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  • November 23rd

    November 23, 1930: Mr. Touchdown, USA! At the Polo Grounds in New York today, St. Louis Browns outfielder Red Badgro, playing for the NFL New York Giants, catches a TD pass against the Green Bay Packers. It is Badgro's 3rd touchdown catch of the season, all from Benny Friedman. In 1981, Badgro will be elected to the Hall of Fame - for football, not baseball.

    In baseball, Badgro was a .257 hitting outfielder for the 1929-1930 Browns in 143 games. He hit only 2 homers in 382 official career times at bat and soon gave up the National Pastime for that other sport - the one they play in the off-season with that oval pigskin they like to call a ball.

    Based on results, it's obvious that Badgro made the best choice for himself. Like his celebrated two-sport contemporaries - Jim Thorpe, Ernie Nevers, and George Halas - Badgro made a much bigger name for himself as a football player. He had starred as an end at the University of Southern California who eventually played for all three of the New York football teams, the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers, from 1927 to 1936. In 1981, he was to become the oldest man ever elected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

    The following two versions of that old football hero song, Mr. Touchdown, USA, are dedicated to Red Badgro and all the other guys who excelled at the autumn sport - only to find that the game played with a bat, ball, and glove in the spring was a little tougher challenge.

    Mr. Touchdown, USA - For Being A Great Football Player!

    They used to call him Mr. Touchdown!
    They used to call him Old TD!
    He could run! And he could throw!
    Give him the ball and then - look at him go!

    Hip! Hip! Hooray for Mr. Touchdown!
    He's gonna beat 'em today!
    Let's give a long, loud cheer - for the hero of the year!
    Mr. Touchdown, USA!

    Mr. Touchback, USA - If You Had Played Football As You Did Baseball!

    They used to call him Mr. Touchback!
    They used to call him Old TB!
    He couldn't run! And he couldn't pass!
    Give him the ball and he'd - fall on his ass!

    No Hip-Hooray for Mr. Touchback!
    He's gonna beat us today!
    Let's give a long, loud jeer - for the bonehead of the year!
    Mr. Touchback, USA!

    Sorry, folks, I couldn't resist. Writing parodies is just one of those things I do on another slow date in Brownie history.
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 12:40 PM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


    • Bill you are a great way to start the day! Halloween and Thanksgiving must spur the humorous side of you. Looking forward to St. Nick's visit!


      • November 24th

        November 24, 1912: Future Brown Tony Giuliani Born Today.

        Tony Giuliani As a Dodger.

        His name is only remindful of the more famous politician, but there's no relation that I could find in my brief research. Angelo John (Tony) Giuliani is born today in St. Paul, Minnesota. St. Paul will remain his lifelong home. Tony will die in St. Paul on 10/08/04, about six weeks short of his 92nd birthday.

        Giuliani is destined for a seven year career as a major league catcher (1936-1943), breaking in his first two years as a St. Louis Brown. Not much to write home about Tony's accomplishments along the way. Tony neither plays often nor does much in his 674 times at bat. He hits only .233 over his MLB career. He leaves the game needing only 715 more home runs to best the career mark of Babe Ruth.

        Former Minnesota Twins Public Relations Director Tom Mee was quoted in the Pioneer Press on the day after Giuliani's death that "he (Tony Giuliani) was a baseball icon for the state of Minnesota. He liked to tell the story that he broke in with the Browns the same year Joe DiMaggio broke in with the New York Yankees. He said, 'Out of the two of us, one made the Hall of Fame. That's a pretty good percentage.' "

        Good thinking, Tony, and one more thing. At least, you were good enough to get there and hang around for seven years.

        Our condolences to your friends and family on the late news here of your recent passing. You obviously made enough impression on the Minnesota baseball community to escape leaving this old ballpark in total anonymity.

        Baseball is fortunate for every oldtimer whose life goes into extra innings on the actuarial chart. Add Tony Giuliani to your reasons for gratitude this Thanksgiving, Brownie fans. It sounds as though he lived a life that was filled with a love of the game and a humorous appreciation for the opportunity he had as a young man. Those old guys have a way of spreading the joy and extending the bond of our game to all the rookies coming up in the younger generations.

