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Thread: 1902 St. Louis Browns

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Brownieand45sfan View Post
    we are seriously indebted to you. These pictures are outstanding. I don't believe I've ever seen a picture of Robert hedges before.

    I would be curious as to what evidence of a "backlash" there was. (Although I think the backlash would be quite natural.) It appears that the Browns bested the Cardinals in attendance quite significantly in 1902. Plus, the Browns did substantially better than the Brewers franchise had done with respect to the turnstiles, while diminishing the Cardinals gate from 1901 severely.

    On the lighter side,… They sure had some elaborate warm-up jackets in those days, didn't they?
    Thanks for your comments, Brownieand45sfan. Regarding the fan support, I was paraphrasing the following paragraph from the SABR biography of Hedges (which in turn included quotes from a St. Louis newspaper of the early 1900's):

    Hedges' raids on the Cardinals created a backlash of support for the National League team. "The faithful never forgave him [Hedges] for wrecking the best team the town ever had," wrote The Times (St. Louis) at the start of the 1908 season. In retrospect, said Hedges, he should have followed the strategy of the New York Americans. Rather than raiding the Giants, they signed stars from another city altogether, Pittsburgh (The Times, St. Louis, April 23, 1908).

    The SABR biography also includes the following statement, however: They were in first place for most of the season, only to be caught in September by the Philadelphia Athletics. I did check this out, and found that, though the Browns contended for most of the season, they were only in first place for a few days total. I should have looked into the attendance records before I posted. I've now deleted that part of the sentence in my first post.

    And, yes, I agree; the Browns had fabulous warm-up jackets. I wonder what one of them would cost now?

  2. #22
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    While I was driving back to St. Louis this week from a family vacation in western Virginia, and remarking about how far and grueling a trip that is, EVEN NOW, with 70 mile an hour speed limits and air-conditioning, I thought about the ballplayers in the early days of baseball. Granted they traveled by train, which has certain comforts, but still, I wonder if the reason St. Louis baseball teams performed so badly from roughly 1889* until 1926, was that they were so worn out from the travel? It would be a lot easier for example, to be a Giant, and have to travel to Brooklyn for games, or short hop to Boston or Philly. Even Chicago was a lot closer to the East Coast by rail.

    I wonder if anybody has studied this? It would be a very complicated study, because you would have to take into account not just mileage, but average speeds, scheduling and other convenience factors.

    * I would note also that the American Association's teams' median longitude was farther west than either the National League or American League pre-1953.

  3. #23
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    I've been reading about the 1942 Browns, who were a pretty good team, and I've seen several references to the 1902 team because the writers thought the Browns were good every 20 years (1902 1922 1942).

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Brownieand45sfan View Post
    While I was driving back to St. Louis this week from a family vacation in western Virginia, and remarking about how far and grueling a trip that is, EVEN NOW, with 70 mile an hour speed limits and air-conditioning, I thought about the ballplayers in the early days of baseball. Granted they traveled by train, which has certain comforts, but still, I wonder if the reason St. Louis baseball teams performed so badly from roughly 1889* until 1926, was that they were so worn out from the travel? It would be a lot easier for example, to be a Giant, and have to travel to Brooklyn for games, or short hop to Boston or Philly. Even Chicago was a lot closer to the East Coast by rail.

    I wonder if anybody has studied this? It would be a very complicated study, because you would have to take into account not just mileage, but average speeds, scheduling and other convenience factors.

    * I would note also that the American Association's teams' median longitude was farther west than either the National League or American League pre-1953.
    I don't know if this has been studied and published, but I wouldn't expect a statistically significant correlation, unless you could account for the players' skills on the respective teams. Brooklyn was conveniently located, but after 1900 and before 1940 the Superbas/Robins/Dodgers were usually a poorly performing team. The same is true of the Beaneaters/Doves/Rustlers/Braves of Boston and also the Phillies. Conversely, the Cubs were one of the NL's two best teams during this period, despite being the second-most remote team in the league.

    The AL had more of an East Coast bias regarding successful teams, but the Tigers had their share of success and so did the White Sox, until eight of their players were banned after 1920.

    On the other hand, the 1911 Cardinals certainly weren't helped by being in a train wreck, but that happened between New York and Boston.

  5. #25
    That Hedges photo was on ebay just recently. I had it on my Watch List, but he just looks so depressed - for a guy known to the fans as "good ol' Uncle Bob" - that I didn't make an offer.

    Great series of pix, RUken!

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Brownieand45sfan View Post
    The 1902 season is one of what I would call three or four "should've would've couldves" of the Browns existence. If they had hung on from August 13, and won the pennant, they would've permanently shaken off the loser tag from the very first year of their existence. And they would've been in a position to take advantage of the Cardinals' pennant dearth for the next quarter century. Superior attendance, superior spending, etc. would've ensued. Quite likely, St. Louisans would be watching an American League team today rather than a National League one.
    In the Brooklyn Dodgers forum I've posted a bunch of photos from their Washington Park days (1898-1912), and included excerpts that I quoted from Sporting Life that indicated that a few years after the Baltimore Orioles and Brooklyn Superbas had effectively merged, plans were afoot to move the Brooklyn team back to Baltimore. These plans were thwarted by Charlie Ebbets and another Brooklyn businessman who purchased controlling interest (between the two of them) from a Baltimore-based owner. (Manager/part-owner Ned Hanlon had led the effort to move the team south.)

