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  • February 26th

    On This Date in History!

    February 26, 1991: Veeck, As In "Select", for Cooperstown.

    Bill Veeck's HOF Plaque:
    "A Champion of The Little
    tag born with Browns!

    Former major league club owner Bill Veeck of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, and Chicago White Sox and former 2nd baseman Tony Lazzeri of the New York Yankees are elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame today by the Veteran's Committee.

    February 26, 1907: Browns Acquire Buelow from Cleveland.

    Fritz Buelow: He hit .192
    from 1899 to 1907, but a
    photo of him still exists
    in spite of his record.

    The St. Louis Browns today trade 2nd baseman Pete O'Brien to Cleveland for catcher Fritz Buelow. - O'Brien hit .233 for the 1906 Browns in 524 times at bat. Buelow hit .163 for Cleveland in 1906. - So, how will this deal pan out? - O'Brien will hit .228 in 43 games for Cleveland in 1907 and then be dealt to Washington during the season, where his BA for the Senators in 39 games drops to .187. Buelow will play in 26 games for the 1907 Browns, but his BA will drop 16 points from the previous year to a less than fire hot .147. - 1907 will be the last year in the big leagues for both of the men involved in what me be now belatedly celebrated as one of the most meaningless trades in baseball history.

    Births on February 26

    Harry Warren "Rip Collins is born on February 26, 1896 in Weatherford, Texas. The Texas A&M hurler will graduate to a big league career that spans from 1920 to 1931. The BR/TR Aggie starter/Browns finisher will post a career big league mark of 108 wins, 82 losses, and a 3.99 ERA. Rip's record with the Browns (1929-1931) accounts for 25 of the wins and 18 of the losses. - Rip Collins is a good one who will pass away in Bryan, Texas (near Texas A&M University) on May 27, 1968 at the age of 72.

    BCT/GB, Mr. Collins! - Gig 'Em and let her rip!

    Deaths on February 26

    Thomas George "Tommy" Heath passes away on February 26, 1967 in Los Gatos, California at the age of 53. The BR/TR catcher had a 3-year career (1935, 1937-1938) record in the big leagues, all as member of the Browns. Overall, Heath batted .240 with 3 HR's in 330 total AB's. - Tommy Heath was born on August 18, 1914 in Akron, Colorado.

    William Francis "Wild Bill" Miller dies on February 26, 1982 in Hannibal, Missouri at the age of nearly 72. "Wild Bill" was another of our one-game-wonder boys. He started one game for the Browns on October 2, 1937 and lasted all of 4 innings after giving up 6 runs on 7 hits and a homer. He struck out 1 batter, but he walked 4 other batters and hit another guy. (Wonder how Miller got that "Wild BiIl'' tag that has followed him so fluidly into the record books?) The Browns did not recover from Bill's early ineffectivemess and the BR/TR Miller ended up with the loss and a career record of 0 wins, 1 loss, and an ERA of 13.50. Miller never got another shot in the bigs. After this failed first start, he was (altogether now!) - gone for good! For the record, Bill Miller was born on April 12, 1910 in Hannibal, Missouri and that, in itself, provides him with some sidenote of distinction. - Miller was born in the Year of Halley's Comet, in the same hometown where Samuel Clemens was also born, and in the same year that Hannibal's famous writer passed away. - Sadly for Miller, his career comet had no tail - and he proved to be no "Mark Twain"-level talent as a pitcher.

    Nevertheless ... BCT/GB, Wild Bill Miller!

    Today's Reference Links ...

    Have a great weekend, Browns fans! :atthepc
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-26-2005, 06:59 AM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


    • February 27th

      On This Date in History!

      February 27, 1907: Browns Trade Rickey To Yankees.

      Young Mahatma Off
      To Old Manhattan!

      The true meaning of the Fritz Buelow deal of yesterday takes 24 hours to hatch. As a result of their new catcher acquisition from Cleveland, the Browns turn around today and trade receiver Branch Rickey to the New York Highlanders for infielder Joe Yeager. Rickey's refusal to play ball on Sunday because of a promise he made to his religious mother enters into the Browns reasons for making the deal. In dumping Rickey, the Browns now have Fritz Buelow, a guy who will be available to play seven days a week. Of course, the real question is: If a guy only hits .163, as Buelow did for the 1906 Cleveland club, is it really a big advantage to have him available an extra day each week?

      Births on February 27

      Walter Frederick "Walter" Moser is born on February 27, 1881 in Concord, North Carolina. In 2 years, and 70.2 innings on the big league mound, Walter fails to acquire a good nickname or even shortened. less formal identity as "Walt." In fact, Walter fails to win a game at all. After going 0 and 4 for the 1906 Phillies, Walter have to wait five years for his second and last shot a victory in the majors. He goes 0 and 1 for the 1911 Boston American League club and is then quickly sold to the St. Louis Browns in une of tha season for an undisclosed pile of change. Walter Moser lasts all of 3.1 innings as a BR/TR starter for the 1911 Browns, picking up two losses and building a 21.62 ERA ticket to nowhere in the process. The Browns quickly give up on Moser, allowing him to finish his career through 1911 with a record of 0 wins, 7 losses, and ERA of 4.59. Almost needless to add, Moser is gone for good after his failure with the Browns, thus allowing his winless quest to stand unchanged in the big league record books for all time. - Walter Moser will pass away on December 10, 1946 in Philadelphia at the age of 65.

      BCT/GB, "Walt" Moser! (At least, you made the effort!)

      Deaths on February 27

      Gerard "Nig" Lipscomb passes away from this Good Earth on February 27, 1978 in Huntersville, North Carolina at the age of 67.
      As I wrote first on his birthday post, it's tough to touch the matter of how Lipscomb acquired his completely onerous - and odious - nickname, but it's also impossible to ignore. I will repeat here 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. - Lipscomb was born on February 24, 1911 in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.

      BCT/GB, Gerard Lipscomb!

      Today's Reference Links ...
      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-27-2005, 10:30 AM.
      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


      • February 28th & 29th

        On This Date in History!

        February 28, 1931: Ban Johnson Is Dead.

        Ban Johnson: AL Founder
        Dead in St. Louis at 67.

        American League founding president Ban Johnson dies in St. Louis today after a long illness. Johnson was ithe AL's dynamic, dictatorial leader until subdued by events that outsized his own ego. With the Black Sox Scandal of 1919 came a change in the way big league baseball governed itself. No longer could Johnson pull his weight (literally and figuratively) as a member of the three-man National Commission. The gambling fix of the 1919 World Series and the resultant trials of eight Chicago White Sox ballplayers in 1920 had pressured baseball into the creation of a commissioner's office that would have the absolute power to rule on all matters for "the greater goog of baseball." Once Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis took office as the first commissioner in January 1921, Ban Johnson's day at the helm was done, but his place in history was already made as the man who started the junior circuit and forced the basic league structure that still exists to this day in spite of much watered down change. Johnson served as founding President of the American League from 1900 to 1927, when ill health finally forced his resignation. For his significant role in the shaping of baseball history, Ban Johnson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. - Born on January 5, 1864 in Norwalk, Ohio, Johnson was 67 at the time of his death today.

