On This Date in History!
April 9, 1953: Veeck Sells Sportsman's Park To Cardinals.
"This Bud's For You, St. Louis fans!" - August Busch
New Cardinals owner August Busch buys Sportsman's Park for $800,000 from Browns owner Bill Veeck. In baseball history's grandest role reversal, Busch turns around and gives the Browns a 5-year lease. It's a 180 degree turn in the relationship between the two St. Louis clubs. Until today, it was the Browns who had been the "landlords" and the Cardinals who had been the "tenants." It had been that way for 33 years - ever since 1920. - Now it all had been turned around in the deal hammered out by Veeck and Busch.
The sale itself s not the only hammer that falls. After purchasing venerable Sportsman's Park, Busch quickly renames it as "Budweiser Park." This gross commercial action outrages the St. Louis community. Busch quickly reacts to the protest as a potential damage to his commercial interests and changes the ballpark's name again to Busch Stadium. The storms quiets, even though many remain unhappy that the old "Sportsman's Park" identity is now lost. In a way they are consoled by the fact, at least, that the new Cardinals owner only renamed the ballpark by his family name, and not by his beer product. A year from this time, Busch will introduce a new beer product called "Busch Bavarian." - By then, there will be no further public protests.
All this happened 52 years ago from 2005 - before even people like August Busch thought of how much money was out there to be made on the sale of stadium naming rights to other commercial interests. We've come a long way from purist concerns about commercialization of ballpark names since 1953, haven't we?
April 9, 1922: Browns Take City Series From Cardinals.
"Not today, George!"
A record crowd of 29,000 fans show up at Sportman's Park today to watch the Browns top the Cardinals, 6-3, to win the St. Louis City Series. George Sisler will be thrown out at home three times during the game. Sisler will go on to lead the American League in stolen bases during the 1922 season.
April 9, 1907: Cardinals Take City Series From Browns.
"One of these days, some St. Louis National League
baseball genius is going to see a couple of guys like us
sitting on a tree branch and figure out that we might also
look fairly good perched on a baseball bat. - Why heck!
We might even become part of a famous team logo!"
Without the adorning assistance of two redbirds on a bat across their uniform breasts, the St. Louis Cardinals still whip the St. Louis Browns, 9-1, to take the City Series, 4 games to 3. The two teams will further stoke their same city rivalry in the fall with a post-season rematch. The Cardinals also will take that one by a acore of 5 to 2.
Births on April 9
Oliver Daniel "Ollie" Pickering is born on April 9, 1870 in Olney, Illinois. The BL/TR outfielder will hit for a total BA of .272 in an 8-year career that stretches over time from 1896 to 1908. Ollie will hit .276 in his one full season as a starter for the 1907 Browns. - Ollie Pickering will pass away on January 20, 1952 in Vincennes, Indiana at the age of 81.
Malcolm Joseph "Joe" McDonald is born on April 9, 1888 in "unknown parts" of Texas - and that covers a lot of ground - and much more than McDonald covers as a big leaguer. The BR/TR 3rd baseman will play 10 games for the 1910 Browns, going 5 for 32 and a .157 career batting average. After 1910, of course, Joe McDonald is gone-for-good. - Joe McDonald will die on May 30, 1963 in Baytown, Texas, just east of Houston, at the age of 75. - It's probable that McDonald worked in the Humble Oil/Exxon refinery after his baseball days. That's the major reason people live in Baytown to the present day. That's not a certainty, but a pretty good bet. There isn't much other reason to be in Baytown - unless you were born there and don't know any better.
BCT/GB, Joe McDonald!
Joseph Denk "Joe" Willis is born on April 9, 1890 in Coal Grove, Ohio. The BR/TL pitcher loses his only start for the 1911 Browns on May 3, 1911 and is soon shipped to the Cardinals for the balance of his brief MLB career. Willis posts a 1911-1913 record of 4 wins, 11 losses, and an ERA of 4.63. - Joe Willis will dies on December 4, 1966 in Ironton, Ohio at the age of 75.