    Had Hanlon been able to purchase controlling interest in the team and move them south, then the Browns obviously would never have moved to Baltimore. I think it is unlikely that Walter O'Malley would have bought the NL Baltimore Orioles in the 1950s and moved them west. The least successful of the two St. Louis teams would have instead (in all probability) moved to California, or perhaps to Houston (which was in the discussion stages in the early '50s). If no other NL team had moved to California, then the Giants may have stayed in New York, or moved to Minneapolis. The expansion teams of the early 1960s might have all been on the West Coast!

  7. #27
    Dto7 had previously posted this photo of the 50th anniversary celebration of the American League in 1951, with IDs by GaryL. Several of the 1902 Browns were at this gathering; I've highlighted their names in bold. I've also italicized the names of a few later Browns. (The numbers are on the second copy of the photo.)

    1A. Harry Gleason 1. Mike Brother 2. Unknown 3. Tommy Leary 4. Bill Hoffer 5. Roy Patterson 6. Cy Young 7. Fred Mitchell 8. Unknown 9. Unknown 10. Wm. “Dummy” Hoy 11. George McBride 12. Charlie Hemphill 13. Paddy Livingston 14. Unknown 15. Bill Friel 16. Harry Howell 17. Sport McAllister 18. Jimmy Williams 19. Joe Sugden 20. Bill Bradley 21. Joe Cronin 22. Ollie Pickering 23. David Fultz 24. Freddy Parent 25. Connie Mack 26. Governer Paul Dever 27. Clark Griffith 28. Billy Maloney 29. Earl Moore 30. Wid Conroy 31. Hugh Duffy

    1951 AL.jpg1951 AL w numbers.png

  8. #28
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    I still think that the St. Louis teams being the last two to gain pennants in the modern era is too weird to be put down to coincidence. Perhaps it is some other factor than distance/travel.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Brownieand45sfan View Post
    I still think that the St. Louis teams being the last two to gain pennants in the modern era is too weird to be put down to coincidence. Perhaps it is some other factor than distance/travel.
    I agree that the remoteness could be a contributing factor to their lack of success; I just don't know if there is enough data to determine that the location is statistically significant.

  10. #30
    1902 St. Louis Browns formal photo (from the St. Louis Republic)

    1902 AL St. Louis.jpg
    Last edited by RUKen; 02-05-2013 at 03:13 AM.

  11. #31
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    >>15. Bill Friel

    The only guy to play his entire major league career with *both* the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Browns.

  12. #32
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    Why is Frank Donahoe in the picture? Is he just there to fill out the back row? Is he Jiggs Donahoe's 16-year old brother from back in Ohio? A "Frank" did not even get to the minors until 1905 with the Springfield Babes.
    Quote Originally Posted by RUKen View Post
    1902 St. Louis Browns formal photo (from the St. Louis Republic)

    1902 AL St. Louis.jpg

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Brownieand45sfan View Post
    Why is Frank Donahoe in the picture? Is he just there to fill out the back row? Is he Jiggs Donahoe's 16-year old brother from back in Ohio? A "Frank" did not even get to the minors until 1905 with the Springfield Babes.
    That is Red Donahue, whose first name was Francis.

  14. #34
    Pre-season composite of the 1902 St. Louis Browns

    1902 AL St Louis composite.jpg

  15. #35
    1902 Browns (left to right) P Bill Reidy, C Billy Maloney, and OF Jesse Burkett

    1902 Reidy Maloney.jpg1902 Burkett.jpg

  16. #36
    1902 St. Louis fans

    1902 AL St Louis fans.jpg

  17. #37
    1901 Milwaukee Brewers

    After the 1901 season, the franchise was shifted to St. Louis to become the Browns. Of the players in this team photograph, only Bill Reidy, Billy Maloney, and John Anderson played for the Browns in 1902. Three other players not pictured here also moved with the team.

    1901 AL Milwaukee.jpg

  18. #38
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    Bill Friel and Jiggs Donahue played as well. I wish they had kept Ned Garvin instead of Reidy. Garvin had a 2.09 ERA in 1902. they should've known he was hot stuff because he led the American League in strikeouts per nine innings in 1901.

    If they had had Garvin, probably would've won pennant in 1902. Throwing off the loser stigma early might've changed franchise history.

    in fact, it's not clear from the transactions section exactly how Garvin left the franchise for the White Sox
    Last edited by Brownieand45sfan; 03-03-2013 at 10:28 AM.

  19. #39
    Davy Jones was the other Brewer/Brown, and he went on to a successful career as an outfielder with the Orphans/Cubs and the Tigers.

  20. #40
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    I wonder if there was any attempt to keep the memory of the 1901, Brewers alive in Milwaukee subsequent to their leaving. For example, reunions, etc. or did they just go down the memory hole like a 19th century team? No city was longer between major league franchises than Milwaukee: 52 years.

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