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  • February 11th

    On This Date in History!

    February 11, 1923: Shadow of Rickey Darkens Browns Future.

    Sunny Jim Bottomley: He might've been
    a Brown 1st, if not for Branch Rickey and
    a guy named Sisler.

    February 11, 1923. We'll never know for sure.

    When the Browns lost Branch Rickey to the Cardinals over his titanic clash of egos with owner Phil Ball, the door was kicked open to play endless games of "what might have been" with the players he then signed and developed for the Cardinals. - Would Jim Bottomley have started his HOF career with the Browns, and not the Cardinals, had Rickey remained with the American League St. Louis club?

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    Bottomley would have found 1st base for the Browns a little occupied in 1922 by that fellow named "George," but maybe the Browns could've found a spot for him somewhere on the bench or in the outfield.

    This much is clear: Many of the great future Cardinals would've been Browns, had Rickey not been forced to move around the corner to the Cardinals.

    Aware of Sunny Jim's 1922 show of potential, Branch Rickey today sends 1st baseman Jack Fournier to the Brooklyn Robins in a trade for catcher Hy Myers. Bottomley, of course, will go on to a Hall of Fame career with the Cardinals, but he will join the Browns as one of several redbird-tail-enders who play until their wheels fall off - and then sign with the Browns. Bottomley will play the 1936 and 1937 seasons for the Browns, even taking over as manager in 1937 when the most famous redbird re-tread, Rogers Hornsby, is fired half way through the season.

    What might have been - no matter where we apply that line of thought in life, it's a mind game with no reward. One of these days, I've gotta get over the Browns' loss of Branch Rickey to the Cardinals.

    Births on February 11

    Raymond C. "Ray" Boyd is born on February 11, 1887 in Hortonville, Indiana. The BR/TR pitcher reaches the majors on September 10, 1910. Boyd is with the 1910 Browns long enough to work in 3 games and pick up 0 wins, 2 losses, and an ERA of 4.40. The next year, Boyd is 2-2, with a 2.66 ERA for the 1911 Reds and is then gone for good with a 2-season career record of 2-4, 3.09. Thanks to that first season with the Browns, Boyd leaves the big leagues as a loser. - Ray Boyd will pass away in his birthplace of Hortonville on February 11, 1920 - sadly, on his 33rd birthday. BCT/GB, Ray Boyd!

    Deaths on February 11

    Raymond C. "Ray" Boyd (See "Births" above. Boyd died on his 33rd birthday in Hortonville, Indiana on February 11, 1920.)

    Paul B. "Molly" Meloan dies on February 11, 1950 in Taft, California at the age of 61. The rarer BR/TL Washington University outfielder played 2 short years in the majors (1910-1911), starting with the White Sox and then going over to the Browns during the 1911 season. In 431 total AB's, Molly hit .253 with 3 HR's before he was gone for good. - Malone was born on August 23, 1888 in Paynesville, Missouri. - BCT/GB, Molly Meloan!

    ... Hmmm! ... What if Paul Meloan had married Yolanda Youpay!

    Anthony John Grzeszkowski, aka "Bunny Brief" passes away on February 11, 1963 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the age of 71. The BR/TR 1st baseman/outfielder had a career befitting his adopted name. For the MLB years 1912-1913, 1915, 1917, Bunny Brief hit .223 with 5 HR's. His Browns years were 1912-1913. - The man with the long Polish name they called "Bunny Brief" was born on July 3, 1892 in Remus, Michigan.

    Today's reference links ...
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 07-03-2005, 07:59 AM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


    • February 12th

      On This Date in History!

      Births on February 12

      Edward "Ned" Crompton is born on February 12, 1889 in Liverpool. England. British immigrant Crompton is a BL/TL left fielder for the 1909 Browns who goes 10 for 63 (.159) with 2 doubles,1 triple, and 0 homers in 17 games played. Denied the chance for a Brownie return the next season, Crompton finds his way into one final game for the Cincinnati Reds on October 8, 1910. Crompton even gets to play center field in his last hurrah, but things don't go so well. Ned strikes out in his only two times at bat as a 1910 Red and is gone for good - as I am becoming redundantly prone to write in these cases.

      Editorial Digression. How do the obituary writers for our newsapers avoid redundancy? The answer is - they don't. How could they? Certain redundant things just happen when we live and die - and things really become ritualized between the time one dies and the body is laid to rest in the ground - or burned and urned. - If I try to throw in something a little humorous here, every now and then, it's not out of disrespect, but out of the feint hope that all these Brownie birth, career, and death summaries may be written with some occasional burst of difference and levity. As a real obit writer, I would've been fired in my first week on the job. That is, if any of my upline bosses bothered to read what I was writing about the deaths of people.

      Back to Ned Crompton. Ned Crompton died on September 28, 1950 in Aspinwall, Pennsylvania at the age of 61. He took with him a lifetime big league batting average of .154. - That's OK, Ned. Your BA in the bigs is .154 points higher than mine and most other people's. - BCT/GB, Ned Crompton!

      Thomas Andrew "Tom" or "Shotgun" Rogers is born on February 12, 1892 in Sparta, Tennessee. The BR/TR pitcher with the forboding nickname will win 15, loss 30, and register a 3.95 ERA in a big league career (1917-1921) that starts and mainly builds as a member of the Browns (1917-1919). - What does the nickname "Shotgun" imply? Does it mean that Rogers had a lot of different pitches? - that the pitches he threw were all over the place? - or was it just a way of advising batters who faced him? i.e. "Swing at every pitch. You're bound to hit something." - "Shotgun Tom" Rogers will blast off from this world on March 3, 1936 at the age of 44.

      Deaths on February 12

      Death takes a holiday in Brownsville.

      Today's Reference Links ...
      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-22-2005, 07:11 PM.
      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


      • February 13th

        On This Date in History!

        February 13, 1953: No More Shibe Park for Visiting Browns.

        Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium

        The 1953 road game schedule for what turns out to be the last St. Louis Browns club will not include a trip to Shibe Park in Philadelphia. Of course, no other American League clubs will be playing at Shibe in 1953 either, for that matter. The Athletics today change the name of Shibe Park to Connie Mack Stadium, in honor of their longtime owner and manager. - The change turns out be more of a death knell than a ballpark re-christening. The A's will quickly follow the Browns to what appears first as greener pastures. One year after the Browns move to Baltimore and become the Orioles in 1954, the A's move to Kansas City in 1955. They keep the A's team name in Kansas City, but they are no longer Connie Mack's club - and the ballpark that was renamed in his honor is left behind to the home-alone tenants from the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies. - One season of knowing the club that he managed for 50 years is gone forever proves enough for the venerable, but aging Mr. Mack. Connie Mack will pass quietly away in Philadelphia on February 8, 1956. He is 93 years old when he dies.

        The times - they are a-changing!

        Births on February 13

        Frederick William Alexander "Fritz" Buelow is born on February 13, 1876 in Berlin, Germany. Achtung! The BR/TR utility position player will have a 9-year career in the big leagues (1899-1907), playing 25 games in his last season briefly as a back up catcher for the 1907 Browns. In the end, American League pitching is all that Fritz will need to put the auchtung on his march to greatness. Fritz finishes his 431 game, 1,334 AB career with a BA of only .192 and 6 HR's. - Fritz Buelow will die on December 27, 1933 at the age of 57.