        Births on February 28

        Homer Estell "Homer" Ezzell is born on February 28, 1896 in Victoria, Texas - a small city only 53 miles east of my own birthplace of Beeville in South Texas. I'm pretty sure that a nice fellow named Camp Ezzell, a writer for my grandfather's newspaper, The Beeville Bee, was some relation to Homer, but I will have to research that matter further. In that era, in that part of the country, you hardly ever met two people with the same unusual last name who weren't kin in some way). This Ezzell, at any rate, will become a BR/TR infielder who starts his 3-year big league career (1923-1925) with the 1923 Browns as a 2nd & 3rd baseman, hitting .244 in 88 games. Ezzell will move over to the Red Sox in 1924-1925 and he will finish his big league career with an overall BA of .264. Ironically, Homer will conclude his 742 AB run in the big leagues with 0 homers. - Homer Ezzell will pass away on August 3, 1976 in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 80.

        A BCT/GB to you, Homer Ezzell, - and may the bright South Texas prairie sun shine forth upon your memory forever!

        Richard Jerome "Dick Kokos" Kokoszka

        Richard Kokoszka:
        "What's in a Name?"

        Dick Kokos is born on February 28, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois. The BL/TL outfielder adopts the box-score-friendlier name of "Dick Kokos" from the git-go and goes on to a 5-year (1948-1950, 1953-1954) big league career as one of of the last Browns and first Orioles. In 1,558 total AB's, Kokos hits a respectable .263 and bangs out 59 HR's. - Dick Kokos will pass away on April 9, 1886 in Chicago at the age of 58.

        BCT/GB, Mr. Kokos! You were one of my favorites as a kid. One of these days, I'm going to find that Bowman card of yours that I kave kept for years. It's around here somewhere.

        Edward Arthur "Ed" Albrecht is born on February 28, 1929 in Affton, Missouri. The BR/TR will post a Browns/total career record of 1 win, 1 loss, and an ERA of 5.40 for the 1949-1950 Browns in 11.2 innings of work and and then be gone for good. - Ed Albrect will expire on December 29, 1979 in Cahokia, Illinois at the relatively tender age of 50.

        BCT/GB, Ed Albrect!

        Deaths on February 28

        Henry Neitz "Hennie" Smoyer dies on February 28, 1958 in DuBois, PA at the age of nearly 68. The Albright College alumnus was a BR/TR infielder went 3 for 14 (.214) with 0 homers for the 1912 Browns and was then gone for good. Hennie didn't even last long enough to earn a decent "Hank" exchange for his Henry first name. (It's a good thing Aaron escaped the same fate. "Hennie Aaron" hardly befits the man who broke Ruth's record.) - Hennie Smoyer was born on April 24, 1890 in Fredericksburg, PA.

        BCT/GB, Hennie Smoyer!

        Sylvester Adam "Sammy" Simon dies on February 28, 1972 in Chandler, Indiana at the age of 72. This BR/TR infielder went 8 for 33 (.242) with 0 homers for the 1923-1924 Browns and was also then .... (ta da) ... gone for good! - Sammy Simon was born on December 14, 1897 in Evansville, Indiana.

        Sammy Simon,
        Met a pieman,
        On his way to Brownsville.

        Sammy stopped,
        And ate his sweets;
        He couldn't handle Moundsville.

        BCT/GB, Sammy Simon! :o

        February 29. On this date in the leap year calendar of Browns history, nothing remarkable happened - and neither were there any player births or deaths. Who knows the reason for this void beyond the fact that this date comes up so rarely. At any rate ....

        Have a nice week, Browns fans! :atthepc

        Today's Reference Link:
        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 02-28-2005, 04:41 PM.
        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


        • March 1st

          On This Date in History!

          March 1, 1949: Browns Take Villain Role in Ballpark Rent Melodrama.

          "OK, Cardinals! If you're gonna make more
          money than us by putting a winning club on
          the field, you gotta pay more rent!"

          What does any dye-in-the-wool landlord usually do when he's hard up for cash - especially when he sees a tenant apparently rolling in dough as a direct business competitor? That's right, he raises the rent. The St. Louis Browns, owners of Sportsman's Park, move today to evict the St. Louis Cardinals as tenants in order to gain a rental increase. - The Browns drew only 335,564 fans in 1948. The Cardinals pulled a 1948 gate of 1,111,440 for their 3rd consecutive year over the one million fans mark. At the time of the rental dispute, to say the least, the Browns are green with envy.

          March 1, 1947: Veeck Prepares for Integration of Indians.

          Robinson had Rickey,
          but Doby had Veeck.

          In anticipation of the signing of the first black players, Bill Veeck, a resident of Phoenix, sets up a spring training camp there for the Cleveland Indians. Arizona is chosen because of its relatively tolerant racial climate. During the season, Veeck will sign the A.L.'s first black player, Larry Doby, who will train at the Arizona camp. The Giants also set up camp in Arizona, while the Dodgers move their training camp from Florida to Havana, Cuba.

          It's interesting to note a common thread joining the two clubs that broke the color line in the National and American Leagues (Dodgers and Indians) were led by the two most prominent leaders in Browns history, Branch Rickey and Bill Veeck. Unfortunately for the Browns, one of these two great Hall of Fame leaders left St. Louis too early - and the other arrived too late.

          March 1, 1947: Ruel Rules in Brownsville.

          Muddy Ruel Takes Reins
          As 1947 Browns Manager.

          Muddy Ruel takes over in 1947 as the new manager of the St. Louis Browns. Other new managers in spring training camps include Billy Herman of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bucky Harris of the New York Yankees, and Johnny Neun of the Cincinnati Reds. Neun reaches the Reds after ending 1946 as manager of the Yankees on the heels of Joe McCarthy and Bill Dickey, who both quit on New York during an abnormally rocky year in The Bronx.

          March 1, 1944: Rare Browns Trade Produces Mo(o)re In Return. The Browns send veteran catcher Rick Ferrell to Washington today for outfielder Gene Moore and cash. Moore will hit .238 in 110 games for the only Browns club to win a pennant and he will also score the first run in the 1944 World Series.

          March 1, 1910: Browns Unaffected by New Ruling. The 3-member National Commission, baseball's ruling body in the early pre-Judge Landis days, today votes to prohibit the giving of nice mementos to players on winning World Series teams. This silly ruling will later be reversed, opening the door for the custom of awarding watches, rings, and stickpins to members of a winning World Series club.

          Births on March 1

          March 1st was a Brownsville fly-by for the stork!

          Deaths on March 1

          Archibald Alexander "Alex" or "Lick" Malloy passes away on March 3, 1961 in Ferris, Texas at the age of 74. The BR/TR pitcher was 0 and 6 with a 2.56 ERA for the 1910 Browns and was then gone for good from big league baseball. How Malloy acquired the nickname of "Lick" is a fantasy-conjuring mystery that will have to go begging for the real answer elsewhere. I imagine that it had something to do with Malloy's attentions to the baseball, but I could be wrong. One thing's sure - it had no roots in what Malloy was able to do the big league clubs he faced on the mound back in 1910. - Alex Malloy was born on October 31, 1886 in Laurinburg, North Carolina.

          BCT/GB, Lick Malloy!

          Today's Reference Links ...