        Godspeed, Tony Giuliani. Now hit one for the rest of us down here in the minor league, will you? Not all of us have the ability to end up playing for the Yankees in this world, but it would be nice to be drafted by the Angels in the next life - when the time comes.

        Today's reference link ...
        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 12:39 PM.
        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


        • November 25th

          November 25, 2004: Thanksgiving For the Browns.

          In Nineteen Hundred and Single Aught Two,
          The St. Louis Browns sailed out of the blue.

          To the baseball wars, we fought for fame,
          But most of the time, we came up lame.

          We had a few great ones, notably Sisler,
          But years fell like dominos, in an endless fizzler.

          While others had a ball, bringing joy to their fans,
          We only had Phil Ball, who sat on his hands.

          And when Ball ran Rickey - to the Cardinal Red Nation,
          We were then doomed forever - to a losing situation.

          We had some good guys, but we just couldn't keep 'em.
          If they had any value, to the Yankees we'd sweep 'em.

          And the seasons droned on, and so did the losing,
          With empty stand days, and post-game boozing.

          We could've been cursed, by those lonely days!
          Thank God for our friends, the Senators and A's!

          We came close to winning, in Nineteen Twenty-Two,
          But George got hurt, and our season ended blue.

          We made a run again, in Nineteen Forty-Four,
          Hope took on the Cardinals, but landed on the floor.

          And when Bill Veeck came on the scene, our hearts began to fidget!
          Hope soared ‘cross Missouri skies, but crashed down on the midget!

          In Nineteen Hundred and Fifty- Four, the St. Louis Browns - were no more.
          They were gone ...... just gone. ………………………………….. gone to Baltimore.

          Thanks for the memories, anyway, Brownies! And thanks for helping those of us who grew up as Browns fans to a deeper appreciation for one great life lesson that was never available to young Yankee fans. - Yankee fans only get to learn that "you can't win 'em all." Browns fans got to learn that "we will survive, even when it looks as though we may lose 'em all!"

          Happy Thanksgiving Everywhere, Browns Fans! Nobody Knows Turkeys Quite As Well As We Do!

          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-25-2004, 04:49 PM.
          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


          • Bill, the holidays seem to bring out the best in you! I really enjoyed your Halloween offering and this was just as good. You're a regular Ogden Nash.

            Looking forward to your Christmas posting...
            Last edited by Aa3rt; 11-25-2004, 12:00 PM.
            "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

            "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.


            • November 26th

              November 26, 1958: Former Brown Loses Out on AL MVP Award. The American League MVP is named today as Boston slugger Jackie Jensen, who wins out over New York's Bob Turley and Cleveland's Rocky Colavito.

              Bob Turley is one of those former players whose loss by the franchise to the Yankees cannot be blamed on the St. Louis Browns. Turley and Don Larsen were Browns who came over to Baltimore with the franchise shift, but they were then packaged in a trade to the Yankees on 11/18/54 for six guys the New Yorkers were either hoping to dump or ready to move (Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald, Hal Smith, Gus Triandos, Gene Woodling, and Willie Miranda).

              Bob Turley had his career year in 1958, going 21-7 with a 2.97 E.R.A. for the champion Yankees. Over a career that started with the Browns in 1951 and ended with the Red Sox in 1963, Turley never lived up to the expectation of greatness because of an arm injury, but he did finish with a respectable career record of 101-85 and a 3.64 E.R.A. Turley was 4-3 in five World Series appearances with the Yankees (1955-58, 1960). Don Larsen never became a great pitcher either, but he did have his moment in the sun during the 1956 World Series, didn't he?

              World Series Perfect-Gamer Don Larsen has attended a couple of Browns Fan Club reunion banquets over the years, but Bob Turley, who is in good health and a very successful businessman, always refuses our invitations to celebrate his original association with the Browns. I guess he's just one of those guys who prefers to forget that part of his history.