        Harry Henry "Van" Vahrenhorst is born on February 13, 1885 in St. Louis. - This BR/TR baseball aspirant never gets to use the "TR" second part of his basic descriptor. Van's big league experience will be limited to one failed late season time at bat for the Browns on September 21, 1904. After going 0 for 1, the rest of Vahrenhorst's life will be written quietly away from the pages of baseball history. He will come and go so fast that we shall be left with no easy information about his intended position in the field. All we know for sure is - he will never get to catch or throw a ball - or even to stand idly between the lines - during an official game. All we know easily from his bare stats is that he will not strike out in his 0 for 1 career. In terms of getting another chance, it will never happen in the big leagues. - Fritz will die on October 10, 1943 in his home town of St. Louis. At least, he passes away in the knowledge that he did get there for that one moment in baseball time. Because he got there once, people like me will be writing about him 101 years later - and wondering - What did you do in that one time up there, Fritz? Did you dribble it back to the pitcher? Did you drive it to the wall? Or did you simply pop a hum-drum can-of-corn to the shortstop? - BCT/GB, Fritz Vahrenhorst!

        Eddie "Kid" Foster of Boston
        Moves to Browns In '22 Year.

        Edward Cunningham "Kid" Foster is born on February 13, 1887 in Chicago. At only 5'6 1/2" and 145 pounds, Kid Foster will bag 1,490 hits over his long (1910-1923) big league career as a BR/TR 3b/2b man. He woll serve as a veteran influence on the great 1922 Browns club after his acquisition from the Red Sox during the season. Foster will complete his 2-season Brownie playing career in 1923. His lifetime BA will stand over time as a respectable Punch-n-Judy .264. In 5,652 total AB's, Foster will hit only 6 homers - and, as I wrote on his death date post, I'm betting that all or most of those were the inside-the-park variety. - Eddie Foster will pass away on January 15, 1937 in Washington, but just a month shy of turning 50.

        George Lloyd "George" Gill is born on February 13, 1909 in Catchings, Mississippi, The BR/TR Mississippi College alumnus will go on to a 3-year big league career, finishing with a record of 24 wins, 26 losses, and an ERA of 5.05. As a member of the 1928 Browns, Gill makes his own contribution to the fates of the worst club in franchise history. It's really not fair to blame a pitcher for losses that come because his club gives him no run support. Neither is it possible to know at a glance how a pitcher's ERA is caused to soar by fielders who lack the range to turn triples into long fly ball outs. All we can do here is state Gill's record as a pitcher for the 1939 Browns. He will win 1, lose 12, and post an ERA of 7.11. - To the surprise of few, Gill will be finished in the big leagues after the 1939 season. - Some may argue that Gill is finished during the 1939 season. - At any rate, George Gill will pass away from further earthly pain on February 21, 1999 in Jackson, Mississippi at the age of 90.

        Robert Julius "Bob" or "Hobby" Habenicht is born on February 13, 1926 in St. Louis. After playing college ball at St. Louis University, the BR/TR will get into 3 games for the 1951 Cardinals and 1 game for the 1953 Browns. Habenicht will tab out on his firefly MLB career with no W/L record and a 6.76 ERA over the 6.2 innings he will work. - Bob Habenicht will pass away in Richmond, Virginia on December 24, 1980 at the early age of 54. - BCT/GB, Bob Habenicht! - You certainly gave all you had to give to the clubs of your old home town!

        Deaths on February 13

        Earl Wellington "Earl" Rapp

        Earl Rapp: He missed in the big leagues,
        but he made it to the PCL Hall of Fame!

        Earl Rapp dies on February 13, 1992 in Swedesboro, New Jersey at the age of 70. The BL/TR outfielder had a 3-year, 135 big league game career (1949, 1951-1952), finishing with a .262 BA and 2 HR's in his 279 pfficial times at bat. Coming over from the Giants early in the year, Rapp played for the Browns in 1951 and hit .327 (32 hits in 98 AB's) the rest of the way. Rapp also started with the Browns in 1952, but was soon dealt to the Senators for the finish of his big league career. - Earl Rapp was born on May 20, 1921 In Corunna, Michigan.

        Today's Reference Links ...
        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 05-20-2005, 05:39 AM.
        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


        • February 14th

          On This Date in History!

          Cardinals beam red,
          Browns pine deep blue,
          'Cause Birds still abound,
          But our guys are through!

          ... but our love for the Browns and their history lives on forever. In spite of the fact that something probably close to 100% of the players going to spring training with the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 never heard of, nor could care less about the St. Louis Browns, we fans still care enough to say ...

          Happy Valentine's Day, Anyway, Browns & Fans!

          February 14, 1952: Happy Valentine's Day Trade, Mr. K. & Co.!

          Dick Kryhoski: His Valentine's Day Plans
          were Massacred by Trade from Detroit
          to the Browns on this date in 1952.

          February 14, 1952. In a trade that alters the Valentine's Day plans of several players, the Browns acquire 1st baseman Dick Kryhoski and pitchers Gene Bearden and Bob Cain from Detroit. In exchange, the Tigers receive catcher Matt Batts, outfielder Cliff Mapes, pitcher Dick Littlefield, and 1st baseman Ben Taylor from the Browns.

          Dick Kryhoski will celebrate his 80th birthday this coming March 25, 2005. Mr. K. has been a regular attendee of our Browns Reunion banquets in St. Louis for the past several years and he is one of the nicest, unassuming, and most thoughtful of all the old Browns. We shall miss seeing him this year due to the cancellation of the 2005 banquet, but we shall hope for mutual survival and a return of the good time gatherings in St. Louis in 2006.

          Kryhoski was no slouch in the field as a first baseman and he also hit for a total BA of .265 with 45 HR's in his 7-year career (1949-1955). Kryhoski and the great Roy Sievers shared first base for the Browns in 1953, the last year of the team's existence. Mr. K. then moved on with the club as one of the original Orioles, but was soon involved in baseball's biggest trade of all time, a 17-player, two-part 1954 deal between the (ahem!) "New Baltimore Orioles" and the New York Yankees.

          Births on February 14

          No Brown ever had the whole heart to come into this world on Valentine's Day.

          Deaths on February 14

          No Brownie heart ever stopped beating on Valentine's Day.

          Wow! No Brownie births or deaths on the day we annually celebrate love! I guess we'll have to chalk up Valentine's Day to the astrologists. I sure don't have any explanation for it. Like a lot of other things in life, maybe there simply isn't one.

          Today's Reference Links ...

          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-22-2005, 07:10 PM.
          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


          • February 15th

            On This Date in History!

            February 15, 1934: Other Cities Advance Radio Coverage.

            In reverse of the recent decision by the Browns and Cardinals to halt radio coverage of games in St. Louis for the assumed sake of increasing attendance in 1934, clubs in the cities of Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and Cincinnati move forward by granting radio broadcast rights for the coming season. History soon proves which cities are taking the progressive course - and St. Louis baseball airways do not remain idle for very long.

