarked for travel expenses and special guest appearances at our meetings. While it might be nice to have one person or one company sponsor the attendance of a player, it may not be affordable. By combining our resources and joining together, we can keep the spirit of the St. Louis Browns alive. The names shown to the left are those who made an extra contribution in 2011 - 2012 in addition to their membership dues. Membership dues for 2012 are due as of January 1. Membership is $2.50 per month ($30 per year). If you wish to pay now, or if you want to join the St. Louis Browns Fan Club, make your check payable to the ST. LOUIS BROWNS FAN CLUB for $30 (or more) and mail to:
St. Louis Browns Fan Club P.O. Box 510047 St. Louis, MO 63151-0047
Where Your Donation Goes
Travel - To help cover the expenses of players to attend our reunion lunches and dinners. This includes air and land travel, lodging, and meals. Memorabilia - When all of the Browns players along with ourselves are gone, the only way to continue the memory and history of the Browns is through memorabilia. We are moving to have the Browns memorabilia available in the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame this spring in the Scottrade Center in Downtown St. Louis. Staff - While the Browns Fan Club is operated by volunteers, we sometimes need to reimburse our volunteers for expenses they may incur in behalf of the organization. Printing - The primary costs incurred for printing are for Pop Flies Magazine and miscellaneous programs for meetings and marketing.
Spring Training Locations
100 Year Old Fan Remembers Urban Shocker Winning Both Games of Doubleheader
From Fred Nachman, Chicago, IL
My uncle, Dr. Adolph Nachman, turned 100 on Jan. 4. Our family is originally from Chicago’s South Side, so he and my father were White Sox fans from the beginning. Adolph unfortunately saw his first Sox game in 1921, the year after the Black Sox players were banned from baseball. A few weeks ago during a visit, his son, Bob, and I were asking about Adolph’s early trips to Comiskey Park. To our surprise, he said he saw a pitcher, Urban Shocker of the St. Louis Browns, start and win both complete games of a doubleheader.
pened on September 6, 1924. The Browns defeated the Sox, 6-2 in both games. This feat was accomplished only once after that, by Dutch Levsen by Cleveland vs. the Red Sox on August 28, 1926. I would bet my life he’s the only person left who saw those games. [Editor’s note: Despite beginning and ending his career with the Yankees, and being born in Cleveland, Shocker is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.]
We looked it up on our cell phones and found indeed this haphttp://www.thestlbrowns.com http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com
Duane Pillette Passes, Last Browns Starting Pitcher
Duane Xavier “Dee” Pillette, a mainstay of the Brownie pitching staff in the early 1950s, and the starting pitcher on that fateful day, September 27, 1953, died May 6, 2011 in San Jose, Ca. at the age of 88. After having lost three years to military service, Dee broke into the majors with the New York Yankees in 1949. Traded to the Browns in 1950, he finished his big-league career in 1956 with the Philadelphia Phillies. He compiled a 38-66 lifetime record. He also won both the first game, and the first home game, in Baltimore Orioles history (April 14, 22, 1954). Pillette was the son of former major league pitcher Herman Poycarp Pillette, who spent only four of his 26 professional seasons in the big leagues. “My father was always my hero and I wanted to be just like him,” Dee said in an April 2010 interview. When Dee led the American League in losses with 14 in 1951, there was a silver lining to the devoted son: his dad had also led the AL in losses, in 1923. The patriarch did not want his son to follow in his footsteps. In a 2009 interview, he discussed how his father wanted him to stay far away from baseball. “My father never talked much about baseball except he didn't want me to play. He fought me tooth and nail when I was a kid. Even though he didn't make much money in the Coast League, he sent me to Parochial schools.” He never got past the sixth grade, Dee remembered. His father stressed the importance of getting an education ahead of playing baseball. He said, “I don't give a damn about baseball, you aren't going to make any money. I want you to get a good job and the only way is to get a good education.”As any teenager would do, Pillette pleaded his case to his father. “I said, ‘You don't have any money and I don't have any money. I have to play baseball to get a scholarship.’” He said, “I'll let you play in high school, but if you have a scout come around, he has to talk to me.”