              Some Post Thanksgiving 2004 Refllections. Did it again yesterday. We ate too much, but the company was great. We broke holiday bread over the traditional dinner as the guests of the Witte family. The Wittes are the children and grandchildren of former Brown Jerry Witte (1946-47) who died in 2002. The Wittes are like family to me and mine. The day was wonderful as it unfolded under deep blue skies, falling autumn leaves, a 65 degree temperature, and in the company of best friends in good old Houston

              On Trading Willie Miranda. Willie Miranda, who was involved in the Turley trade, only hit .221 over the course of his nine year career (1952-59). There should've been a special requirement attached to any offering of Miranda in a trade. The team attempting to move him should have been forced to tell the other club: "You have a right to remain silent."

              Ogden Nash. I'm no Ogden Nash, Art, but I do appreciate your kind support here. I love Ogden Nash's mind. One my favorite Nash rhymes also has great application for the experience of what it's like doing baseball research for the truth, especially as it applies to our dear Browns. It can be hard going for a very long time, and then, every once in a while, you get this all-of-a-sudden-found source that brings the truth to light. None of my discoveries have been large, and most are probably no more than my own recovery from popular myth, rather than new found facts, but they are still satisfying.

              The lines I'm thinking of here are the ones that Nash wrote about catsup. ...

              "Shake, Shake - the catsup bottle!
              None will come - and then a lot'll."

              - Ogden Nash

              Ogden Nash Himself!
              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 12:38 PM.
              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


              • November 27th

                November 27, 1951: Trading Places Time.

                Jim Rivera, Browns '52 Rookie,
                But Not For Long.

                When we can't afford a new car, we can always go to Earl Schieb and get him to paint a new face on it, can't we? I mean, it's not going to run any better, but it's going look different for a while, isn't it? When you're the St. Louis Browns, you have to do a little annual prime & paint, mix & match each winter. Otherwise, the fans may get the idea too quickly next spring that the club is heading down the same slippery slope they found so fast last season. Sometimes, and I don't know if anyone has ever thoroughly researched this factor, the Browns are simply trading for players who have been with the club previously.

                Never fear, Bill Veeck is here, and he's ready to beat Earl Schieb's 1951 price of $29.95 to makeover the 1951 heap that finished dead last. Today the St. Louis Browns send catcher Sherm Lollar, pitcher Al Widmar, and infielder Tommy Upton to the Chicago White Sox for catcher Gus Niarhos, pitcher Dick Littlefield, first baseman Gordon Goldsberry, shortstop Joe DeMaestri, and a hot minor league outfield prospect named Jim Rivera.

                Rivera, a favorite of Browns manager Rogers Hornsby, will have a short-lived history as another guy who broke into the big leagues with the Browns, only to go elsewhere and make a name for himself. After hitting only .256 in his 95 rookie games as a 1952 Brown, the club will trade Rivera back to the White Sox on 7/28/52, along with catcher Darrell Johnson, for catcher J.W. Porter and outfielder Ray Coleman. This 1952 trade brings Porter back for his 2nd tour of duty with the Browns. Ray Coleman returns to the Browns for his 3rd time on the roster.

                Porter and Coleman are both devoted Brownie alums who have attended many of the annual May reunions in St. Louis. We need to get their take on the various revolving doors that seemed to exist among certain clubs back then. I've never sat down and talked to either man about this factor at the usually time limited social gatherings we've attended together, but I just may have to ask them about it now by mail and e-mail. :atthepc

                Today's reference link ...
                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-28-2004, 04:27 PM.
                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                • November 28th

                  November 28, 1951: One Day Brownie Now Boston Bound.

                  Gus Niarhos Was Brown For A Day!

                  He came to town like a weekend tire sale at Firestone's. First you read about it. Then. the next time you give it a thought, it's over. - So it is today in the case of the one-day Brown, Gus Niarhos. The St. Louis Browns trade catcher Gus Niarhos, acquired only yesterday, to the Boston Red Sox for catcher Les Moss and outfielder Tom Wright. The team also signs shortstop Marty Marion in another one of those sign-an-old-Cardinal-whenever-you-can moves.