            Births on February 15

            Edward Daniel "Ed" Kusel is born on February 15, 1886 in Cleveland, Ohio. Ed is another of those fleeting career pitchers who doesn't hang around long enough for history to record his batting preference on the left or right sides of the plate. Too bad too. Ed goes 3 for 10 (.300) in his only big league year with the 1909 Browns. - As a righthanded pitcher for the 1909 Browns, unfortunately, Kusel registers 0 wins, 3 losses, and an ERA of 7.13 and is gone for good from the big leagues thereafter. - Ed Kussel will pass away on October 20, 1948 in his hometown of Cleveland at the age of 62. Eddie, we hardly knew ye. - BCT/GB, Ed Kusel!

            Robert Eugene "Bobby" LaMotte is born on February 15, 1898 in Savannah, Georgia. The BR/TR infielder will play 3 seasons with the Senators (1920-1922) and 2 seasons with the Browns (1925-1926). He finishes with a career BA of .253 and 3 HR's for his 693 total AB effort in the big leagues. LaMotte will die on November 2, 1970 in Chatham, Georgia at the age of 72.

            Oscar Estrada is born on February 15, 1904 in Havana, Cuba. Estrada's big league career burns faster than one of those fine cigars from his native land. The all-around lefty pitches one inning for the Browns in a game played on April 21, 1929. He faces 5 batters - walking 1, giving up 1 hit, and retiring the other 3. He is not involved in the decision, but he never gets another shot. Oscar leaves the big leagues with no W/L record, but with a 0.00 career ERA. - Oscar Estrada will die on January 2, 1978 in Havana at the age of nearly 74. - BCT/GB, Oscar Estrada, and, as our special baseball application of the old song title implies, we irresistibly choose to add this comment about your career, - "Moonlight Becomes You!"

            Deaths on February 15

            William James "Bill" Grahame passes away on February 15, 1936 in Holt, Michigan at the age of 51. Holt had a 3-season record (1908-1910) for the Browns of 14 wins and 29 losses. The lefty also posted a career 2.90 ERA for that total time of his big league career. - Bill Grahame was born on July 22, 1884 in Owosso, Michigan.

            Thomas Francis "Tom" Tennant dies on February 15, 1955 in San Carlos, California at the age of 72. The BL/TL alumnus of Northern Illinois University got into 2 games as a pinch hitter for the 1912 Browns, but never played a moment in the field. For his two tries, Tom went 0 for 2, but managed to score a run, leaving us to conclude that he must have reached base at least once on either an error or fielder's choice. By the Browns choice, he never played again. - Tennant was born on July 3, 1882 in Monroe, Wisconsin. - BCT/GB, Tom Tennant!

            "Bump, we 'Hadley' knew ye!"

            Irving Darius "Bump" Hadley leaves this world on February 15, 1963 in Lynn, Massachusetts at the age of 58. The BR/TR pitcher won 38 and lost 56 in 3 seasons for the Browns (1932-1934) and that was only a small part of his total career record in the big leagues of 161 wins, 165 losses, and a 4.24 ERA. from 1926 to 1941. - The Brown University alumnus was born on July 5, 1904 in Lynn, Massachusetts.

            Today's Reference Links ...

            Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 10-20-2005, 03:39 PM.
            "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


            • February 16th

              On This Date in History!

              The Price of Big League Potatoes

              February 16, 1916. It helps to keep in mind how the economics of big league baseball has changed since the early years of the St. Louis Browns. With no advertising revenue from radio/tv, and with the reserve clause in place, early 20th century club owners depended entirely upon ticket sales for income, but they exercised total control of player movements and salaries and were able to hold down costs. - That being said, the Cleveland franchise was sold today for some pretty hefty pre-inflation dollars. Engineered by American League President Ban Johnson, two Chicago contractors buy the Cleveland franchise from Charles W. Somers, one of the AL founding owners. Somers spent money like it was going out of style in the beginning, In the end, Somers' bankroll did go out of style and, hence, today's sale unfolds. J.C. Dunn and P.S. McCarthy pay $500,000 for the Cleveland club. The sale price is only $60,000 less than the original asking price put forth by Somers. In the process of this change. E.S. Barnard will remain with the club as vice president, and future Browns manager Lee Fohl will be retained as manager.

              Births on February 16

              Frank Robert Donald "Ribs Raney" Raniszewski "Ribs Raney" is born in Detroit, Michigan on February 16, 1923. His full legal name will turn out to be longer than his big league career. The BR/TR Western Michigan College alumnus will pitch 18.1 innings for the 1949-1950 Browns and finish his brief MLB run with 1 win, 3 losses, and an ERA of 7.36. Raney will go 0 for 7 in his only big league times at bat. - Ribs will pass away in Detroit on July 7, 2003 in Warren, Michigan at the age of 80. - BCT/GB, Ribs Raney!

              Deaths on February 16

              Cedric Durst played for 2 of the best clubs in history:
              The 1922 St. Louis Browns & The 1927 NY Yankees.

              Cedric Montgomery "Cedric" Durst passes away in San Diego, California on February 16, 1971 at the age of 73. Best remembered as a BL/TL bench outfielder for the famous 1927 Yankees, Durst broke into the big leagues with the Browns (1922-1923, 1926). Over his total MLB career (1922-1923, 1926-1930), Durst hit .244 with 15 HR's in his 1,103 official times at bat. - Cedric Durst was born on August 23, 1896 in Austin, Texas.

              John Joseph "Brode" Shovlin dies at age 85 in Bethesda, Maryland on February 16, 1976. The BR/TR middle infielder hit only .209 in a limited stay (9 hits in 43 total ABs) in the big leagues (1911, 1918-1919), playing his last two years as a Brown. "Brode" (maybe that nickname derives from a misspelled thought that he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn) was born on January 14, 1891 in Drifton, PA. No matter now. - BCT/GB, Brode Shovlin!

              William Donald "Bill" (not "Billy") Cox passes away on February 16, 1988 in Charleston, Illinois at the age of 74. Not to be confused with "Billy Cox" of Brooklyn Dodger legend, this Bill Cox was a BR/TR pitcher who attained an MLB career (1936-1940) record of 2 wins, 9 losses, and an ERA of 6.56. Cox posted 1 win and 7 losses for the 1938-1940 Browns as the major part of his total big league tab. - Bill Cox was born on June 23, 1913 in Ashmore, Illinois.

              Today's Reference Links ...


              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-22-2005, 04:04 AM.
              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


              • February 17th

                On This Date in History!

                February 17th in Brownsville ...

                We can only wish for somethng as exciting as our headline on this slow news day. In the absence of same, we are left to ponder how an ancient, but short-lived rules change in the National League might have dissolved even more quickly had it applied to our St. Louis Browns in the American League.

                February 17, 1909: NL Initiates "No Out, No Leave" Policy on Relief Pitchers. The National League approaches the 1909 season with a little rules fine-tuning: (1.) NL umpires are stripped of their power to fine players. I assume that the NL decided that "heat-of-the-moment" mood flashes in the umpire's head were not a fair influence upon the arbiters' use and dollar-sizing assignment of these fines; and (2.) Relief pitchers shall be required to retire at least one batter before being relieved themselves.