2011 of complications from a stroke. He was 92. Mr. Yavitz worked his entire career with St. Louis-based Sachs Electric Company. According to the Sachs company website, the company did “the design/build contract for the flood and stadium lighting illuminating Sportsman's Park, home of the St. Louis Browns baseball team.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in an obituary published last year, confirms Mr. Yavitz’ supervising role in that project. The first night game in St. Louis was on May 24, 1940, the Browns versus Bob Feller and the Cleveland Indians. Attendance was 24,827, the largest crowd for either a Cardinals or Browns home game that year.
The Story of an Emblem
When Donald L. Barnes and his associates purchased the American League Baseball Company in 1936, they decided among other things, to identify by a new and distinctive emblem, everything pertaining to the Browns. A nationwide contest was held to select such an emblem, and a committee of local newspaper men acted as judges. More than 2000 persons from the United States, Canada and Mexico sent in ideas and drawings. These included everything from animal symbols and elf-and-brownie legends to a simple sketch of a baseball. The winner was Miss Helen Seevers of St. Louis who submitted a design of an equestrian figure atop a “Browns” baseball, with a shield of stars and stripes as a background. Each of the eight stars on the shield represents a member of the American League. The stripes are emblematic of the nine men on the field who make up a team in America’s greatest sport – Baseball. The figure on horseback is St. Louis the Crusader, the illustrious King Louis IX of France. Clad in 13th century armor, he holds aloft his inverted sword forming the cross – the cause to which he devoted so much time, treasure and effort. The equestrian statue from which the Browns emblem was developed had been presented to the city of St. Louis by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company in 1906. From that time on, its design has been regarded as the official emblem of St. Louis.
Marvin Yavitz, 92, Brought Lights to Sportsman’s Park
Marvin Yavitz, of St. Louis, a retired electrical engineering executive who supervised the installation of lights at Sportsman’s Park, died in
Baseball Hall of Fame Song Writer Writes New Tune About Your Beloved Browns
By Emmett McAuliffe, St. Louis Browns F.C. Board 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 a brand-new song 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. The result of this collaboration is "Brownie Pop Flies", a delightful song with a catchy hook. The lyrics 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. The song is available for digital download at CD Baby. Other online outlets will be available soon (details below), as well as a compact disc edition. CD Baby also allows a free streaming sample of the song so that you can make up your mind about the $.99 purchase. The lyrics are printed on page 5 in this issue of Pop Flies. We, in the fan club, hope that you will support Joe and reward him in his efforts. And may this song spark a renaissance of some new Browns art, story, song and "lore". ~~~~~
All-St. Louis World Series DVD Now Available
The recently discovered “movie” of the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals in the 1944 World Series (illustrated below) has been digitally restored and is now available. It is similar to the ‘44 World Series DVD that has been available in the market for past years. You can order this today and play through your TV. No computer is required. Send check for $15 payable to St. Louis Browns Fan Club and mail to:
STL Browns Fan Club PO Box 510047 St. Louis, MO 63151
A DVD from the 2010 luncheon with Bob Costas and Tommy Lasorda is available for $15. Send your order to the address above with your check payable to the St. Louis Browns Fan Club. Specify “Browns 2010 Lunch DVD.”
r’ athe For F y? s Da
The song is now available on digital download from CD Baby and soon available on Apple I Tunes, Amazon, Napster, etc. You can purchase a digital download from CD Baby at this link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dannymack13
Browns Fan Club Announces New Collector’s Item Posters ~Full Color~
We have completed the first 10 in a series of collector item posters of people, places and events in the history of the St. Louis Browns. Take a look at some of these on the internet at our merchandise site. Visit:
The first installation of the posters is at the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame Bar & Grill (Formerly Pujols 5) in Westport in west St. Louis County. The posters are ideal for business offices, sports bars, home recreation centers, restaurants, etc. They are matted, can be hung “as is” or framed. The size is 20” x 30” and sell for $125. The second poster is $110 and the third and more at $95. To order, see the order form on page 17.