                  Tom Wright is of some note here. Wright was a backup outfielder with little power. He was used as a lefthanded pinch hitter in nearly half his big league games. Splitting 1952 between the Browns and White Sox, Wright led the American League that season with 10 pinch hits.

                  Tom Wright In His Last Stop With The Sens, 1954-56.

                  Today's general reference link ...

                  a Tom Wright link ...
                  Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-28-2004, 09:04 AM.
                  "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                  • November 29th

                    November 29, 1962: Red Kress Dies at 55.

                    Red Kress Had A Whole Lotta
                    Wrong Time, Wrong Place Luck!

                    After serving the 1962 season as one of manager Casey Stengel's coaches on the maiden voyage of the Bad Ship Mets, former Brown Red Kress dies today in Los Angeles of a heart attack at age 55.

                    Red's baseball life was a mixture of good hitting, Jekyll & Hyde fielding, bum luck, lots of heart, and plenty of resilience. During his early years as a St. Louis Brown (1927-31), Kress hit well, posting full-season averages of .305 in 1929, .313 in 1930, and .311 in 1931. Kress also posted over 100 RBIs in each of those plus .300 batting years.

                    In the field, Red Kress led American League shortstops in 1929, but then turned around the next year and led the league in errors in 1930. The Browns moved him from shortstop in 1931 so Jim Levey could take over. Levey, in turn, led the league in errors. Gotta be the uniform, right?

                    In 1932, St. Louis traded Kress to the White Sox just as the Chicagoans were getting ready to start a young rookie from North Carolina by the name of Luke Appling. Kress adapted to playing wherever he was needed. Red was dealt to the Senators in early 1934. All he faced there as his competition at shortstop was manager Joe Cronin, another future Hall of Famer.

                    Kress spent 1937 in Minneapolis of the American Association, hitting .330 and leading shortstops in total chances, the Browns reacquired him. Played at short, he responded by hitting .302 and leading the league in fielding. Traded to Detroit in 1939, he broke his leg during the season. In 1940, the pennant-bound Tigers released the destiny-flawed Kress.

                    Red Kress hung in there long enough to collect 1,454 hits and a .286 average for his major league career. Red Kress survived a lot of adversity in his time, but he had learned to recognize new baseball versions of the Titanic better than most. By the time of his death, Kress had tendered his resignation from another year with the expansion Mets.

                    Enough was enough. - Right, Red? :atthepc

                    Today's reference link ...
                    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 12-30-2004, 04:33 AM.
                    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                    • November 30th

                      November 30, 1897: Win Ballou Born in Mount Morgan, KY.
                      Win Ballou will begin his big league baseball career on August 24, 1925 with the Washington Senators. Ballou will compile a 19-20 record in four seasons with the Senators, Browns, and Brooklyn Robins (1925-29). Ballou will go 16-16 in his two seasons as a Brown (1926-27).

                      November 30, 1892: Josh Billings Born in Grantville, KS.
                      Former Browns catcher Josh Billings (1919-23) was born today, Wednesday, November 30, 1892. He will play college baseball at Oklahoma A&M and will go on to a major league career, breaking in on September 9, 1913 with the Cleveland Naps. Cleveland will trade Billings to the Browns in March 1919 in exchange for another catcher, Les Nunamaker. All told, Billings will play for 11 seasons on 3 different teams and end his big league playing career in 1923. He will hit only .217 over the course of his career, but the scarcity of news on this date in Browns history will get him a mention on this thread on what would've been his 112th birthday, November 30, 2004.

                      Happy Birthday,
                      Josh Billings!

                      When other news fails,
                      This thread I'll not forsake.
                      I'll just go searching,
                      For a birthday cake.

                      If I can't find a date,
                      When a Brownie was born,
                      I'll turn my research,
                      For a date to mourn.