                I find myself wishing that we had more time this morning to explore how that second NL rule change played out in 1909 - and how soon it took the NL to get rid of a rule that opened the door to games which theoretically could go on forever. If a relief pitcher cannot leave a game until he gets somebody out, but he cannot get anybody out ... what happens then?

                Maybe there's some inspiration there for a rules change which could help starters learn how to pitch again in 2005. - What if MLB today required starters to get 21 outs before they could have any relief? - Nah, that wouldn't work either. If that were the new rule, we'd just be hit with a rash of injury claims every time a manager wanted to pull an ineffective starter.

                Now .... if a pitcher had to go on the DL for 15 days every time he was pulled for reasons of injury ...

                See what I mean? There's no end to it. Every time we change a rule in baseball, it seems to produce unintended consequences which also have to be addressed with further fine-tuning. - At any rate, this is all I could come up with to write about in short time on a slow day in the history of the St. Louis Browns. The Browns had some pitchers in 1909 who were perfectly capable of entering a game and not retiring anyone. Sadly, that condition was not restricted only to the 1909 season.

                Births on February 17

                Rivington Martin "Rivington" Bisland is born on February 17, 1890 in New York, New York. (Right away, we sometimes need look no further than a player's first name for our first clue that we are dealing with another big league short-timer. If a guy leaves the game, and he is still being called "Rivington" upon his departure, it's a safe bet that he wasn't around too long.)

                Rivington Bisland managed to play 31 games in the big leagues (1912-1914) as a BR/TR shortstop without acquiring a nickname. As best I have been able to determine, Bisland is the only "Rivington" in MLB history to have escaped the obvious need for a shorter, catchier gameday ID. Rivington hit .136 for the 1913 Browns and he registered only a .118 BA mark over his totally and deservedly short-lived career.* - Rivington Bisland will die on January 11, 1973 in Salzburg, Austria at the age of nearly 83. What he was doing in Austria at that late age, I have no idea.

                *That being said, we tip our Brownie cap to the standard rare baseball player accomplishment. He got to the big leagues, so let's give him a posthumous nickname nearly a century later. Let's call him "Rivets" for its alliterative and metaphorical potential as a way of describing his career.

                "Rivets" Bisland did reach the big leagues. Rivington Martin Bisland did place a few big league rivets into the game back in the early part of the 20th century. Those rivets simply weren't driven deep enough to secure his long flight into baseball history beyond these few words. Nonetheless, once you get there, as Bisland did, the record book never forgets. :atthepc

                William Dunn "Bill" Sommers is born on February 17, 1923 in Brooklyn, New York. The BR/TR infielder's MLB career consists of 65 games he will play as a 2nd and 3rd baseman for the 1950 Browns. Sommers will go 35 for 137 (.255 BA) with 5 doubles, 1 triple, and 0 HR's in 1950 and then be gone-for-good as a big league ballplayer. - Bill Sommers will pass away on September 22, 2000 in Palm City, Florida at the age of 77. - BCT/GB, Bill Sommers!

                Deaths on February 17

                ... takes another holiday
                from St. L. Brownsville.

                Today's Reference Links ...

                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-22-2005, 04:02 AM.
                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                • February 18th

                  On This Date in History![/IMG]

                  J.W. Porter Today: He and lovely wife Zee have been
                  regular attendees of the annual Browns spring reunions in
                  St. Louis. Sadly, the 2005 gathering has been cancelled
                  for financial reasons. Too bad, but money often rules.

                  February 18, 1958: Former Brown Porter Moves Again. Cleveland sends veteran catcher Jim Hegan and pitcher Hank Aguirre to Detroit for catcher/outfielder J.W. Porter and pitcher Hal Woodeshick. - Porter will make another stop with Washington in 1959, but he will be back in St. Louis to finish his MLB career as a Cardinal after playing 37 games for the Senators.

                  Roy Sievers as a Senators Star.
                  Blame it on the Baltimore Orioles.

                  February 18, 1954: Roy Sievers Mistake Belongs to Orioles, Not SL Browns. The Washington Senators get outfielder/1st baseman Roy Sievers from the new Baltimore Orioles in a straight up player trade for outfielder Gil Coan. Sievers will have his best years in the big leagues with the Senators (1954-1959) and he will lead the American League in HR's by cracking 42 in 1957. - The Browns made a lot of trading mistakes over the years, but losing Roy Sievers to Washington falls at the feet of the Orioles as one of the worst deals in franchise history. Don't blame this one on the Browns.

                  Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis:
                  "The Judge" kept the racist color line
                  unbroken during his reign as the Pope
                  of Baseball.

                  February 18, 1943: MLB Foils Veeck Plan To Buy Phillies & Break Color Line. Only one day after Judge Landis learns directly fromm Bill Veeck of his plan to buy the Phillies and stock the club with stars from the Negro League, the National League suddenly finds a buyer for the Philadelphia club over night, where none when none existed before - and in spite of the fact that Bill Veeck reads the news thinking that he had achieved a verbal agreement to buy the club himself only 24 hours earlier.

                  The NL-approved, actual buyer is William D. Cox, a New York lumber mogul.

                  So, how did future Browns owner miss out? Here's the shorter version of what seems to have happened in February 1943. - Bill Veeck had put together a plan to buy the Philadelphia Phillies from a failing owner named Jerry Nugent. The two men came to an agreement in principle on February 17, 1943 that would have allowed Veeck to buy the club from Nugent post haste.

                  What Veeck didn't tell Nugent was that he had a plan of historical proportions in mind. Because of the war-weakened state of the National League, Veeck was planning to stock his new Phillies with the cream of the Negro League. - Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Willie Wells, Buck Leonard, and Ray Dandridge were already lined up to play for Veeck's Phillies in 1943.

                  Then, according to writer Donn Rogosin in his book on the history of the Negro League, "Invisible Men" (pp 197-198), Veeck made a decision on his way home to Chicago from the successful visit with the Phillies owner that changed the course of baseball history, especially where the effected players are concerned, and even more especially in the sense that it would have removed the Branch Rickey-Jackie Robinson places in our iconic memory of things past - if it had come to be as Veeck hoped it would.

                  According to writer Rogosin: "Veeck decided that he had better inform the commissioner of his plan, for he feared an intemperate outburst. Veeck stopped at the commissioner's office on the way back to Chicago where he had a seemingly cordial meeting with Landis, and then headed straight for the Broadway Limited. When he arrived home the next morning he discovered that the Phillies had been sold to the National League overnight. Veeck immediately called Nugent, who responded, 'What are you going to do, sue me?'

                  "So long as Landis remained commissioner, as successor Happy Chandler later put it, 'There wasn't going to be any black boys in the league.' "

                  We may only wonder what Landis would've done had Veeck just kept his mouth shut, bought the Phillies club, and then gone public with his plans to field the cream of the Negro League crop as members of his new team. We'll never know. My guess is that Judge Landis and the National League club owners would've blocked Veeck, anyway, and that Phillies owner Nugent would've backed out on the sale - once he learned of Veeck's intentions.

