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  • March 28th

    On This Date in History!

    March 28, 1913: Browns Trade Player for Use of Ballpark.

    The St. Louis Browns would've loved Ebay. Today the Browns saved some money on pre-season preparations by trading infielder Buzzy Wares to the Montgomery, Alabama club in exchange for their use of the minor league stadium for spring training. The fact that Wares led Pacific Coast League shortstops in errors in 1911-1912 with a total of 199 may have helped the deal along.

    What next? ... How about ...

    "Step right up and support the Browns!
    Make a donation and do your part to keep the
    Browns in St. Louis! - If you get tired of me
    playing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," I can
    always shift keys and play a few nice bars of
    "Keep Us In St. Louis, Louie!"

    Births on March 28

    Harry Gilbert "Harry" Gleason is born on March 28, 1875 in Camden, New Jersey. The BR/TR utility infielder/outfielder will bat .218 and hit 3 HR's in his 5-year MLB career (1901-1905). Gleason will play his last two seasons (1904-1905) with the Browns, hitting .213 and .217 in 196 games. - Harry Gleason will pass away on October 21, 1961 in Camden, New Jersey at the age of 85.

    John Thomas "Johnny" Johnston is born on March 28, 1890 in Longview, Texas. The BL/TR Texan will play one full season in the big leagues as the left fielder in 111 games for the 1913 Browns. He will hit .224 with 2 homers and then be gone-for-good. - Johnny Johnston will die on March 7, 1940 in San Diego, California at the age of 50.

    BCT/GB, Johnny Johnston!

    Leo Thomas "Dee" Walsh is born on March 28, 1890. in St. Louis. The BB/TR Missourian will play a utility role with the 1913-1915 Browns, sharing the same actual date of birth in 1913 with one-season teammate Johnny Johnston. Walsh will hit .195 with 0 homers in 89 games in his three seasons and then be gone-for-good. - Dee Walsh will pass away on July 14, 1951 in St. Louis at the age of 61.

    Boris Michael Martinovich, aka "Babe Martin" is born on MArch 28, 1920 in Seattle, Washington. The BR/TR catcher-outifelder will play 69 big league games over the course of 6 disconnected seasons (1944-1946, 1948-1949, 1953.) His Browns career will follow a similar pattern (1944-1946, 1953). Babe is one of the last surviving members of the 1944 Browns American League championship club and he has been a regular attendee of the annual reunion banquets in St. Louis. - Martin's MLB career BA was .214 with 2 HR's. - Martin is still alive on this date. He lives in Missouri in the Greater St. Louis area.

    Happy 85th Birthday, Babe Martin! - Hope to see you at the 2006 reunion of former Browns!

    Deaths on March 28

    Today's Reference Links ...

    Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 10-21-2005, 06:46 AM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


    • March 29th

      On This Date in History!

      Births on March 29

      William Goss "Bill" Strickland is born on March 29, 1908 in Ray City, Georgia. The BR/TR pitcher from the Georgia School of Technology works 21.1 inninings of relief for the 1937 Browns, but attains no W/L record. His 9 games on the mound do earn Strickland a 5.91 ERA as a testimonial to his total big league experience. - Yep! He's gone-for-good-for-sure following the 1937 season. - Bill Strickland will pass away on January 26, 2000 in Lakeland, Florida at the age of 91.

      BCT/GB, Bill Strickland!

      Deaths on March 29

      John Thomas "Johnny" Allen

      The great Johnny Allen passes away on March 29, 1959 at the age of 53. The BR/TR pitcher played only one partial season for the 1941 Browns (2-5, 5.68), but this stop came on the heels of his presence for years as an earlier force with the Yankees and Indians. Allen posted a career (1932-1944) mark of 142 wins, 75 losses, and an ERA of 3.75. Allen's best year was registered for the 1936 Indians when he logged a 20-10, 3.44 ERA mark. Allen finished the 1942 season with the Dodgers and also hurled for he Giants before wrapping things up. - Johnny Allen was born on September 30, 1905 in Lenoir, North Carolina.

      Skelton Le Roy "Buddy" Napier dies on March 29, 1968 in Hutchins, Texas at the age of 78. The BR/TR pitcher broke into the big leagues with a 1-2, 4.97 record for the 1912 Browns. After several years away from the big time, he came back to pitch for the 1918 Cubs and the 1920-1921 Reds, finishing his career with a major league total of 5-6, 3.92. - Buddy Napier was born on December 18, 1889 in Byromville, Georgia.

      Today's Reference Link ...
      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 09-30-2005, 04:58 PM.
      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


      • March 30

        On This Date in History!

        March 30, 1946: Vern Stephens Jumps South Of The Border!