Walter C. "Heinie" Jantzen Henie Jantzen is born on April 9, 1890 in Chicago, Illinois. The BR/TR right fielder will hit .185 (22 for 119) and 1 HR for the 1912 Browns as the totality of his big league career and then be (big surprise!) gone-for-good. - He will survive those less ethnicallly sensitive days with the nickname "Heinie" and then vanish into the woodwork of American culture. - Heinie Jantzen will pass away on April 1, 1948 in Hines, Illinois, just 8 days shy of his 58th birthday.
Earl Welton "Earl" Caldwell is born on April 9, 1905 in Sparks. Texas. The BR/TR pitcher has one those tenure interrupted careers as a big leaguer (1928, 1935-1937, 1945-1948). In spite of the fact he needs 20 years and 3 different decades to get in 8 seasons of MLB, the man they sometimes call "Teach" will close out his career with 33 wins, 43 losses, and an ERA of 4.69. - Caldwell wins 10 and loses 18 in his three seasons as a Brown (1935-1937). - Earl Caldwell will pass away on September 15, 1981 in Mission, Texas at the age 76.
Deaths on April 9
Philip "Phil Ketter" Ketterer passes away on April 9, 1965 in St. Louis, Missouri at the age of (4 days shy) 81. Why Ketter dropped the last two letters on his given name suring his playing career, all I can say is "... er ... I dunno." All I know is that the B?/TR Ketter hit .333 (2 singles in 6 times at bat) in 2 games as a catcher for the 1912 Browns and was then gone-for-good. In the case of Ketter(er), his MLB career began on May 23, 1912 and ended exactly two days later on May 25, 1912. He wasn't even there long enough to complain about the travel or the long hot summers, but, ah yes, he was there - if ever so briefly. Phil Ketter was born on April 13, 1884 in good old St. Louis, Missouri.
BCT/GB, Phil Ketter(er)!
Alfred Voyle "Roxie" Lawson dies on April 9, 1977 in Stockport, Iowa at the age (4 days shy) of 71. The BR/TR Iowa Weslayan College alumnus pitched for 9 seasons in the big leagues (1930-1931, 1933, 1935-1940), registering a career record of 47 wins, 39 losses, and an ERA of 5.37. In his two seasons as a Brown 1939-1940), Roxie won 8 games and lost 10. - Roxie Lawson was born on April 13, 1906 in Donnellson, Iowa.
William Aulton "Bill" or "Lefty" Kennedy passes away on April 9, 1983 in Seattle, Washington at the age of 62. The BL/TL pitcher had a 3-year record with the Browns (1948-1950) of 11 wins and 19 defeats. For his 8-year total MLB career (1948-1957). Kennedy recorded 15 wins, 28 losses, and an ERA of 4.73. - Bill Kennedy was born on March 14, 1921 in Carnesville, Georgia.
Richard Jerome "Dick Kokos" Kokoszka
"What's in a Name?"
Dick Kokos dies on April 9, 1886 in Chicago at the age of 58. The BL/TL outfielder adopted the box-score-friendlier name of "Dick Kokos" from the git-go and went on to a 5-year (1948-1950, 1953-1954) big league career as one of of the last Browns and first Orioles. In 1,558 total AB's, Kokos hit a respectable .263 and banged out 59 HR's. - Dick Kokos was born on February 28, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois.
BCT/GB, Mr. Kokos! You were one of my favorites as a kid. I'm still looking for that Bowman card of yours that I kave kept for years. As I said earlier on your birthdate post, it's around here somewhere.
Postscript. It's a good thing that everyday isn't this busy on the mountain climb search of Browns history - especially when it happens on days when my real time world is making other demands upon me.
Never fear. God willing, we'll get there - one day at a time. I love this stuff and the Browns are worth every moment of it.
Have a nice weekend, everybody!
Today's Reference Links ... http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseb...logy/today.stm
Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 04-09-2005 at 04:32 PM.
"Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.