                      Browns Forever - Coming and Going.
                      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 04:50 AM.
                      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                      • December 1st

                        December 1, 1949: BrowniEnomics in Full Bloom.

                        MUST SELL: '49 Paul Lehner;
                        high mileage, but reliable; tends
                        to run hot tempered, but never
                        gives up. Will sacrifice for other
                        player if right deal also includes
                        $100,000 cash. Call S.L. Browns
                        in St. Louis & make best offer.

                        What do normal people do when they are out of work for a very long time and they are dependent upon their personal auto to look for a new job? Why, of course, they sell their cars to pay their utility bills. Now they can't hope to find work, but they will be able to sit home alone with some heat and enough light to read the want ads.

                        Such is the apparent situation with the St. Louis Browns. The 1949 season closes with attendance in the Major Leagues at 20.2 million, down from 20.9 in 1948. The New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians each finish with over 2.2 million, but the Browns fall to 270,936. Chronically "underemployed" for years, the Browns are again ready ro sell the "family cars" to pay expenses.

                        The Browns hope to cover their light attendance with $200,000 obtained in cash in December sales of Bob Dillinger, Gerry Priddy, and Paul Lehner. The Browns get five players in the transactions, but they are not guys to inspire hope or spur ticket sales for the 1950 season.

                        Here's how the trade/sales will go down in the middle of December 1949:

                        On 12/13/49, infielder Bob Dillinger and outfielder Paul Lehner will be traded to the Philadelphia Athletics for Ray Coleman, Frankie Gustine, Billy DeMars, minor league outfielder Ray Ippolito and $100,000 in cash.

                        On 12/14/49, infielder Gerry Priddy will be traded to the Detroit Tigers for pitcher Lou Kretlow and $100,000 in cash.

                        Today's General Reference Link ...
                        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 12-01-2004, 06:27 AM.
                        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                        • December 2nd

                          December 2, 1936: Browns Acquire Ethan Allen in Revolutionary Purchase.

                          This particular Ethan Allen Never
                          Played for the Browns, Although
                          He Looks in Shape To Do So.

                          In a rare reversal of the usual player/money flow, the St. Louis Browns buy veteran outfielder Ethan Allen from the Chicago Cubs today for an undisclosed amount of cash. Allen will hit .316 in 103 games for the 1937 Browns and go 10 for 33 (.303) at the finish of his career in St. Louis during the 1938 season. Over the course of his Punch and Judy 13-year MLB career (1926-38), Allen will hit .300 on the button for the Reds, Giants, Cardinals, Phillies, Cubs, and Browns. Did I say Punch and Judy? Allen finishes as a Brown with a career total of only 47 homers in 4,418 official times at bat.

                          After his playing career, Allen joined the list of several other bright baseball minds who spent time as the head coach at Yale. That list includes Smoky Joe Wood, Red Rolfe, Ken MacKenzie, Joe Benanto and John Stuper. A bright, articulate man, Ethan Allen also served as the motion picture director for the National League, and also authored several books and pamphlets on baseball playing techniques. Get a load of Allen's bibliography. It's pretty darn impressive, but some of those titles obviously are unrelated to Allen's brief time with the Browns. Read on to discover the obvious.

                          The Bibliography of Ethan Allen.

                          (1.) Major League Baseball by Allen, Ethan. Hardbound Book (New York: Macmillan Co., 1938)

                          (2.) Major League Baseball: Techniques and Tactics by Allen, Ethan. Hardbound Book (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1939) -- 253 pages.

                          (3.) Winning Baseball by Allen, Ethan. Paperbound Book (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1942)

                          (4.) Want to Be a Baseball Champion? by Allen, Ethan. Pamphlet/Booklet (General Mills, 1946)

                          (5.) Baseball Techniques Illustrated by Allen, Ethan, designed; illustrated by Tyler Michaleau. Hardbound Book (New York: A.S. Barnes And Co., 1951) -- 95 pages

                          (6.) Baseball: Major League Techniques and Tactics by Allen, Ethan. Hardbound Book (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1953) -- 322 pages.