          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-01-2005, 06:43 AM.
          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


          • March 2nd

            On This Date in History!

            March 2, 1924: That Sisler State of Mind.

            March 2, 1924: Nice Start, George! Eighty-one years ago today, the great George Sisler was just beginning the greatest challenge of his storied baseball life. He was making a comeback as the playing manager of the 1924 Browns after missing the entire 1923 season due to a sinus infection that had spread and caused him to suffer from double vision for months. (Note: The "good old days" of the 1920's offered no antibiotic remedies for infection. With today's medicines, Sisler probably could've had the infectious bug knocked out early and missed no playing time in 1923 - but that was then and this is now.)

            Everybody loved George Sisler - but that was especially true in the spring of 1924. People wanted him to be OK again as a great player - and Browns fans wanted him to succeed as a playing manager. To top it off, the personable Sisler was saying and doing all the right things too.

            Like all honeymoons, however, this one too would end on the hardwood floor of reality over time, but that's a much longer story for another day. If you haven't read Rick's Huhn's new biography: "The Sizzler: George Sisler, Baseball's Forgotten Great," you owe it to yourself as a fan of the Browns and baseball history to do so. It's a well-researched, nicely written book and a major contribution to our knowledge of the greatest Brown of all time.

            Births on March 2

            Daniel John "Danny" Hoffman is born on March 2, 1880 in Canton, Connecticut. The BL/TL outfielder will have a 9-year career (1902-1911) in the big leagues that includes playing the last 4 years (1908-1911) as a member of the Browns. Hoffman will finish his big league days with a career BA of .256 and 14 HR's in 2,981 total AB's. Danny will be good enough to stay in the big leagues for awhile, but mediocre enough to be forgotten once he retires. We will try to do our small part here to make sure that he is remembered, in spite of the cold, gray facts. - Danny Hoffman will pass away in Manchester, Connecticut on March 14, 1922 at the age of only 42.

            John Henry "Jack" Knott is born on March 2, 1907 in Dallas, Texas, Before turning pro, this BR/TR pitcher will place some baseball for his home town's Southern Methodist University. - Knott will go on to an 11-year big league career (1933-1942, 1946) that starts with 5 1/2 years as a Brown (1933-1938). Knott is dealt to the White Sox during the 1938 season. - When all is finally wrapped, Knott finishes with an MLB record of 82 wins, 103 losses, and an ERA of 4.97. - Jack Knott will die in Brownwood, Texas on October 13, 1981 at the age of 78.

            Richard Eugene "Dick" Starr

            Happy Birthday,
            Dick Starr!

            Dick Starr is born on March 2, 1921 in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. The BR/TR pitcher will play in the big leagues for 5 years (1947-1951) and post a career record of 12 wins, 24 losses, and a 5.25 ERA. As a Browns hurler (1949-1951), Starr will claim 7 of his total wins for the 1950 club and be dealt to the 1951 Senators for his last "Hurrah!" - Dick Starr is till with us on this special birthday morning.

            Happy Birthday # 84, Dick Starr! - You take take care of yourself and enjoy this special day!

            Deaths on March 2

            ... in Brownsville!

            Today's Reference Link ...
            Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-02-2005, 06:45 AM.
            "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


            • March 3rd

              On This Date in History!

              March 3, 1953: Braves Block Browns; Alter Course of Baseball History.

              Orioles? Who dat?

              Today the Boston Braves, owners of the Milwaukee minor league franchise, block Bill Veeck's attempt to shift the Browns franchise back to the city from which it came to St. Louis in 1902 - Milwaukee. Lou Perini, Braves owner, invokes his territorial privilege, stating he has not been offered enough for the rights. - Of course, the real motivation for Perini is to block the Browns and take the leap himself with the Braves. Whether he caught the idea from Veeck or not doesn't really matter now. Perini sees the opportunity and he will act upon it post haste. Before the 1953 season begins, Perini surprises Boston fans by moving his own ballclub to the midwest for their meteoric reincarnation as the "Milwaukee Braves." - Now, had the Browns made the move to Milwaukee, what would have happened to Baltimore? Maybe the Braves or Athletics would've moved there in lieu of the Browns.

              Who knows? And who cares about Baltimore, anyway! :grouchy

              March 3, 1946: Medwick - Briefly A Brown on Paper.

              Joe "Ducky" Medwick: The "Almost
              Brown" headed to Dodgertown in

              In 1946, Joe Medwick came oh-so-close to joining the list of great Cardinal re-treads who would finish their playing careers with the Browns. Today the Browns signed veteran Joe Medwick, who had been released earlier by the Boston Braves. Joe will be released by the Browns before the season starts. "Ducky" will then sign with Brooklyn - forevermore missing the magic of knowing throughout his remaining years that he had once played for the Browns.

              You can't have everything. Joe Medwick had to settle for fame as a Cardinal.

              March 3, 1940: Former Brown on Way to Date with Destiny in Pittsburgh.

              Former Brown Debs Garms
              Will Win 1940 NL Batting
              Championship with help
              from NL rules quirk.

              In 1940, infielder Debs Garms was both a former Brown (1932-1935) and future Cardinal (1943-1945), but today he was the business of two other clubs. Today the Boston Bees sell Debs Garms to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Garms will get only 358 at bats for the Peglegs but, nevertheless, he will lead the NL in hitting with a .355 average. Unlike the AL's minimum 400 at bats rule, the NL rules state that a player must appear in at least 100 games: Garms will play in 103 in 1940. Ford Frick, NL president, will clarify this difference between the two league rule-stances in September when it becomes clear that Garms will not reach the 400 ABs. Pirate teammate Virgil Davis will be the nominal runnerup at .326, but play just 99 games. - Native Texan Debs Garms will be inducted posthumously into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.

              Births on March 3

              ... Not today!

              Deaths on March 3

              William Carl "Bill" Whaley passed away on March 3, 1943 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the age of 44. The BR/TR outfielder went 12 for 50 (.240) with 0 HR's for the 1923 Browns and was then ... gone for good!

              Won't you - go home, Bill Whaley?
              Won't you - go home?
              .240's not - enough!

              We need some base hits, Whaley,
              Speaking off the cuff!
              We hate to tell you this,
              'Cause the truth is awful rough!

              ... Bill Whaley, ... won't you please ... go home?

              - Browns Management
              Singing Telegram,
              October 1923.

              Bill Whaley was born on February 10, 1899, also in Indianapolis.

              BCT/GB, Bill Whaley!

              William Lusk "Bill" McAllester dies in his birth city of Chattanooga at the age of 80 on March 3, 1970. McAllester played baseball at the University of Tennessee and then saw one year of action as a catcher in 39 games for the 1913 Browns. He went 13 for 85 - good enough for a .153 BA and a one-way ticket back to Palookaville. In other more familiar words, after 1913, Bill McAllester was gone for good. - Bill McAllester was born on December 29, 1889 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

              BCT/GB, Bill McAllester!

              Frank W. "Stubby" Overmire passes away on March 3, 1977 in Lakeland, Florida at the age of nearly 58.