Greatest Individual Seasons on Terrible Teams
Excerpted from www.platoonadvantage.com By The Common Man, October 2010
record because their pitching staff would finish with -5.1 WAR, which was not quite enough to cancel out Sisler’s 5.6. The 1B hit .353/.390/.453, with 37 SB, 30 doubles, and nine triples. His OPS+ was 161. Sisler would go on to become a dominant force in the late teens and early ‘20s, and had just finished (arguably) his greatest season in 1922 (he hit .420) and won the MVP, when he was stricken with a case of acute sinusitis. While this doesn’t sound serious, he developed an infection that spread to his optic nerve, and he began seeing double. After sitting out all of 1923, he came back but was never the offensive force he was before. In his first 8 seasons, his OPS+ was 154 and was 46.2 wins above replacement. In his last 7, it was 97 and he had just 4.2 WAR. 29) Harlond Clift (St. Louis Browns) 1937, 5.9 WAR Harlond Clift was the first of the prototypical slugging 3B, (Jim Baker, in The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract called him “the primeval Mike Schmidt”) the first 3B ever to hit 30 HR. Clift was almost as good in ’38, when he hit 34 homers, but he played for a far worse team in ’37 (the Browns lost 108 games). He hit .306/.413/.546 with 29 homers, 36 2B, and 103 R, and 118 RBI. More from Baker: “It was Harlond Clift’s business to play third base for the St. Louis Browns for the better part of the thirties and early forties. This was not a glamour position in Clift’s profession; it was roughly equivalent, let us say, to teaching astronomy at the Colorado School of Mining…. Not only was he a Brown, but he was a Brown when the ebb and flow of fortune had reduced them to an all-time low.” 13) Ned Garver (St. Louis Browns) 1950, 7.1 WAR) From 1948 through 1960, Ned Garver had an ERA+ below 100 just three times (92 in ’53, 98 in ’55, and 97 in ’58). For his trouble, he never pitched on a team that finished above 5th in the AL standings, and when the
(Continued next page, See “Greatest Seasons”)
[Editor’s note: A well-known blogger in the Blogosphere called simply “The Common Man” recently published a list of “40 Greatest Individual Seasons on Terrible Teams”. Perhaps not surprisingly, Browns players were three of the top 40. Below are edited versions of what the common man has to say about three of our heroes. Incidentally, The Common Man adjudged Steve Carlton’s 1972 season with the Philadelphia Phillies as the absolute greatest season on a terrible team. ] Research looked at the top WAR seasons (BR.com method) by players whose teams finished with a winning percentage below .400, and then accounted for the number of games their teams played. Here are some of the top greatest seasons by players on terrible teams: 40) George Sisler (St. Louis Browns 1917, WAR: 5.6) When discussing the greatest 1B of all time, Gorgeous George Sisler often gets overlooked because the back end of his career was pretty pedestrian and because the old St. Louis Browns don’t exactly have a large fan base these days. But in his original Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James pays tribute to him, “George Sisler is probably the only player other than Gehrig who can reasonably be considered the greatest first baseman ever in terms of peak value…. Sisler was a different type of player; he didn’t have the home run pop, but he hit for a higher average, was faster and a better defensive player than Gehrig, and the comparison between the two is not easy.” Sisler had only been a position player for a year and a half when the 1917 season started (converting from pitcher), and the Browns would scuffle to a 57-97
(Continued from page 13)
A Fan Remembers When Musial Pitched and Garver Played Outfield
Don Stelzer This remembrance concerns Stan Musial and Ned Garver [who have been on the dais together for Browns Fan Club reunion dinners a time or two –Ed.] . I was in the stands in the early 50s to see Stan Musial pitch and Ned Garver play outfield. Ned was a fine hitter, hitting .305 the year he won 20 with the lastplace finishing, 100-game losing Brownie team. And of course Musial started his pro career as a pitcher. The only time Stan pitched in a major league game was in late September of 1952 against the Cubs and during his race for the batting title against Frankie Baumholtz. In the first inning of the game, to add even more drama to the batting-title race, Musial came in from the outfield to pitch to Baumholtz. Frankie was a fine basketball player and one of the first big leaguers to play in the NBA. He took a swing at Musial's pitch and drove the ball to the left of 3rd baseman Ray Jablonski and he knocked it down. Baumholtz got to first and the official scorer called E-5 which got a chorus of boos from the Cubs dugout. It was definitely a "homer call" but it remained unchanged. At a game in 1950 when the Browns held a one-run lead in the 9th inning, with the tying run on second with two outs, Zack Taylor called time and took Garver off the bench and inserted him in left field. The batter lined a base hit to left. The runner took off for home and Ned made a perfect throw to the plate where Sherm Lollar put the tag on the runner for the last out.