                          (7.) How to Play Baseball by Allen, Ethan. Pamphlet/Booklet (Quaker Oats Co., 1954)

                          (8.) Winning Baseball by Allen, Ethan. Hardbound Book (New York: The Ronald Press, 1956) -- 96 pages

                          (9.) Baseball Play and Strategy by Allen, Ethan. Hardbound Book (New York: The Ronald Press, 1959) -- 356 pages

                          (10.) Batting and Bunting by Allen, Ethan. Pamphlet/Booklet (Coca Cola Co., Prentice-Hall, 1961)

                          (11.) Baseball Play and Strategy by Allen, Ethan. Hardbound Book (New York: The Ronald Press, 1964) -- 371 pages.

                          (12.) Batting and Bunting by Allen, Ethan. Paperbound Book (New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1968) -- 93 pages

                          (13.) Batting and Bunting by Allen, Ethan. Pamphlet/Booklet (Triangle Press, 1975) -- 12 pages.

                          Baseball's Ethan Allen was born on January 1, 1904. He died on September 15, 1993, just 3 1/2 months short of his 90th birthday. Allen came and went quietly, like the gentleman and scholar that he was to the bone - a real student of the game - and a man who never tired of learning and teaching. :atthepc

                          Today's General Reference Link ...
                          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 12-02-2004, 09:21 AM.
                          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                          • Originally posted by Bill_McCurdy
                            December 2, 1936: Browns Acquire Ethan Allen in Revolutionary Purchase.

                            And on top of everything else he invented:
                            Attached Files


                            • December 3rd

                              December 3, 1940: Browns Buy Galehouse, Ostermueller.

                              Flanked by George McQuinn & Gene Moore,
                              Denny Galehouse Celebrates His 1944 World
                              Series Win Over the St. Louis Cardinals.

                              (Apologies for the photo size, but the source would only allow a copy of the thumbnail picture. That's appropriate. It's a small picture of a small moment in World Series history, but big for the Browns.)

                              The St. Louis Browns purchase pitchers Denny Galehouse and Fritz Ostermueller from the Boston Red Sox for an undisclosed amount of cash in each case. The deals are actually separate purchases on one tab - sort of like going to the grocery store and buying two lemons, instead of one.

                              Denny Galehouse will go 50-58 in six seasons in St. Louis. He also posts a 1-1 record for the Browns in the 1944 World Series. Galehouse beat Mort Cooper and the Cardinals in the 1944 World Series opener, but lost, 2-0, in a Game Five rematch. During much of the '44 season, Galehouse served the Browns as a Sunday pitcher while working weekdays in an Akron, Ohio war plant. He gave up his factory job late in the season to be more involved in the Browns run for their only American League pennant.

                              Years later, on June 20, 1947, the Browns will sell Galehouse back to the Red Sox. This last move of his career sets up Galehouse for a dubious role in history. During his 1948 season with the Red Sox, Galehouse will lose the one-shot, pennant playoff game to Cleveland, 8-3, as a surprise starter. It will become a memorable last major league decision. If the category on Jeopardy were Baseball Blunders, and the clue was "Joe McCarthy's Big Mistake," the acceptable response would be: "Who was Denny Galehouse?"

                              Overall, Galehouse will finish his MLB career (1934-49) with a record of 109-118. Born on December 11, 1914, Galehouse will die on October 14, 1998, just two months shy of his 84th birthday.

                              Fritz Ostermueller will play a far less prominent role in Browns history. The lefty will go 3-6 with St. Louis (1941-43) before he is dealt to Brooklyn with another lefty pitcher, Archie McKain, on June 15, 1943 for one of baseball's great traveling men, pitcher Bobo Newsom.

                              December 3, 1901: Official Birthdate of the St. Louis Browns!

                              Holiday Brownies! Baked Just In Time
                              For The 1901 St. Louis Baseball Fans!

                              At their league meeting, the Milwaukee franchise is officially dropped from the American League and is replaced by the St. Louis Browns.