              The BR/TL pitcher was an alumnus of Western State Teachers College baseball before turning pro. Stubby's MLB career (1943-1952) included two stints with the Browns (1950-1951 & 1952). He spent the latter part of the 1951 season with the Yankees. - Overmire's career record included 58 wins, 68 losees, and an ERA of 3.96. - Stubby Overmire was born on May 16, 1919 in Moline, Michigan.

              Gerald Edward "Gerry" Priddy passes away on March 3, 1980 in North Hollywood, California at the age of 60. The BR/TR infielder posted a career average of .265 with 61 HR's from 1941 to 1953, Priddy played for the Browns for 2 seasons in 1948 and 1949. - He was born on November 9, 1919 in Los Angeles, California. - As we used to say, Gerry Priddy was pretty darn good!

              Harry Albert "Harry" Davis passes away on March 3, 1997 in Shreveport, Louisiana at age of nearly 89. The BL/TL 1st baseman played the 1937 season for the Browns on the heels of two earlier seasons (1932-1933) with the Tigers. Davis hit .276 in 120 games for the '37 Browns and even picked up a couple of homers. For his total career, Davis finished with a .264 BA and 18 homers. - Harry Davis also was born in Shreveport, LA on May 7, 1908.

              Oh yeah - Davis was also an alumnus of Centenary College and he was sometimes called by his nickname - "Stinky." - Based on his fairly good stats, I'd say that we already have crossed paths in here with some folks who were far more deserving of that odiferous moniker.

              Today's Reference Links ...

              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-03-2005, 07:08 AM.
              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


              • March 4th

                On This Date in History!

                March 4, 1984: Rick Ferrell Gets HOF Nod!

                Former Browns catcher Rick Ferrell and former Dodger shortstop Pee Wee Reese are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame today by the Special Veterans Committee. Ferrell, who also played for the Red Sox and Senators dduring his 18-year career (1929-1947) batted .281 with only 28 HR's over the long haul, but he was highly regarded as a defensive artist and handler of pitchers. Also known for his defensive skills, Pee Wee Reese hit .269 in 16 seasons with the Dodgers (1940-1958).

                Today's Reference Link ...

                Births on March 4

                Edward Joseph "Jeff" Pfeffer is born on March 4, 1888 in Seymour, Illinois. Jeff turns out to be the story of "the one that got away." After breaking in with the 1911 Browns and posting a 7.20 ERA and no W/L record over 10.0 innings of relief, the BR/TR hurler does not play for the 1912 Browns or any other MLB club. Pfeffer returns to the majors with Brooklyn briefly in 1913 and then stays with that club in 1914 as he firmly embarks upon a long career (1923-1924) with the Robins, Cardinals, and Pirates. Pfeffer goes 23-12 for the 1914 Brooklyn club and 25-11 for the 1916 Robins (as the Dodgers were then known). For his career, Pfeffer will win 158, lose 112, and post a 2.77 ERA. - Jeff Pfeffer will die on August 15, 1972 in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 84.

                Cass Michaels

                Birth Name: Casimir Eugene Michaels
                Nickname: Cass
                Born On: 03-04-1926
                Born In: Detroit, Michigan
                Zodiac: Pisces
                Died On: 11-12-1982
                Died In: Grosse Pointe, Michigan
                Cemetery: Mount Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan
                College: None Attended
                Bats: Right
                Throws: Right
                Height: 5-11
                Weight: 175
                First Game: 08-19-1943 (Age 17)
                Last Game: 08-27-1954
                Draft: Not Applicable

                Infielder Cass Michaels had a 12-year MLB career in which he batted .262 with 53 HRs. In his only season witj St. Louis as a member of the 1952 Browns, Michaels batted .265 with 3 homers. - Cass Michaels was 56 when he died in 1982.

                Deaths on March 4

                George Anthony "George" Mogridge

                George Mogridge: If only
                his long career had been

                George Mogridge passes away on March 4, 1962 in Rochester, New York at the age of 73. The BL/TL pitcher had a 1-1 record for the 1925 Browns during a season in which he also pitched for two other clubs - and near the end of an effective long term career in the big leagues. From 1911 to 1927, Mogridge won 132 and lost 131 while posting a career ERA of 3.23. - George Mogridge was born on February 18, 1889 in same place he dies, Rochester, New York.

                Today's Reference Link ...
                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-12-2005, 07:56 PM.
                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                • March 5th

                  On This Date in History!

                  March 5, 1945: Shades of WWII.

                  Bert Shepard: Lost leg in WII,
                  but came back to pitch in one
                  game for the '45 Senators.

                  Disabled Players. World War II is winding down, but Major League Baseball continues to operate under war-time conditions. With the player shortage becoming a major drain on rosters, a couple of disabled players are given a shot with big league clubs. Bert Shepard, a one-legged veteran of the war, tries out as a pitcher for the Senators. Shepard will pitch 5.1 innings for the Senators against the Red Sox on August 4, 1945 and that will be the end of his MLB career, even though he does manage to keep pitching in the minor leagues through 1954. In his one big league game, Shepard gave up only 1 earned run and 3 hits. He walked 1 batter, hit another, and struck out 2.


                  Pete Gray: The gutsiest Brown that I ever
                  saw play.

                  A more famous disabled player named Pete Gray makes it with the Browns for a longer stretch of the 1945 season. Gray will will hit .218 from the left side of the plate, collecting 51 hits (including 2 doubles and 1 triple, in 234 AB's for the 1945 Browns as a left fielder. - I saw Pete Gray play for the Dallas Eagles in 1949. His ability to catch a normal fly ball with his lone gloved left hand and then tuck his glove under his right arm stump, roll the ball across his chest, and throw it back on the the play was an uncanny thing to watch.

                  Returning throws on long ball catches was a lot tougher on Pete Gray, but the thing that really seems to doom him as hitter, especially in the big leagues, is his inability to handle speed variations from pitchers, especially those pitchers with a good change-up. Pete had no power, of course, but he was a terrific contact hitter who counted heavily upon guessing the speed of a pitch. By committing early to the thought of a fastball coming next, smart pitchers got him swinging on the slow stuff. He couldn't adjust to the change.


                  1945 Spring Training Camps. With war-time travel restrictions still in effect, the Browns and six other clubs will conduct their spring training camps in Indiana. The Browns are joined in the Hoosier State by the Tigers, Reds, Indians, Cubs, Pirates and White Sox. Meanwhile, the Dodgers open spring training at Bear Mountain, New York with 15 players in camp. The Red Sox are at Tufts College while the Braves are prepping at the Choate School in Connecticut. Other clubs followed similar northern clime patterns.

                  Births on March 5

                  Walter Ernest "Walt" Alexander is born on March 5, 1891 in Atlanta Georgia. The BR/TR catcher will see a 5-year career in the big leagues (1912-1913, 1915-1917) that begins with the Browns and ends with the Yankees. Always playing in a back-up role, Alexander will fiinish with a career BA of .188 with only 1 HR in 405 official AB's. - Walt Alexander will pass away on December 29, 1978 in Fort Worth, Texas at the age of 87.

                  Bernard Herman "Bernie" or "Bud" Hungling is born on March 5, 1896 in Dayton, Ohio. The BR/TR catcher will play 41 games for Brooklyn in 1922-1923 and later return to finish his brief MLB career by making 10 game appearances for the 1930 Browns. Bud Hungling will bat .241 with 1 HR as the full scope of his offensive record. - After 1930 ... (ta! da!) ... Bud Hungling is gone-for-good! - Bud Hungling will die on March 30, 1968 in Dayton, Ohio at the age of 72.