league expanded in 1960, he was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels. His career ERA+ is 112. No other player with a mark that high has a career winning percentage lower. It’s actually hard to distinguish between this season and his 1951 campaign, in which he managed to win 20 games for the last place Browns. WAR gives ’50 the advantage, and his 3.39 ERA (versus ‘51’s 3.73) would confirm that.
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Voice From the Sidelines
St. Louis Fans Sound Off - 1949-50 From William Fleischman In 1949 St. Louis was a three-newspaper town with the morning Globe Democrat and the afternoon publications, the Post Dispatch and the StarTimes. Each paper’s sports department recorded the achievements and failures of the baseball Browns and Cardinals along with the basketball Bombers, hockey Flyers and the football and basketball squads of Washington and St. Louis Universities. On Monday, August 29, 1949, the Star-Times Sports Department launched “Voice from the Sidelines.” Fans mailed their questions, comments and complaints to Assistant Sports Editor Bill Fleischman who provided his commentary and quips to the topics. Here are a few letters and comments received as published in Mr. Fleischman’s book, “Voice From the Sidelines.” —————————————————————— DEAR BILL: What is the idea of your column anyway? All you do is insult people’s opinions, especially if they say something about the Browns. You make it plain you’re a Cardinal Fan. Tom Dunlong 9/8/49 —————————————————————— DEAR BILL: I think $1.35 for general admission to the Browns’ games is too much money. They sell all the good ballplayers and pocket the money, then bring up kids from Class B or Class C clubs. Bill Amad 9/14/49 (Roy Sievers came from a Class B club, Bill) —————————————————————— DEAR BILL: Will you please publish the 1944 attendance figures for both the Cardinals and the Browns? Richard Wulf 9/26/49 (Browns - 508,600; Cardinals - 486,000) ——————————————————————
DEAR BILL: I’ve noticed a lot of letters from Browns fans who keep praising the club and saying how good it is - except for pitching. If they’re such good Browns fans, why don’t they go to the games? Anonymous (Bill DeWitt would like to know the answer, too.) —————————————————————— DEAR BILL: Don’t the fans realize that if the “much-sold Browns” leave town that will give St. Louis only a National League representative? As for me, I want to see both leagues in action so I can make a comparison. John S. 10/18/49 (Who said anything about the Browns leaving town.) —————————————————————— DEAR BILL: Should the DeWitts dispose of Dillinger and Priddy, they might just as well form a four-team league consisting of St. Louis U., Concordia Seminary, Washington U. and the Browns. Les Hohl 11/3/49 (You forgot about Eden Seminary, Les. The school usually does pretty well in baseball. —————————————————————— DEAR BILL: I’ll bet you haven’t got another reader just like me. I don’t have any complaints. I like the [hockey] Flyers. I think the Cardinals are great and I believe the Browns will be vastly improved over last year. Life is certainly wonderful. Kitty 1/10/50 (Are you sure you’re feeling all right Kitty?) —————————————————————— DEAR BILL: How does a guy who wanted you to join the Brownie Booster Club get that way? Imagine saying the Browns will be playing the Dodgers in the World Series! Everybody knows it will be the Braves. And by the way, did you join? If you did, congratulations, and come down to the meetings. Richard Gerding 4/20/50 —————————————————————— DEAR BILL: While passing through St. Louis the other day on my way to Dallas, I ran across your column and the letters from Cardinal and Browns fans. Some seemed to be full of praise and others full of criticism. But you St. Louis fans don’t know how well off you are. How would you like to be from Chicago and have a choice between the kitten-like Cubs and the faded White Sox year after year? Oh, you lucky St. Louisans. A.K. Miller, Chicago 5/8/50