                  All we know for sure, from what actually happened, is that great Negro Leaguers Josh Gibson, Willie Wells, Buck Leonard, and Ray Dandridge were denied their chance to play in the big leagues as a result. Only Satchel Paige made it later with the Indians, Browns, and A's.

                  Births on February 18

                  Rollin Joseph "Joe" Lutz is born on February 18, 1925 in Keokuk, Iowa. The BL/TL 1st baseman goes 6 for 36 (.167 BA) in 14 games for the 1951 Browns and is then gone-for-good from the big leagues. Lutz's hitting includes 1 triple, 6 walks, 9 strikeouts, 7 runs, and 2 RBI. - Joe Lutz still walks among us in 2005.

                  BCT/GB & Happy 80th Birthday, Joe Lutz!

                  Deaths on February 18

                  Eugene Napoleon "Gene" or "DeMont" DeMontreville died on February 18, 1935 in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of nearly 61. The BR/TR infielder had an 11-year MLB career (1894-1904), collecting 1,096 hits and batting a fine .303. His Brownie time was little more than a final fizzle of going 1 for 9 in 4 games in 1904 before he retired for good. - Gene DeMontreville played well enough to be remembered for that fact alone. - The fact that he spent any time at all with the Browns buys him our memory here. DeMontreville was born on March 26, 1874 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

                  Marty McManus: Hit .312 as the
                  2nd sacker of great '22 Browns.

                  Martin Joseph "Marty" McManus died on February 18, 1966 in St. Louis at the age of nearly 66. The BR/TR 2nd baseman was one of the best players in Browns history. He broke into the big leagues with a single Browns game in 1920 and then anchored the right side of the Browns middle infield for 6 years from 1921 to 1926 - and in 3 of those seasons, he batted over .300. Over the course of his total career (1920-1934), McManus batted .289 and hit 120 homers. He also spent many years coaching and managing in the Browns system following his playing days. He will always be remembered as one of the men from our greatest club - the 1922 Browns. - Marty McManus was born on March 14, 1900 in Chicago.

                  A Big Brownie Cap Tip & God Bless to You Today, Marty McManus!

                  Today's Reference Links ...

                  Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-14-2005, 04:49 AM.
                  "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                  • February 19th

                    On This Date in History!

                    Branch Rickey:
                    The Teetotaling
                    Baseball Genius

                    Early 1916 (no confirmed date): Odd Couple Off To Bad Start. When the Federal League fell apart following the 1915 season, one of the settlement deals worked out involved Phillip DeCatesby Ball, the former owner of the St. Louis Terriers. The Terriers played in St. Louis as the third team in town during the two years the Federal League existed (1914-1915).

                    Cincinnati carriage maker Robert Lee Hedges had been the original owner of the transferred Milwaukee Brewers franchise since it relocated to St. Louis and became the new Brown Stockings (Browns) in 1902. By 1916, ill health had caused Hedges to put the club up for sale. The dmise of the Federal League turned out to be a good time for finding a buyer.

                    Ice machine mogul Phil Ball headed a syndicate that negotiated and finalized the purchase of a 90% interest in the Browns over the winter of 1915-1916 for $525,000. It was a purchase that set in motion a conflict which would quietly alter the future of big league baseball by chasing Branch Rickey from the Browns to the Cardinals.

                    New Browns owner Ball was a 56-year old loudmouth former cowboy and hard-drinking blowhard who seemed to reflect all the opposte qualities possessed by the genteel, intellectual, non-drinking, non-smoking manager of the club, 34-year old Branch Rickey.

                    When Ball and Rickey met for the first time at Sportsman's Park, and it was sometime around this point on the calendar, Ball sized up the conservatively dressed and soft-spoken Rickey and then blurted out: "So you're the God-damned prohibitionist!"

                    It was all down hill from there between the two men - and it was an ego and personality clash that would lead to changes in the unfolding of the game that couldn't possibly have been seen in February of 1916. If there was a single death knell event in the history of the Browns, it most certainly was the purchase of the club by Phil Ball and the consequential running of Rickey to the Cardinals.

                    (Factual References: The Spirit of St. Louis by Peter Golenbock, p. 75; The Sizzler by Rick Huhn, p. 57.)

                    Births on February 19

                    Not on Feb. 19
                    in Brownsville!

                    Deaths on February 19

                    Bob Groom was 24-13 for 1912 Nats.

                    Robert "Bob" Groom passed away on February 19, 1948 in Belleville, Illinois at the age of 63. The BR/TR pitcher was one of the players who followed new Browns owner Phil Ball from the Federal League 1915 St. Louis Terriers to the 1916 Browns. In his two years with the Browns, Groom posted 21 wins against 28 losses, registering an ERA under 3.00 each season. Groom finished his total career (1909-1918) with a record of 119 wins, 150 losses, and an ERA of 3.10. - Bob Groom was born on September 12, 1884 in Belleville, Illinois.

                    Charles Raymond "Ray" Demmitt died on Ferbruary 19, 1956 in Glen Ellyn, Illinois at the age of 72. The BL/TR Demmitt got his start playing college baseball for the University of Illinois. In his 7-year career as a BL/TR big league outfielder (1909-1919), Demmitt batted .257 with 8 dead ball era homers. Demmitt played two stints for the Browns (1910, 1917-1919), and he enjoyed his best full major league season by hitting .281 for the 1918 St. Louis AL club. - Ray Demmitt was born on February 2, 1884 in Illiopolis, Illinois. (What a great "rolls-right-off-the-tongue" sounding name for a hometown. The founding fathers of "Illiopolis" obviously had a real flair for marketing.)

                    Today's Reference Links ...

                    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-22-2005, 03:44 AM.
                    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                    • February 20th

                      On This Date in History!

                      Rickey Rolled
                      Farther Than Ball.

                      February 20, 1960: Echoes of Rickey-Ball. 44 years past the original bad start between Branch Rickey and the then new Browns owner Phil Ball, 27 years past the death of Phil Ball, and 7 years past the death of the St. Louis Browns, Branch Rickey is still shaking new ground in the world of professional baseball. Today Rickey meets with officials of the proposed Western Carolinas League about pooling their talent for the Continental League, a proposed new third major league. Rickey's presence in the "new league movement" brings credibility to the plan for the Continental League. As a result, the established American and National Leagues eventually will vote in favor expansion as a way of aborting the birth of the Continental League.

                      The Continental League may or may not have been a serious plan, but the presence of Rickey in the movement works to force the hand of the old MLB power structure - and get the major players in the movement what they wanted from professional baseball in the first place - new and sanctioned franchise opportunities.

                      In 1961, the American League adds the Los Angeles Angels - moves the Washington Senators to Minnesota and renames them the Twins - and then replaces the old club in our nation's capitol with an exansion franchise version of the Washington Senators. - In 1962, the National League follows with two expansion clubs: the New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45's.

                      Did the Continental League promoters only used Rickey to force the hand of MLB. They probably did, but why not? It worked. The four new franchises that resulted from the threat went to cities and owners who would've otherwise become core founders of the proposed Continental League.