                  Luzerne Atwell "Lu" Blue is born on March 5, 1897 in Washington, DC. The BB/TL 1st baseman will swing a pretty good stick in his 13 big league years (1921-1933), hitting .287 with 44 homers overall. As the man who replaces George Sisler at 1st base for the Browns (1928-1930), is adequate, but he does nothing at the plate or on the field to dim the memory of The Greatest Brown Ever. - Lu Blue will pass away on July 28, 1958 in Alexandria, Virginia at the age of only 61.

                  Stanley "Stan" or "Lefty" Ferens is born on March 5, 1915 in Wendel, PA. The BB/TL pitcher will go 5 and 13 with an ERA of 4.18 for the 1942 and 1946 Browns and then be gone for good from major league baseball. - Stan Ferens will die on October 7, 1994 in Hemphill Township, PA at the age of 79.

                  BCT/GB, Lefty Stan Ferens!

                  Deaths on March 5

                  Franklin Burton "Dutch" Wetzel dies on March 5, 1942 in Hollywood, CA at the age of 48. The BR/TR off-the-bench outfielder hit .243 with 2 HR's for the 1920-1921 Browns and was then ... gone for good ... from the big league scene. - Dutch Wetzel was born on July 7, 1893 in Columbus, Indiana.

                  BCT/GB, Dutch Wetzel!

                  Roy John "Sage" Hughes

                  Roy Hughes: The
                  Sage of Cincinnati

                  Roy Hughes passes away on March 5, 1995 in Asheville, NC at the age of 84. The BR/TR infielder took time off for WWII on his way to building a 9-year MLB career (1935-1940, 1944-1946) and an overall BA of .273 with 5 homers. Hughes played 3rd, SS, and 2nd in a back-up role for the Browns during the 1938-1939 seasons. - "Sage" Hughes was born on January 11, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio. - Without further research, we are left to wonder this morning about the origins of Roy Hughes's quixotic nickname. Was he called "Sage" for his apparent wisdom - or was it simply hung upon him for his spicey brand of play?

                  General Reference Links ...

                  Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 10-07-2005, 06:51 AM.
                  "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                  • March 6th

                    On This Date in History!

                    March 6, 1959: OH, NO! Anyone But Him! - Anything But That!

                    "I'm turning over in
                    my grave right now!"

                    - Charles Comiskey

                    In the six years that have passed since the last gasp season of the 1953 St. Louis Browns, former owner Bill Veeck's enemies have not forgotten nor much forgiven the marketing maestro for radically changing the promotional side of baseball and they will stop at nothing to keep him from returning as the head of another club. - Too bad. - Today, Charlie Comiskey fails to halt his sister's sale of the Chicago White Sox, the club his grandfather founded, to a syndicate led by Bill Veeck. Veeck will immediately lead the 1959 White Sox to their first American League pennant since the 1919 Black Sox Scandal and - guess what else, Mr. Comiskey? - In 1960, Bill Veeck will take your father's beloved Comiskey Park and introduce the world to - the exploding scoreboard!

                    Births on March 6

                    Robert Virgil "Bob" Swift

                    Bob Swift: Long-Time
                    Tiger Started Out As
                    A St. Louis Brown.

                    Bob Swift is born on March 6, 1915 in Salina, Kansas. Swift's 14 year career as a major league catcher (1940-1953) starts out with 2.5 years with the Browns. Then, after 1.5 seasons with the Athletics, Swift moves on from 1944 to 1953 and his 10-year run with the Tigers. For the most part, Swift played in a back up role. His 130 games as a rookie for the 1940 Browns and his 113 games for the 1948 Tigers were the only 2 seasons of 14 in which Swift played 100 games or more. - The BR/TR Swift will finish his career with a BA of .231 and only 14 homers in 2,750 times at bat. - Bob Swift will die young, passing away on October 17, 1966 in Detroit at the age of 51.

                    Peter "Pete Gray" Wyshner

                    Pete Gray: A Tribute To The Power of The Human Spirit!

                    Pete Gray is born on March 6, 1915 in Nanticoke, PA.

                    Despite losing his right arm in a childhood truck accident, Gray became a major league ballplayer. The naturally righthanded youngster learned to throw and bat from the opposite side. Batting with one arm, Gray sprayed line drives around the field. On the basepaths, he displayed speed and daring, and fielding was a study in agility and dexterity. After catching a fly ball, Gray would tuck his thinly padded glove under his stump, roll the ball across his chest, and throw, all in one fluid motion.

                    Gray was a semi-pro star in the coal towns of his native Pennsylvania and with the famed Brooklyn Bushwicks. He entered pro ball in 1942 with Three Rivers (Canadian-American League) and hit .381 in 42 games. In the Southern Association in 1943, Gray hit .289 in a full season with Memphis. He won national attention in 1944 when he batted .333 for Memphis, hit five HR, tied a league record by stealing 68 bases, and was named the Southern Association's MVP. This outstanding showing earned Gray a spot with the 1945 St. Louis Browns.

                    Even with the quality of major league play at an all-time low due to the WWII player shortage, Gray was overmatched. But he was capable of remarkable performances. In a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium in May, Gray had four hits, scored twice, drove in two, and handled nine chances in the outfield. When baseball returned to full strength in 1946, the Browns sent Gray down. He continued to play in the minors and barnstorm with exhibition teams until the early 1950s. Gray retired to his hometown of Nanticoke, PA, and became a recluse. (JL)

                    by Jim Langford, author of The Game Is Never Over, about the Cubs
                    and internet published at
                    Pete Gray played in 77 games for the 1945 Browns, collecting 51 hits in 234 at bats for a BA of only .218. Of his hits, 43 were singles, 6 were doubles, and 2 were triples. As we covered yesterday, his physical inability to handle the change of pace pitch finished him in the majors more than anything. - Pete did manage to steal 5 bases in 1945, but he was caught stealing on 6 other tries.

                    For my money, the Pete Gray that I saw playing as a left fielder for the 1949 Dallas Eagles is still the most amazing ballplayer I ever watched. More importantly to me, he was a lights-out inspiration to this "12 year old kid" of 1949 to the idea that nothing should stand in the way of any goal you have that's really important to you. - Thanks for the example, Pete!

                    Pete Gray will pass quietly away on June 30, 2002 in Nanticoke, PA at the age of 87 - but he will never be forgotten.

                    BCT/GB, Pete Gray - and thanks for leaving us with your gutsy model of how far the human spirit can take us through great adversity! :atthepc

                    Deaths on March 6

                    James Philip "Jimmy" Austin

                    Jimmy Austin:
                    As Brown
                    As A Brown
                    Could Be!