Although Courtney perhaps never lived up to his rookie season, he served as a durable (“Scrap Iron”) catcher for several American League clubs through 1961 and only retired after failing to make the National League expansion Houston Colt .45s in the spring of 1962. Byrd, on the other hand, lost 20 games his sophomore year, was relegated to bullpen work and was out of baseball by 1958, with a 46-54 lifetime record. > 30/30/.320 club. Jacob Ellsbury, of the Boston Red Sox, who finished second in MVP voting in 2011 (to Detroit’s Justin Verlander), was the second player in AL history, joining Ken Williams in 1922, to hit .320 with 30 home runs and 30 steals. > Kenny dissed. Williams incidentally did not get a single MVP vote in 1922 despite driving in 155 runs. Reason? Under the MVP rules of the time, voters were required to select one player from each team. In 1922, teammate George Sisler hit an incredible .420 (.4198), a level that had not been reached since 1901 and would never be reached in the American League again. So even though Kenny bested Sis in Home Runs, RBIs, slugging and total bases, the MVP voters could not manage to throw Ken even a sympathy vote. Yet at least five “Pitching Is Everything” MVP voters actually thought Urban Shocker was more valuable to the Browns in ‘22 than Sisler! ____________________________________________ > “Outfielder” Don Larsen?? The Browns’ Don Larsen set a record for pitchers with seven hits in succession in 1953. Whereupon manager Marty Marion gave serious thought of converting him into an outfielder. “Some of our heavy-hitting outfielders these days don’t make seven hits in a week,” quit Marion. Although “What If” games are tricky, it is certain that if Skipper Marion had followed through on this idea, and Don had been converted to an outfielder, he would not have been pitching any World Series games, perfect or non. ____________________________________________ > Brownie Rookies of the Year. Despite the sagging fortunes of The Sporting News, once the “paper of record” of sports and “The Baseball Bible,” the Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award is still awarded each year, even though it has been eclipsed in popularity by the MLB Rookie of the Year award. In some years the choices made by voters of the respective awards differ significantly. We saw this just recently with the 2011 awards. Although the National League awards both went to the Atlanta Braves Craig Kimbrell, the MLB choice in the AL was Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hillickson while The Sporting News selected Mark Trumbo, the Los Angeles Angels first baseman (rudely supplanted by the signing of Albert Pujols). In 1949, St. Louisan Roy Sievers was chosen as rookie of the year by both awards. But in 1952, the MLB award went to Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Harry Byrd while the Sporting News Rookie of the Year award went to the Browns’ Clint Courtney. Clint had bested Yogi Berra in fielding percentage to win the AL crown in that category and hit a respectable .250. Plus, wheeler-dealer Bill Veeck had sent 19 different pitchers to the hill in 1953, and the rookie backstop learned them all. http://www.thestlbrowns.com http://StlBrownsMuseum.blogspot.com
Roy and Clint were the last two Browns to win major awards. ____________________________________________ > Did you know the only father son combo to wear a Browns uniform were Doc Crandall and son Jimmie Crandall? Well, sort of. Doc Crandall played for the Browns and his son Jimmy wore the uniform as a coach in 1953. Doc Crandall has the distinction of being the only player to play for all three 20th century St. Louis MLB teams: the Cardinals, the Browns and the Federal League Terriers. In the minors from 1932 until 1947, Jimmie Crandall lost four center-cut years to military service. After returning from service, Jimmy could never quite make it up to the big league club, the Browns. The Browns might have had trouble figuring out where he fit: positionally, he was a rare catcher-relief pitcher. A case of “All Arm and No Hit” perhaps? In being this versatile, Jimmy must have been taught by his dad that playing only one position was for pansies. Doc Crandall had played 85 big league games in the field (mostly at second base) in addition to his 305 games on the mound. ____________________________________________ > From Washington Times, February 28, 1912: Jim Delahanty five years ago wore the uniform of the St. Louis Browns and was “asleep at the switch” most of the time. Manager McAleer “tin-canned” Jamie for failing to slide on a play at the plate…Instead of sliding, he walked into the catcher and allowed himself to be tagged out. “Why didn’t you hit the dirt?” demanded Manager McAleer when Delahanty returned to the bench. “He had me dead to rights,” replied Delahanty, “and I couldn’t see any use of soiling my clean flannel shirt.” “Mother, mother, mother, pin a rose on me,” roared McAleer. “First man who offers me the waiver will get you.” A week later…Jim was passed along to the Nationals. Four years after St. Louis gave Delahanty away (for a reported $2,000), he hit .339. ____________________________________________ > Oct 1, 1944 - The Browns have their first sellout in 20 years‚ and their largest crowd ever‚ as 37‚815 pack Sportsman's Park.