                              Today's General Reference Link ...
                              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 12-03-2004, 05:28 AM.
                              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                              • December 4th

                                December 4, 1952: Browns Get Virgil Trucks!

                                "Why, He Wouldn't
                                Even Harm A Fly!"

                                The Browns go Tiger hunting today and end up bagging a big one. Detroit trades the fiery fireballer Virgil Trucks, along with pitcher Hal White and outfielder Johnny Groth, to the Browns for second baseman Owen Friend, outfielder Bob Nieman, and outfielder/catcher J.W. Porter.

                                The trade amazed many. In 1952, Trucks tossed a pair of no-hitters against the Senators and the Yankees. Along with the likes of Johnny Vander Meer, Allie Reynolds, and Nolan Ryan, Virgil became one of only four pitchers in baseball history to record two no-nos in a single season. Prior to his MLB career, however, Virgil Trucks was no stranger to no-hit games. He also had four no-hitters in the minors and a near-miss with the White Sox in 1954.

                                Other interesting notes on Trucks abound. He was righthanded pitcher with speed and control. He got out of the military in 1945 just in time to appear in the World Series against the Cubs. He won, 4-1, after pitching in only one game during the regular season. If memory serves, Trucks is the only player in major league history to start a World Series game without having won even a single game during the regular season.

                                Trucks' tenure with the Browns was brief. After a decade in Detroit, Trucks arrived in Chicago via St. Louis in 1954. Frank Lane sent Lou Kretlow and $95,000 to Bill Veeck for Trucks and Bob Elliott.

                                Trucks once compiled eight straight wins on the way to his first and only 20-victory season in 1953. Ironically, that was the year he played for two clubs. After starting out with a mediocre 5-4 record in 1953, the Browns made the trade with the White Sox. Trucks proceeded to catch fire in Chicago, going 15-6 with the Pale Hose in '53 to finish the year at 20-10 overall.

                                Virgil's career began to flunder after his 13-8 season with the White Sox in 1955. He returned to the Tigers in 1956, but was only good for a 6-5 mark in 22 games. After posting a 9-7 mark with the Kandsas City A's in 1957, he was dealt to the Yankees early in 1958. He wound up his career as a spot starter and relief man in another of their pennant runs.

                                Much to Virgil's chagrine, he was not included on the Yankees' 1958 World Series roster. That slight may have been the last straw he needed to make the decision to retire. At age 39, the long career of Virgil Trucks (1941-1958) was over. He finished with a career record of 177-135 and an E.R.A. of only 3.39, Add to the lustre of Virgil Trucks the fact that he did it pitching most of the time with mediocre to bad ballclubs.

                                I had the pleasure of meeting Virgil Trucks in St. Louis the one year he came to a Browns reunion. I think the year was 1997. At any rate, Virgil was a quiet, friendly, and soft-spoken man - hardly the tough guy demon that his cartoon image once portrayed him to be through the media. Still, I couldn't resist some lighthearted questioning of Trucks about an incident that occurred back on August 19, 1951. Trucks and the Tigers were in St. Louis that day to play the Browns. Of course, you Brownie fans will recognize that date immediately. That was the day that Bill Veeck sent the vertically challenged Eddie Gaedel into hit against Bob Cain of the Tigers. Cain walked his midget adversary on four pitches - and apparently tried his best to make sure that none of his pitches got away and hurt the little Brownie batter.

                                "Virgil," I said to Trucks during our brief visit in the banquet hotel lobby, "I've always heard that Gaedel would have been in real trouble, had you been pitching that day for Detroit. A lot of people out there seem to think you would've drilled him. Do you mind me asking you for the truth here? Is that true? Would you have drilled Gaedel?

                                Virgil smiled slyly and then looked me straight in the eye. "Tell me something," Virgil asked in that softspoken southern voice, "do I really look like the kind of guy who would want to hurt a little fellow like that?"

                                That was the best answer I could get.

                                Today's reference link ...
                                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 04-09-2005, 08:11 AM.
                                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


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