                    Jimmy Austin passes away on March 6, 1965 in Laguna Beach, California at the age of 85. After breaking into the bigs with the New York Highlanders in 1910-1911, Austin plays the rest of his career with the Browns from 1912 to 1929. That stretch of time is a little deceiving in sense that Austin's career pretty well ended with his 15 games and 31 AB's in 1922. After that time, Jimmy made what amounted to little more than ceremonial appearances in single games played in 1923, 1925, 1926, and 1929. - As a player and long time coach, Austin got three calls to service as interim manager of the Browns in 1913, 1918, and 1923, posting a 31-43 record as a field leader. The BB/TR 3rd baseman/utility guy hit .246 and 13 HR's over the course of his 18-year big league career. - Jimmy Austin was born on December 8, 1879 in Swansea, Wales. - He did pretty well in baseball for an immigrant boy.

                    Walter Henry "Wally" Schang

                    Wally Schang: Played
                    19 Years As a Good
                    Hitting Catcher.

                    Wally Schang passes away on March 6, 1965 in St. Louis at the age of 75. - The BB/TR catcher had a sterling big league career (1913-1931), hitting for a total average of .284 with 59 homers in his 19 years at the the top rung of baseball. Schang was a Brown for 4 seasons (1926-1929) where he also enjoyed his best year at the plate by hitting .330 for the 1926 Browns. - Wally Schang was born on August 22, 1889 in South Wales, New York.

                    Today's Reference Link ...

                    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 12-08-2005, 03:05 AM.
                    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                    • March 7th

                      On This Date in History!

                      Births on March 7

                      David Charles "Dave" Danforth

                      Dauntless Dave Danforth:
                      As a '22 Brown, he was part
                      of a thing called "Hope!"

                      Dave Danforth is born on March 7, 1890 in Granger, Texas. The BL/TL pitcher from Baylor University will become a key member of the early 1920s Browns staff on the way to recording 43 wuns against 37 losses in St. Louis. For his total career (1911-1912: Athletics; 1916-1919: White Sox; and 1922-1925: Browns), the man they sometimes called "Dauntless Dave" will win 71, lose 66, and have an ERA of 3.89. Danforth was both a valuable starter and an important lefty out of the bullpen for the Browns in their near miss on the 1922 pennant drive. - Dave Danforth will pass away on September 19, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland at the age of 80.

                      Thank you, Dauntless Dave Danforth, for your contributions to our club's early championship hopes!

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

                      Alva Lee "Bobo" Holloman is born on March 7, 1925 in Thomaston, Georgia, The BR/TR pitcher will grow up to become one of the real shooting stars in baseball history.

                      Holloman was the third pitcher in major league history, after Charlie Jones and Ted Breitenstein, to throw a no-hitter in his first start. After he had bounced around the Cubs' farm system, Holloman's contract was purchased by the lowly St. Louis Browns prior to the 1953 season. His early appearances with them, all in relief, yielded an ERA close to 9.00. Undaunted, the confident Holloman pestered manager Marty Marion to give him a chance as a starter. He took the mound in that capacity for the first time on the rainy night of May 6, 1953 before a hometown crowd of 2,473 and no-hit the Athletics 6-0. The 29-year-old rookie embellished his performance with three RBI and his only two hits in the majors. He never pitched another complete game in his major league career, which was over before the end of 1953.

                      Holloman was a colorful personality who stopped at the foul line each time he pitched to scratch the initials of his wife and son in the dirt. Brown's owner Bill Veeck said of him, "He had charm and he had humor and he had unlimited confidence in himself."

                      by Christopher D. Renino an English teacher in the Scarsdale, New York public school system. Link:
                      Bobo Holloman's 3-7, 5.22 ERA record for the 1953 Browns was his only act on the big league stage, but he sure made memorable use of his 15 minutes of fame. - Bobo will pass away on May 1, 1987 in Athens, Georgia at the age of 62.

                      BCT/GB, Bobo Holloman! After that 1st start no-no back in 1953, you never will quite be - gone for good!

                      Deaths on March 7

                      Thomas Andrew "Tom" or "Shotgun" Rogers dies on March 7, 1936 at the age of 44. The BR/TR pitcher with the forboding nickname wion 15, loss 30, and registered a 3.95 ERA in a big league career (1917-1921) that started as a member of the Browns (1917-1919). - As we asked on his birthday: 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 was born on February 12, 1892 in Sparta, Tennessee.

                      John Thomas "Johnny" Johnston passes away on March 7, 1940 in San Diego, California, exactly 3 weeks shy of his 50th birthday. The BL/TR left fielder played one full season for the 1913 Browns, hitting .224 and 2 HR's in his 380 times at bat before departing the big leagues for The Land of Gone For Good! - Johnny Johnston was born on March 28, 1890 in Longview, Texas.

                      Today's Reference Link ...
                      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-07-2005, 01:55 PM.
                      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                      • March 8th

                        On This Date in History!

                        March 8, 1927: Giants Put Grapefruit Squeeze on Browns.

                        Rogers Hornsby Gets
                        Cranked For Tour of Duty
                        as New York Giant.

                        Last year he led the St. Louis Cardinals to their first World Series appearance and win in a 7-game thriller with the New York Yankees. This year Rogers Hornsby prepares for a new start with the New York Giants following his trade to Gotham City by the Cardinals for Frankie Frisch. Today he feasts upon the spring training pitching of the St. Louis Browns in his first appearance with his new club. Kicking off the grapefruit league circuit in high gear, Rogers Hornsby bangs out three hits as the New York Giants pound the St. Louis Browns, 13–1. - The Browns' optimism for their chances in 1927 is unaffected by today's outcome. (Take that last commentary any way you choose to understand it.) :o

                        Births on March 8

                        After searching the records,
                        For births on March Eight,
                        This is one of those days,
                        That is not a Browns gate.

                        If Browns had been born,
                        Every day of the year,
                        We'd run out of gin.
                        We'd run short on beer.

                        So take heart in knowing,
                        No trouble we'll borrow.
                        In our search for the Browns,
                        There's always tomorrow.

                        Deaths on March 8

                        Well, what do you know?
                        No deaths today too.
                        When the Grim Reaper called,
                        No Browns were deemed due.

                        Have a nice March Eighth,
                        All you old living Browns,
                        But watch the banana peels,
                        As you're making your rounds.

                        You once were so many,
                        But now you're so few.
                        If winning could wait,
                        Heaven can too.

                        Let's all enjoy the moment - and the memories - while they last.

                        GO BROWNS! .... but not today.

                        Today's Reference Links ...

                        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-08-2005, 06:00 AM.
                        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                        • March 9th

                          On This Date in History!

                          March 9, 1951: Where Was Visa/Mastercard When The Browns Really, Really Needed Them?

                          ... "if you'll only loan the Browns some money, Daddy!"

                          It's a hard sell. Bill Veeck is trying to borrow $600,000 to assure that the Browns will be able to remain in St. Louis. The Browns' 52-year record earns them no collateral with St. Louis lending sources. By 1953, the Browns will finish with a game outcome spread of 3,414 wins and 4,465 losses - good only for a winning percentage of .433. They will finish 26 of their 52 seasons in either 7th or 8th and last place.

                          In spite of their money woes, leave it to Bill Veeck to pull out all the stops in his efforts to build a levee against a sea of financial ruin. His August 19, 1951 use of midget Eddie Gaedel as a batter in a real game ultimately will not save the day for the St. Louis Browns, but it produces something else, something no bank could ever lend - a priceless moment in baseball history.