The Fans Remember
Monsignor Jerome Sommer, St. Louis, MO A Browns Memory to Share. The year was 1922, known ever since as the year when the Browns almost won the pennant, beating them out by one game was – who else? – The New York Yankees. Having watched my first major league game that summer when Babe Ruth came to town, I spent my 7th birthday in midSeptember sick with scarlet fever. I was a patient at the Isolation Hospital on Arsenal Street for six weeks. My father visited me but he had to remain outside as a precaution against the illness – and the first thing I asked him was, ”Did the Browns win the pennant?” Only then did I learn that my favorite team in those days had lost out to the Yankees. Twenty-two years went by before the Browns won their only pennant. I was in Sportsman’s Park when the Browns won the first game of the streetcar series. As I recall, George McQuinn hit a home run to beat the Cardinals. ———————————————————Jim Christen, Naperville, IL Specific memories of attending Browns games are rare, but I do specifically remember the few times I got to sit in box seats. The box seat occasions were when the Missouri Pacific Railroad official, down the street, got the MoPac box for himself and invited my dad and I to go to the games. Seats were behind third base. The other one time I sat in the box seat was brought about by a lady on the 3900 block of Shenandoah, telling us neighborhood kids, if we stayed off the grass she planted that spring (1946), she would take us all to a ballgame. She sure did. To my surprise we went to box seats behind first base. Even more surprising, she rented seat cushions for all of six of us, something my father never did, as we always took our own cushions. She must have been generous with buying concessions, as I don’t remember being hungry or thirsty. But, the really specific thing I remember at that doubleheader in the box seats, is the lady pointing out Dizzy Dean three rows in front of us. I went down and got his autograph. A prized possession! There must have been baseball in my blood early on, as when I was brought home from the hospital in December, 1934 it was to 2919 Dodier St., just 1 ½ blocks from old Sportsman’s Park. Jonathan S. Fine, Chestnut Hill, MA - reports on a very FINE player I was particularly pleased to see the name of Tommy Fine on the 1950 Browns scorecard which you have available. He was no relation, but the only player named Fine to play in the major leagues. He was one of numerous players whose careers were adversely affected by the war and so his major league career was extremely brief. His best year in organized baseball was with the 1946 Scranton Red Sox, which won the Eastern league pennant by 18 ½ games. His record that year was 23 wins and only three losses, with an ERA of 2.08. He pitched six shutouts and was the league’s MVP. His performance that year would have to be considered memorable at any level of professional baseball. Tommy played for the Browns only one year. He appeared in 16 games in 1950. There are 32 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. 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 — email@example.com or mail to us at: St. Louis Browns Fan Club P.O. Box 510047 St. Louis, MO 63151-0047
>> On April 18, 1938 the St. Louis Browns offered the Yankees $150,000 for DiMaggio, which the Yankees refused. On April 21, DiMaggio signed for $25,000, less the money he lost for not reporting on time. >> 1912 - At Sportsman's Park against the Browns, Eddie Collins becomes the only player to steal six bases in one game for a second time. The Philadelphia A’s second baseman’s feat of thievery has yet to be surpassed. >> Which Brownie holds the A.L. record for Most Consecutive Years Pitching?
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It was Sam Jones a/k/a Sad Sam. Sam Jones was a member of the 1927 Browns among other teams. He pitched from 1914 to 1935.
> 1931 - Lefty Grove of the Philadelphia Athletics
was beaten 1-0 by Dick Coffman of the St. Louis Browns, snapping a personal 16-game winning streak. A misjudged fly ball by outfielder Jim Moore led to the winning run.
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