        Unable to come to terms with the St. Louis Browns on a satisfactory money deal, star shortstop Vern Stephens today signs a 5-year deal with the Pasquel brothers to play baseball in Mexico. Meanwhile, the New York Giants dismiss Roy Zimmerman, George Hausmann, and pitcher Sal Maglie for simply dickering with the Pasquels. The trio of players departs for Mexico. One day later, catcher Mickey Owen of the Brooklyn Dodgers will sign to manage the Mexican club in Torreón.

        Stephens will play a couple of games in Mexico, then jump back stateside to the Browns. Owen announces he will return and then changes his mind again.

        In the days of the reserve clause, the assault upon MLB rosters by Jorge Paqual of the Mexican League is the first threat to total player control by MLB since the days of the 1914-1915 Federal League It started with the ambitious Mexican entrepreneur's desire to elevate his country's baseball status to equal footing with baseball in the United States. It was a long and ultimately failed effort.

        The Mexican League began as an outlaw circuit directed by Jorge Pasquel from the late 1930s until 1953. Having the major league ambitions stated above, Pasquel first stocked his teams with Negro League greats, then raided the U.S. major leagues for additional talent when a player surplus and pay cuts there followed the WWII player shortage. Pasquel's raids netted 23 big league regulars, most of whom jumped to the Quebec Provincial League in 1948-49, only to be subsequently reinstated by MLB in June 1949.

        As usually is the case, failure follows swiftly on the heels of a low cash flow. Struggling financially, Pasquel's league will dissolve in 1953. The northern clubs will merge into the Arizona-Texas and Arizona-Mexico leagues of 1953-1957. The Mexican League will then properly reorganize in 1955 and continue to operate into the 21st century. Now classified as Triple-A baseball by MLB, the Mexican League is regarded more highly in Mexico in 2005 as their domestic major league.

        Oh yeah, the Browns welcome Vern Stephens back to the fold with open arms in 1946. Stephens will hit .307 in 115 games in 1946 and then follow that mark with a .279 clip in 1947. The Browns will then deal Stephens to the Boston Red Sox where he will hit his prime slugging years, belting 29, 39, and 30 HR's from 1948 through 1950. - Just more evidence of a redundant feature in Browns history. - Even when the club wins, they ultimately lose.

        Births on March 30

        "Listen up, future Brownies! - I can't explain it. All I know is that none of
        us are supposed to show up on Planet Earth on March 30th. - Got that?"

        Deaths on March 30

        Ivan Chester "Ivan" Howard passes away on March 30, 1967 in Medford, Oregon at the age of 84. The BB/TR utility player plays 2 seasons with the 1914-15 Browns and 2 seasons with the 1916-1917 Indians. In 302 MLB games, Howard hit .233 with 2 homers. His best year came in 1915 when he hit both of his career homers as a Brown while batting .278 in 113 games and also played all infield positions, but catcher, plus some outfield on defense. - Ivan Howard was born on October 12, 1882 in Kenney, Illinois.

        Bernard Herman "Bernie" or "Bud" Hungling dies on March 30, 1968 in Dayton, Ohio at the age of 72. The BR/TR catcher played 41 games for Brooklyn in 1922-1923 and later returned to finish his sparse MLB career by making 10 game appearances for the 1930 Browns. Bud Hungling batted .241 with 1 HR as the full scope of his offensive record. - Hungling was born on March 5, 1896 in Dayton, Ohio. After 1930 ... (I'm sorry. This is one of those mornings in which I refuse to write the words. I can't always handle the redundancy. Don't worry. I'm sure the condition is only temporary. Browns history will force me to recover.)

        David Jefferson "Davy" or "Kangaroo" Jones passes away on March 30, 1972 in Mankato, Minnesota at the age of 91. The BL/TR Northern Illinois Yniversity alumnus outfielder had a 14 year MLB career (1901-1904, 1906-1915) and he hit hit .270 with 9 HR's. Davt got his start with minimal service to the 1902-1903 Browns, batting .173 in 14 games and .224 in 15 games. - Davy Jones was born on June 30, 1880 in Cambria, Wisconsin.

        Isaac "Ike" Danning debarks from Planet Earth in Santa Monica, California on March 30, 1983 at the age of 78. In his two late season games as a BR/TR catcher for the 1928 Browns, Danning goes 3 for 6 to wrap up his big league career with a hot BA of .500. All 3 of Ike's MLB hits were singles. - Ike Danning was born on January 20, 1905 in Los Angeles, California. is born on June 30, 1880 in Cambria, Wisconsin.

        BCT/GB, Ike Danning! (I never tire of that one!)

        Sidney "Sid" Schacht passes away on March 30, 1991 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the age of 73. [/I] The BR/TR pitcher worked 16.2 innings for the 1950-1951 Browns without achieving a win or getting a loss, but he did rack up stratospheric ERAs of 16.04 and 21.00 over that same period of "take one for the team" service. Schacht was not involved in a game decision until he moved to the Boston Braves in the latter part of the 1951 season and lost 2 games in only 4.2 innings of work. As a final cap of irony upon his short MLB career, Schacht achieved an ERA of only 1.93 while quickly losing 2 in the National League. - Sid Schacht wias born on February 3, 1918 in Bogota, New Jersey. (As I wrote on his birthdate, I always thought that Bogata was in Columbia.)