                      Branch Rickey's role in the Continental League movement will prove to be his last major contribution to baseball history. The Mahatma will pass away on December 9, 1965 in Columbia, Missouri at the age of nearly 84. Two years later, Branch Rickey will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the growth of the game.

                      February 20, 1953: The Final Nail in Browns Coffin.

                      August A. Busch: His purchase of the Cardinals was
                      the iceberg that sank "The Sinkable Folly Browns."

                      Budweiser beer baron August A. Busch buys the St. Louis Cardinals from Fred Saigh for $3.75 million and pledges not to move the team from St. Louis. The deal is a death rattle for financially troubled Browns owner Bill Veeck, who now knows for certain that his club can neither outplay, nor outspend, the same town competition. - 1953 will be the last year in the 52-season life of the St. Louis Browns.

                      February 20, 1943: Rickey Gets "League of Their Own" Off Ground.

                      Phil Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, and Branch Rickey, General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, charter the All-American Girls Softball League. The league will operate around the Chicago area and is formed as a sports backup in case the government shuts down major league baseball. The league will later change its name and switch to hardball with a pitching distance of 40 feet and bases 68 feet apart.

                      Births on February 20

                      David W. "Dave" Davenport

                      Future Brown Dave Davenport won 22 game for the 1922 SLTerriers.

                      Dave Davenport is born on February 20, 1890 in DeRidder, Lousiana. The BR/TR pitcher will join the Browns in 1916 from the St. Louis Terriers following the collapse of the Federal League. Over the ourse of his 4 seasons as a Brown (1916-1919), Davenport will win 41 and lose 50. For his whole MLB career (1914-1919), Davenport will win 73, lose 83, and mark a 2.93 ERA. In his best season, the Louisiana native is 22-18, with a 2.20 ERA for the 1915 Terriers. - Dave Davenport will pass away on October 16, 1954 in El Dorado, Arkansas at the age of 64.

                      Herold Dominic "Muddy" Ruel is born on February 20, 1896 in St. Louis. The BR/TR catcher gets his 10-game start with the 1915 Browns and later returns to play 36 games for the 1933 Browns. His big league career is much bigger than his direct service to the St. Louis Americans. From 1915 to 1934, Muddy plays in 1,468 big league games and hits for a career BA of .275. Ruel will return to the Browns later as manager of the last place 1947 club. Muddy Ruel will die on November 13, 1963 in Palo Alto, California at the age of 67. Before turning pro, Ruel played college baseball for the University of Washington. - The history of how he got his nickname is muddy.

                      Frank William "Frankie" Gustine is born on February 20, 1920 in Hoopeston, Illinois. The BR/TR infielder is a tail-ender with the 1950 Browns, going 3 for 19 (.158 BA) in only 6 games in his only time with the club. Over his entire career (1938-1950), Gustine is a .265 lifetime hitter. - Franke Gustine will pass away on April 1, 1991 in Davenport, Iowa at the age of 71.

                      Jim Wilson
                      Birth Name: James Alger Wilson Bats : Right
                      Born On: 02-20-1922 Throws : Right
                      Born In: San Diego, California Height : 6-01½
                      Died On: 09-02-1986 Weight : 200
                      Died In: Newport Beach, California First Game: 04-18-1945
                      College: San Diego State College Last Game: 09-14-1958
                      Nickname: None Draft: Not Applicable

                      Pitcher Jim Wilson pitched only 2.2 innings for the 1948 Browns, achieving no record and registering an ERA of 13.53. Wilson had a 12-year MLB career (1945-1946, 1948-1949, 1951-1958) and finished with a record of 86 wins, 89 losses, and an ERA of 4.01. - Jim WIlson was 64 when he died in 1986.

                      Deaths on February 20

                      Death takes a holiday!

                      Today's Reference Links ...

                      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 09-02-2005, 07:09 AM.
                      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                      • February 21st

                        On This Date in History!

                        Short-Timer Brown Tommy Fine finds his place in the sun.

                        February 21, 1952: Former Brown Hurls 1st Caribbean Series No-No! Tommy Fine, a North American righthander who posted only four big league decisions with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Browns, today throws the only no-hit, no-run game in the history of the Caribbean Series. Fine, hurling for Club Havana (Cuba) against Cervecería Caracas (Venezuela), wins 1–0 in the 4th Serie del Caribe at Panama City. - The BR/TR Fine showed no such bursts of greatness in the big leagues. He was 1-2 with the 1947 Red Sox and 0-1 with the 1950 Browns for an overall career record of 1 win, 3 losses. and an ERA of 6.81. - Way to go, Tommy Fine! When you finally found your moment in the sun, it happened in a part of the world where sunshine is a major everyday commodity.

                        Births on February 21

                        Rhesa Edward "Ed" Smith is born on February 21, 1879 in Mentone, Indiana. The BR/TR pitcher will work one year in the big leagues for the 1906 Browns, posting a record of 8 wins, 11 losses, and an ERA of 3.72 before he is gone for good! - Ed Smith will pass away on March 20, 1955 in Tarpon Springs, Florida at the age of 76. - BCT/GB, Ed Smith!

                        Alexander Norman "Alex" Remneas is born on February 21, 1886 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The BR/TR pitcher works 1.2 innings for the 1912 Tigers and 6.0 innings for the 1915 Browns, posting no record and an ERA of 7.05. After these two performances, Remneas becomes a remnant fiber falling from the cloak of baseball history and is also - gone for good! - Alex Remneas will pass away on August 27, 1975 in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 89. - BCT/GB, Alex Remneas!

                        Roy Emil Frederick "Snipe" Hansen is born on February 21, 1907 in Chicago, Illinois. The BB/TL pitcher will chart a career record (1930, 1932-1935) of 22 wins, 45 losses, and an ERA of 5.01. Snipe will finish (is finished) when he goes 0 and 1 with an 8.78 ERA in 26.2 innings of labor for the 1935 Browns. - Snipe Hanson will pass away on September 11, 1978 in his hometown of Chicago at the age of 71.

                        Deaths on February 21

                        Isaac Broc "Ike" Rockenfield passes away on February 21, 1927 in San Diego, California at the age of 50. The BR/TR 2nd baseman hit .221 in his 2-season big league career with the 1905-1906 Browns. - Ike Rockenfield was born on November 3, 1876 in Omaha, Nebraska.

                        Clarence Herman "Jack" Enzenroth dies on February 21, 1944 in Detroit, Michigan. Where the "Jack" comes from is uncertain. Maybe he found it in the trunk of his car. At any rate, the BR/TR catcher went 1 for 6 (.167) for the 1914 Browns before skipping over to finish his "big league" time with the 1914-1915 Kansas City Packers of the ill-fated Federal League. Technically speaking, Enzeroth finishes his big league career (1914-1915) with a BA of .174 and no dead homers and is then - gone for good! - Jack Enzenroth, a former baseball player for the University of Michigan, was born on November 4, 1885 in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. - BCT/GB, Jack Enzenroth!