                          Births on March 9

                          Rolla Hamilton "Rolla" or "Lefty" Mapel is born on March 9, 1890 in Lees Summit, Missouri. The BL/TL pitcher will work 4 games and 20 innings for the 1919 Browns, finishing with a record of 0 wins, 3 lossess, and an ERA of 4.50. You may already have guessed what happens next for Lefty. After 1919, Lefty Mapel is gone for good from the big leagues. Of course, Mapel isn't completely gone for good until April 6, 1966. On that date, Mapel passes away in San Diego, California at the age of 76.

                          BCT/GB, Lefty Mapel! :atthepc

                          Myril Oliver "Myril" Hoag is born on March 9, 1908 in Davis, California. The BR/TR outfielder will have a 13-year career in the big leagues (1931-1945) and hit .271 with 28 HR's. He will spend 2 seasons as a Brown (1939-1940) and is then dealt to Cleveland in 1941 after only one time at bat. Hoag will post a personal season high of 142 hits and hit .295 in 129 games for the 1937 Browns, but his best BA year will be 1937, when he hits .301 for the Yankees in 106 games. Hoag's best day in the Bigs also will happen as a Yankee. Subbing for Babe Ruth on June 6, 1934, Hoag will tie the American League record with six singles in six at bats in the first game of a doubleheader with the Red Sox. - Myril Hoag will pass away from emphysema on July 28, 1971 in High Springs, Florida at the age of 63.

                          Deaths on March 9

                          Not Today!

                          Today's Reference Links ...

                          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-09-2005, 05:27 AM.
                          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                          • March 10th

                            On This Date in History!

                            March 10, 1959: White Sox Sale To Veeck Is Done Deal.

                            "I'm done now."
                            - Charlie Comiskey

                            It's been over for days, but now it's official. Dorothy Comiskey Rigney, the granddaughter of Old Roman, Charlie Comiskey, today signs the papers which transfer the sale of her 54 percent ownership in the Chicago White Sox to Bill Veeck's syndicate for $2.7 million dollars. Brother Chuck Comiskey fails in his attempt to match or improve the bid. The sale of the White Sox puts an end to 60 years of franchise control by the Comiskey family.

                            March 10, 1951: Browns Threaten Move To Milwaukee.

                            As the future unfolds,
                            it won't be the Browns
                            who hack it in dear old

                            The two great motivators for change in any human endeavor are appetite and fear. Unable to create an appetite for losing baseball in St. Louis, the Browns today try to push the fear button in the community by announcing that the club plans to Milwaukee because of poor attendance. The move is not approved, but the threat of loss fails to endear the Browns to the people of St. Louis and drag more fans to the ballpark long term. In three more seasons, the Browns name will die as the identity of an active MLB club and the move will occur. It will be the City of Baltimore, not Milwaukee, that inherits the franchise in 1954. By that time, the City of Milwaukee will be entering the second season of its Braves-New-World.

                            March 10, 1951: Thank Goodness!

                            FBI director J. Edgar Hoover reports today that he has declined the post of baseball commissioner. Thank goodness! There's no telling what might have become the official undergarments of Major League Baseball, had Hoover accepted the position.

                            Births on March 10

                            Frederick Edward "Fred" or "Cactus" Johnson

                            Fred Johnson is a
                            natural reminder
                            of Roy Hobbs.

                            Fred "Cactus" Johnson is born on March 10, 1894 in Tolar, Texas. The BR/TR pitcher will have a 4-year career MLB record 5 wins and 10 losses (5.26 ERA), but those seasons will play out for Johnson in a most unusual way. After posting a 2-2 record with the New York Giants in 1922-1923, Johnson is out of major league baseball for 15 years. He returns at the age of 44 to go 3 and 8 on the mound for the 1938-1939 Browns. We cannot explain the details of Johnson's long hiatus from the big leagues nor offer any explanation of the factors leading to his very late return without further research. In the absence of same, we are left with only a few curious thoughts and humbling observations:

                            (1.) Were it not for his poor record at ages 44-45, Johnson may well have played out the real-life Roy Hobbs story.

                            (2.) Players who appear to be gone for good - sometimes prove us wrong.

                            (3.) Did Johnson acquire his nickname "Cactus" for the fact that he was able to hold his major league pitching water in the tank for 15 years between starts?

                            (4.) Wacky Joaquin Andujar of the Cardinals was sort of right when he implied that he could sum up the unpredictability factor in baseball in these two words: "You never know."

                            Mystery man Fred Johnson passed away on June 14, 1973 in Kerrville, Texas at the age of 79, but don't count him out. He may be planning a comeback that we don't know about.

                            BCT/GB, "Cactus Fred" Johnson! - You were really something else!

                            George Rezin "George" Elder is born on March 10, 1921 in Lebanon, Kentucky. The BL/TR left fielder from Fordham and UCLA will go 11 for 44 in 44 games (.250) for the 1949 Browns and then be gone for good from the big leagues. - That is, we think he's gone for good. After all, the guy's still living and - "you never know!"

                            Happy 84th Birthday, George Elder!

                            John Tillman "Bud" Thomas is born on March 10, 1929 in Sedalia, Missouri. The BR/TR shortstop will go 7 for 20 in 14 games for the 1951 Browns and then take lifetime .350 BA proudly with him into baseball history. I can't say that Bud was really ever gone for good in the sense that he has been a fairly regular attendee of our annual Brwons reunions in St. Louis each May (til this year's event was cancelled.) - Bud Thomas, like all the Browns I've met over the years at the reunions, is one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet - and one who looks back fondly on his short time with the club.

                            Happy 76th Birthday, Bud Thomas!

                            Deaths on March 10

                            Robert Charles "Bob" Nieman

                            Bob Nieman: Another
                            Browns Star That Got
                            to Shine Elsewhere.

                            Bob Nieman passes away on March 10, 1985 in Corona, California at the age of 58. The BR/TR Kent State outfielder broke into the majors with the Browns on Septemebr 14, 1951 and quickly established himself as a member in that rare club of players who homered in their first time at bat in the big leagues. Nieman played in two seasons for the Browns (1951-1952)and he was good enough to build a major league career that lasted for 12 years (1951 to 1962.) Neiman's MLB stats totalled out with a fine BA of .296 and he also hit 125 HR's along the way. - Bob Nieman was born on January 26, 1927 in Cincinnati, Ohio. - Too bad the Browns didn't keep Bob Neiman longer, but sadly, as most of you readers already know, he was not the first quality ballplayer to escape our grasp.

                            Today's Reference Links ...

                            Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 06-14-2005, 06:13 AM.
                            "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                            • March 11th

                              On This Date in History!

                              March 11, 1953: Browns Thwarted & Freed by Braves-New-World!

                              "This could be the
                              start of something big!"

                              - Aldous Huxley

                              Lou Perini, the owner of the Braves, throws out the 2nd phase of his 3-part deception today on the matter of Milwaukee and the Browns' desire to relocate there from St. Louis. Part One was his statement that the Browns had not offered him enough money for the territorial rights to the minor league Milwuakee area owned by Perini.

