Around the bar at Kreutz Creek Valley VFW Post 7045, Gene Crumling was known as Lefty.

He tended bar there for longer than a lot of people could remember, and was pretty good at it. He was entertaining, a friendly guy, always had a story, and was known as a huge baseball fan. Lefty loved baseball. More than anything.


A one-hit wonder, they call players like him. They attract followings - baseball fans scour volumes of stats seeking out players who only had one hit in the big leagues - and Lefty was no exception. Until the day he died, last Saturday at age 89, hardly a week would go by without someone writing to him and asking for an autograph. He'd received requests from as far away as Japan. He got requests for autographs from current major leaguers.
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Native St. Louisan Eldred W. (Bud) Byerly, a righthanded pitcher believed to be the only surviving member of the 1944 Cardinals World Series champions other than Hall of Famer Stan Musial, died at age 91 on Thursday at St. Anthony's Medical Center after a brief illness.

Byerly, a Webster Groves High product, signed with the Cardinals' organization in 1940 and reached the majors in 1943. He was 2-2 in the regular season for the 1944 Cardinals, who beat the Browns in the World Series. Byerly appeared in one game in that series, pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
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