                        Thomas Francis Aloysius "Tom" or "Scoops" Carey dies on February 21, 1970 in Rochester, New York at the age of 63. The BR/TR middle infielder hit .291, .273, and .275 in heavy use by the 1935-1937 Browns. For his total career (1935-1942, 1946), With time out for service in WWII, Scoops Carey hit a very respectable .275 in 1,521 times at bat. - Scoops Carey was born on October 11, 1906 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

                        Rusty Peters
                        Birth Name: Russell Dixon Peters
                        Nickname: Rusty
                        Born On: 12-14-1914
                        Born In: Roanoke, Virginia
                        Zodiac: Sagittarius
                        Died On: 02-21-2003
                        Died In: Harrisonburg, Virginia
                        Cemetery: Christ Church Unity Cemetery, Roanoke, Virginia
                        College: Washington & Lee University
                        Bats: Right
                        Throws: Right
                        Height: 5-11
                        Weight: 170
                        First Game: 04-14-1936 (Age 21)
                        Last Game: 09-28-1947
                        Draft: Not Applicable

                        Infielder Rusty Peters had a 10-season MLB career (1936-1938, 1940-1944, 1946-1947), batting .236 with 8 HRs. In his last and only season with the 1947 Browns, Peters finished well at the plate, going 16 for 47 and a .340 BA in 30 games. - Rusty Peters was 88 when he died in 2003.

                        Today's Reference Links ...

                        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 12-14-2005, 02:22 PM.
                        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                        • On This Date in History!

                          Births on February 22

                          Edward "Ed" Hawk is born in Neosho, Missouri on February 22, 1888. The BL/TR will go 0 and 4 in 4 big league starts for the 1911 Browns and then be gone-for-good. - Hawk will leave an ERA of 3.35 for the record books before he vanishes. - Ed Hawk also will pass away on March 26, 1936 in Neosho, Missouri at the age of 48.

                          BCT/GB, Ed Hawk! :atthepc

                          John Lucadello is born on February 22, 1919 in Thurber, Texas. The BR/TR utility infielder will spread a 6-season career in the majors over 9 years of time from 1938 to 1947. Most of his time is true Browns stuff, but he finishes his tiem in 1947 with the Yankees. Lucadello will wrap it up with a career BA of .264 in 686 total AB's. - John Lucadello will pass away on October 30, 2001 in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 82.

                          Karl August "Karl" Drews

                          Former Brown Drews Pitched
                          For The Phillies, 1951-1954.

                          Karl Drews is born on February 22, 1920 in Staten Island, NY. The BR/TR pitcher wins 7 and loses 14 in his 2 seasons as a Brown (1948-1949). For his total big league career (1946-1954), Karl Drew wins 44, loses 53, and posts a 4.76 ERA. Drews will die on August 15, 1963 in Dania, Florida at the age of 43.

                          Deaths on February 22

                          Hunter Benjamin "Hunter" Hill passes away on February 22, 1959 in Austin, Texas at the age of 79. The BR/TR 3rd baseman/outfielder broke into the big leagues with the 1903-1904 Browns, but moved to the Senators in his 2nd year and finished his brief career with Washington (1904-1905). He recorded a .216 career BA and 1 HR in 1,200 total AB's. - Hunter Hill was born in Austin, Texas on June 21, 1879.

                          Paul Bachman "Paul" Speraw dies on February 22, 1962 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at the age of 68. Speraw is another one-game-wonder. The BR/TR 3rd baseman goes 0 for 2 as a Brown in a game played on September 15, 1920 and is then ... (here we go again) ... gone for good from the big leagues forever after. - Paul Speraw was born on October 5, 1893 in Annville, Pennsylvania.

                          BCT/GB, Paul Speraw!

                          Willis Everett "Kid" Butler dies on February 22, 1964 in Richmond, California at the age of 77. The BR/TR utility infielder had a 20-game career with the 1907 Browns, posting a .220 BA in 59 total AB's and 0 homers before he too is ... gone for good! - Kid Butler ws born on August 9, 1887 in Franklin, PA.

                          BCT/GB, Kid Butler!

                          (Oh, you kid! At least you hung in there long enough to pick up 13 hits!)

                          Today's Reference Link ...
                          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 08-09-2005, 05:19 AM.
                          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                          • February 23rd

                            On This Date in History!

                            Urban Shocker: Early '20s Browns Ace
                            will be among those pitchers allowed to
                            stay moist after the spitball is banned.

                            February 23, 1918: Anti-Spit Movement Launched. Barney Dreyfuss, the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a member of the Baseball Rules Committee, launches a campaign to ban the spitter. It will come to pass in 1919. Once the pitcher's external juice to the ball is made illegal, except for a handul of veteran spitball pitchers who are grandfathered into a rules-exception, the major leagues will add internal juice to the baseball in 1920 when they start making it with a tighter-winding Australian wool. Add the coming of Babe Ruth and a few like-minded sluggers to the mix and you have the major ingredients in the pot for a big change in the way the game will be played during the Roaring Twenties.

                            Births on February 23

                            John Falcnor "Jack" Black is born on February 23, 1890 in Covington, Kentucky. The BR/TR 1st baseman is another one-season warrior in the big leagues and he fights his whole losing battle as a member of the 1911 Browns. Black goes 38 for 186 (.151 BA) in 54 games with 0 HR's and only 4 doubles to his extra base hit credit. When 1912 rolls around, Black's not back - he's gone for good! - Jack Black will pass away on March 20, 1962 in Rutherford, New Jersey at the age of 72. - BCT/GB, Jack Black!

                            Deaths on February 23

                            Gordon Frederick "Gordon" or "Goldie" Goldsberry

                            Gordon Goldsberry passes away on February 23, 1996 in Lake Forest, California at the age of 69. The BL/TL 1st baseman had a .241 BA with 7 homers for his 4-year MLB career (1949-1952). Goldie was a member of the Chicago White Sox during his first three seasons, but he tapped out as a Brown in 1952 with a .229 BA and 0 homers in 227 times AB. - Gordon Goldsberry was born on August 30, 1927 in Sacramento, California.


                            Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-23-2005, 04:42 AM.
                            "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                            • February 24th

                              On This Date in History!

                              Births on February 24

                              Gerard "Nig" Lipscomb is born on February 24, 1911 in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. I hate to touch the matter of how Lipscomb acquired his completely onerous - and odious - nickname, but it's impossible to ignore. All I will say here is that it speaks sad volumes for the open state of racism that existed in our culture prior to Jackie Robinson in the 1940's, federal legislation in the 1950's, and the civil rights movement of the 1960's. Of course, racism has not vanished in the 21st century. It simply isn't carried forth today with the overt assignment of poor taste nicknames - ones that find themselves falling into the record books harmlessly along side familiar monikers like "Babe", "Kid", "Doc", and "Duke". - That being said, we move on to see that Lipscomb will prove to be no more than another flash-in-the-plan (if, indeed, he ever glimmered at all) one-season, little-used utility infielder for the 1937 Browns. The BR/TR Lipscomb will distinguish himself in one way. In addition to his 27 games played at 2nd base and 1 at 3rd base, he will pitch in 3 games and he will appear as a pinch hitter on 3 other occasions. On that note, versatile distinction comes to a dead end on the heels of a pretty good offensive flash. Lipscomb will go 31 for 96 (.323 BA) at the plate, but he will register a 6.52 ERA with no record as a pitcher in 9.2 innings of work. It's possible that Lipscomb's mound jobs are all merely "take one for the team" appearances in hopelessly lost games because he relieved and finished in all 3 instances. At any rate, after 1937, Lipscomb will be gone for good from both the Browns and the big leagues. - He will pass away from this Good Earth on February 27, 1978 in Huntersville, North Carolina at the age of 67.