                              Part Two proposes a ban on the move of any Major League franchise to any minor league city until October 1st - when the whole matter of franchise shifting can be dealt with as an off-season issue. Fearing that the Browns' desire to move to Milwaukee may sustain and eventually overwhelm his own desire to block the move, Perini's true motives are today only one week from completely unfolding.

                              Part Three of the Perini deception is a dagger in the heart to the remaining loyal fans of the Boston Braves, who are busy following their club's spring training preparation for the coming 1953 season. On March 18, 1953, Boston fans and the world will get the sudden news: The Boston Braves will become the Milwaukee Braves immediately. When ST camp breaks, the Braves are not going back to Boston, but straight to their new life in Wisconsin. The move of the Braves to Milwaukee will be the first franchise shift in baseball since 1903 when Baltimore moved to New York. The Braves have been in Boston for 77 years. - As a result of the shift, Milwaukee assumes Pittsburgh's place in the Western Division for scheduling purposes and night games. The minor league Milwaukee Brewers will also move immediately to Toledo.

                              The move of the Braves to Milwaukee is both bad news and good news to Bill Veeck. It's bad news for Veeck of the Browns to learn that Braves owner Perini is going to keep the choice Milwaukee territory to solve his own problems. It's good news to Veeck (and other chronically troubled franchises) to know that there is now a new precedent for moving. The half century-old status quo on franchise locations in the big leagues is now broken. - It's a Braves New World for baseball in 1953 - and the implications for the future are far larger than Milwaukee.

                              Births on March 11

                              Edward Theodore "Fred" or "Laddie" Link is born on March 11, 1886 in Coulmbus, Ohio. The BL/TL pitcher posts a one-season career record of 5 wins, 7 losses, and a 3.30 ERA for the Cleveland Naps and St. Louis Browns. After spending most of 1910 season with the Naps, Link moves to the Browns in time to pitch only one loss in three starts and 17 innings. After 1910, Link has no link to a major league future and is ... (Well, do I really have to say it every time?) - Laddie Link will pass away on May 22, 1939 in Houston, Texxas at the age of 53. - BCT/GB, Fred Link!

                              Deaths on March 11

                              Robert Henry "Farmer" Ray dies on March 11, 1963 in Electra, Texas at the age of 76. Ray was another one-year-resident of MLB. The BL/TL pitcher posted a 4-10, 3.86 ERA record with the 1910 Browns and was then (can't avoid it forever) gone for good. - Farmer Ray was born on September 17, 1886 in Fort Lyon, Colorado. - BCT/GB, Farmer Ray!

                              Friedrich Christoph Herman "Pete" Schmidt dies on March 11, 1973 in Pembrooke, Ontario Canada at the age of 82. Righty Pete's whole MLB pitching career consisted of working 2 innings of relief for the 1913 Browns that earned him no decision and an eternal ERA of 4.50 in one game on July 14, 1913. - He was then gone-for-Canada-and-parts-in-between! - Schmidt was was born on July 23, 1890 in Lowden, Iowa. - BCT/GB, Pete Schmidt!

                              Postscript for March 11, 2005.

                              Thank God this wasn't a heavy Browns news day. I need to get dressed right now. Today I'm honored to be taking former Houston Astros pitcher and manager Larry Dierker to meet Raymond Lee Cunningham, the world's oldest living former major leaguer (DOB: January 17, 1905 and a former Cardinal from 1931-1932) )and time is running a little short this morning. If you haven't read Larry's book, This Ain't Brain Surgery, please give it your consideration. It's a very well written look at what it's like to manage in today's MLB circus.

                              Have a nice weekend, everybody. I'll report how this trip goes later, if anyone is interested.

                              Today's Reference Links ...


                              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-11-2005, 08:59 PM.
                              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                              • March 12th

                                On This Date in History!

                                March 12, 1953: Mailing It In!

                                Historic Downtown
                                Post Office in
                                St. Louis, Missouri

                                The Browns are in spring training. Their prospects for a winning season are poor. St. Louisans know that owner Bill Veeck is trying to move the club elsewhere. The Cardinals are in command of the community's heart. Veeck has no money and no line of credit - and he's already used Eddie Gaedel.

                                Where will the 1953 season take the Browns? - How about the post office? That's usually where people go to mail things in.

                                Births on March 12

                                Patrick J. "Pat" Hynes is born on March 12, 1884. The lefty pitcher has a limited and brief career with both St. Louis clubs in the early years of the 20th century as he goes 0-1, 4.00 ERA in 9 innings of work for the 1903 Cardinals and 1-0, 6.23 ERA for the 1904 Browns in 26 innings pitched. Sadly (for reasons unknown without deeper research), Pat Hynes dies in St. Louis on his 23rd birthday, March 12, 1907. BCT/GB, Pat Hines!

                                Dode Criss is born on March 12, 1885 in Sherman, Mississippi. The BL/TR pitcher will have a 4-year All Browns career (1908-1911) and he will post a record of 3-9, 4.38 ERA result in 111 total innings of work for his effort. - Dode Criss will pass away in his birthplace of Sherman on September 8, 1955 at the age of 80.

                                George John "George" Maisel is born on March 12, 1892 in Catonsville, Maryland. The BR/TR outfielder/3rd baseman will break into the big leagues with the Browns in 1913 and go 3 for 18 (.167) in 11 games. Maisel's next chance in the majors comes with 1916 Tigers, but his 0 for 5 performance seems like the certain end of his baseball dream. It' doesn't end, but it does delay. Five years pass before Maisel gets his 3rd and last shot with the 1922 Cubs, but this time, he's ready. Maisel hits .310 in 111 games for the 1922 Cubs, but all is not won. The following season, Maisel falls back to the land of the lost and hits .190 in 38 games. This time he's done, but his one good year does allow him to walk away with a career BA of .282 in 500 MLB times at bat. - George Maisel will die in Baltimore, Maryland on November 20, 1968 at the age of 76.

                                Deaths on March 12

                                Patrick J. "Pat" Hynes dies in St. Louis on his 23rd birthday, March 12, 1907. (See Births above.)

                                Reginald Bertrand "Jack" Powell passes away on March 12, 1930 in Memphis, Tennessee at the early age of 38. The righthanded pitcher hurled 2 innings for the Browns on June 14, 1913, yielding 3 unearned runs as the pitcher of no record. After that one moment in the sun, he became yet another of the gone-for-good guys. - Jack Powell was born on August 17, 1891 in Holcomb, Mississippi. - BCT/GB, Jack Powell!

                                Eugene "Gene" or "Rowdy" Moore, Jr. dies on March 12, 1978 in Jackson, Mississippi at the age of 68. The BL/TL outfielder had a 14-year career (1931, 1933-1945) that produced a total BA of .270 with 58 HR's. Moore was a twilight Brown, arriving in time to hit .238 for the 1944 American League championship club and then finishing with the 1945 Browns by hitting .260. His claim to franchise fame occurs in Game One of the 1944 World Series on October 4, 1944 when he plates the first run ever scored by the Browns in the Fall Classic. Moore had singled off Cardinal pitcher Walker Cooper and was on base when George McQuinn followed with a homer. That shot was enough to give the Browns a 2-1 victory and a short leash on hope. - Gene Moore was born on Aug. 26, 1909 in Lancaster, Texas.

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                                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 03-12-2005, 03:59 PM.
                                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


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