                              BCT/GB, Gerard Lipscomb!

                              Deaths on February 24

                              Marcus "Marc" Hall dies on February 24, 1915 in his hometown of Joplin, Missouri at the age of only 27. The BR/TR pitcher broke into the big leagues with the 1910 Browns and went 1-7, with a 4.27 ERA in 8 starts. After a couple of seasons away from the big leagues, Hall returned to pitch 2 final years (1913-1914) for the Detroit Tigers. Because of his premature death (from causes unknown to me without further research), Hill finished with a career MLB record of 15 wins, 25 losses, and an ERA of 3.25. - Marc Hill was born on August 12, 1887 in Joplin, Missouri.

                              BCT/GB, Marc Hall!

                              Edward Stewart "Eddie" Plank passes away om February 24, 1926 in his hometown of Gettysburg, PA at the age of 50. The great Hall of Fame BL/TL pitcher finished his long career with the 1916-1917 Browns, going 21 and 21 on the W/L ledger. Overall, Eddie Plank's 326 victories rank him 11th all-time. He also recorded more shutouts and complete games than any other left-hander in big league history. Among lefties, Plank's win total ranks third all-time behind Warren Spahn and Steve Carlton. A finesse pitcher with a good sidearm sweeping curveball, Plank never played baseball before prep school. He joined the Philadelphia Athletics after graduating from Gettysburg College in 1901. He pitched in the majors for 17 seasons (1901-1917), winning 20 games eight times - and helping the A's to six pennants in the new American League. In the Browns' case, the club was simply blessed to catch the last burning embers of this magnificent shooting star, but we'll take what we could get. - Eddie Plank was born in Gettysburg, PA on August 31, 1875.

                              BCT/GB, Hall of Famer Eddie Plank - and thanks for stopping by to finish up at our house!

                              Plank reference:

                              Today's General Reference Link ...
                              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-24-2005, 11:06 AM.
                              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                              • February 25th

                                On This Date in History!

                                "What else can I do today to help
                                you love my team?"
                                - Bill Veeck

                                February 25, 1946: Veeck Grabs Media Guide Innovator from Chicago. Legendary Browns owner Bill Veeck always sought the the marketing edge (see Eddie Gaedel), but it wasn't always about midegts batting, fans managing, or disco record demolitions. Veeck paid attention to quieter innovations as well. For example, when Veeck was a rookie owner of the Cleveland Indians back in 1946, the Chicago White Sox handed out the first media guide to beat writers. According to historian Peggy Beck, this first media guide was the creation of a White Sox employee named Marsh Samuel. A mere 17 pages long, the White Sox media guide was a big hit with the press who covered the team. - On this date in history, Bill Veeck noted the fact and did something about it. He simply hired Samuel away from the White Sox to create a superior media guide for the Indians.

                                Births on February 25

                                Albert Wayne "Al" or "Boots" Hollingsworth

                                Al Hollingsworth is born on February 25, 1908 in St. Louis. The BL/TL pitcher will go on to an 11-year career in the big leagues (1935-1946), posting an overall record of 70 wins, 104 losses, and ERA of 3.99 when the going-home tab is run. In his 5 years with the Browns (1942-1946), Al will mark two of his best years in 1942 (10-6, 2.96) and 1945 (12-9, 2.70). He also will win 5 games for the 1944 Browns American League championship club. - As a 13-year old kid in Houston, I first saw Hollingsworth when he came to town to manage the 1951 Houston Buffs and lead them to the Texas League championship. Of course, I thought Al was the greatest manager in the world. Al also introduced me to certain words of anger that I had never heard previously. One time my dad got tickets from his boss that put us in seats directly behind the Buffs dugout. Something happened to perturb Hollingsworth during the game and he lept out of the dugout and headed for the home plate umpire. I won't repeat what he said here, but it was the famous reference to the umpire's ancestry that we all hear, sooner or later, and it was laced with a few other expressions, including the slang word for the procreative act. "Close your ears, son," my embarrassed father said, but it was a little late for that advice. I had never seen a redder face in my life as Hollingsworth came back to the dugout on his way to an early shower. - I finally got to meet Al Hollingsworth in September 1995 at the Last Reunion Dinner of Former Houston Buffs - and I told him of my experience 44 years earlier. He just laughed and told me that he had managed to mellow some since then. I also got him to sign a ball for me. - The following spring, on April 28, 1996, Al Hollingsworth passed away in Austin, Texas at the age of 88.

                                A great big BCT/GB to you, Al Hollingsworth - and thanks for the educational memories! :grouchy

                                Deaths on February 25

                                Edgar Garland "Garland" Braxton

                                Garland Braxton passed away on February 25, 1966 in Norfolk, Virginia at the age of 65. The BB/TL pitcher compiled a career (1921-1933) big league record of 50 wins, 53 losses, and an ERA of 4.13. He was 0 and 1 in a 26.1 inning tail-ender term with the 1931 and 1933 Browns. - Garland's best year saw him win 13, lose 11, and mark a 2.51 ERA as a member of the 1928 Washington Senators. - Garland Braxton was born on June 10, 1900 in Snow Camp, North Carolina.

                                George Cyril Methodius "George" or "Good Kid" Susce died on February 25, 1986 in Sarasota, Florida at the age of 78. The BR/TR catcher posted a spotty, part-time MLB career (1929, 1932, 1939-1944) record BA of .228 with 2 HR's for 5 clubs before hanging it up on his 268 total AB journey. As a member of the 1940 Browns, Susce hit .212 in 61 games. - He was a "Good Kid" who never really did very much. - George Susce was born on August 13, 1907 in Pittsburgh, PA.

                                Nice try, anyway, Kid! At least you also played ball at good old St. Bonaventure before turning pro - and your son, George Daniel Susce, will make it to the big leagues too!

                                The Good Kid of
                                "The Good Kid"

                                George Daniel Susce, the son of the former Brown, will enjoy a career record of 22-17 with a 4.42 ERA for the Red Sox and Tigers from 1955 to 1959.

                                Joseph Emmett "Joe" Gallagher passes away on February 25, 1998 in Houston, Texas, just 2 weeks shy of his 84th birthday. The BR/TR back-up outfielder is an alumnus of Manhattan College who played 2 years in the majors (1939-1940). His time with the Browns in both seasons was bookended by his start with the Yankees and his finish with the Dodgers. "Muscles" Gallagher collected 133 hits and 16 homers in his 487 total AB's for a career average of .273. - Joe Gallagher was born on March 7, 1914 in Buffalo, New York.

                                Today's Reference Links ...

                                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-07-2005, 03:20 AM.
                                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


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