        Have a nice day, Browns fans - and keep the faith. History is never lost for as long as we hold on to our caring about the lessons of our pain - and the joy of our reveries. :atthepc

        Today's Reference Links ...

        Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 06-30-2005, 11:53 AM.
        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


        • March 31st

          On This Date in History!

          March 31, 1958: Satchel Who?

          The Milwaukee Braves purchase former St. Louis Brown Dick Littlefield from the Chicago Cubs. The well-traveled pitcher will be wearing his 10th and last major league uniform, going 0–1 for the 1958 Braves. Littlefield was 9 and 15 with the 1952-1953 Browns. From 1950 through 1958, Littlefield played for the Red Sox, White Sox, Tigers, Browns, Orioles, Pirates, Cardinals, Giants, Cubs, and Braves.

          That's 10 uniforms and 9 franchises in only 9 years for Dick Littlefield! He was another of those last Brown/first Oriole guys. That one moving franchise provided him two of his different uniforms. Still, the fact that Littlefield played for 9 of the 16 existing major league franchises during the 1950's gives him a .563 coverage as a member of all potential clubs. It makes you wonder if Littlefield and a fellow named Satchel Paige ever spent any time talking about travelling during their days together with the Browns?

          Births on March 31st

          Frank Day "Frank" Truesdale is born on March 31, 1884 in St. Louis, Missouri. The BB/TR 2nd baseman will hit .219 in his only full season (123 games) with the 1910 Browns. He also will play one game for one fruitless time at bat with the 1911 Browns and then be gone forever from St. Louis baseball. Truedale will later play 77 games for the 1914 Yankees and 14 games for the 1918 Red Sox before taking his lifetime BA of .220 and riding away to anonymity. Frank will hit one home run during his first year with the Browns. It will be his only big league round-tripper for all-time. - Frank Truesdale will pass away on August 27, 1943 in Albuquerque, NM at the age of 59.

          Herman Charles "Herman" or "Dutch" Bronkie is born on March 31, 1885 South Manchester, Connecticut. The BR/TR 1st/3rd baseman plays light duty time with the 1919 and 1922 Browns. Over the course of his spotty and scattered MLB career (1910-1912, 1914, 1918-1919, 1922) Bronkie will hit .242 in the total 122 games of his career and collect only a single HR. - Dutch Bronkie will die on May 27, 1968 in Somers, Connecticut at the age of 72.

          Deaths on March 31

          Grover Cleveland "Grover" or "Slim" Lowdermilk passes away on March 31, 1968 in Odin, Illinois at the age of 83. The BR/TR pitcher won 13 and lost 24 in two hitches with the Browns (1915, 1917-1919). In a non-contiguous stint of time from 1909 to 1920, Lowdermilk posted a career record of 23 wins, 39 losses, and an ERA of 3.58. - Unlike that other presidential namesake, this "GC" does not come close to earning consideration for the Hall of Fame. - Slim Lowdermilk was born on January 15, 1885 in Sandborn, Indiana.

          Today's Reference Links ...

          Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 05-27-2005, 06:13 PM.
          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


          • April 1/8

            On This Date in History!

            April 1, 1951: Browns Trade Stirnweiss To Indians.

            Don't be afraid, Snuffy. This trade is no
            April Fool's Day Prank of Bill Veeck.

            In a deal that may have leave two players fearful of - and one player hopeful for an April Fool's Day joke call as the tagline, the St. Louis Browns today announce the trade of infielder George "Snuffy" Stirnweiss and shortstop Merrill Combs to the Cleveland Indians for 3rd baseman Fred Marsh and $35,000. - The Indians finished the 1950 season in 4th place in spite of a 92-62, .597 W% record. The Browns finsihed 1950 in 7th place with a deserving 58-96, .377 W% mark.

            April 1, 1914: Rube Waddell Dead in San Antonio at 37!

            Former St. Louis Brown and Future Hall of Famer Rube Waddell, with an immunity weakened by his heroic attempt to help build an earthen levee against a raging winter flood in Kentucky, dies today at age 37 of tuberculosis in a San Antonio sanitarium. In another of life's more obvious ironies, one of the greatest psychological flakes in big league history has passed away on April Fool's Day.

            April 1, 1911: NL President Remedies Umpire Problem.

            On a date that should be celebrated forever by baseball fans and historians, National League President Tom Lynch reveals that he has asked all umpires to produce medical certificates which verify the perfection of their vision. Lynch's action eliminates a longstanding tendency of NL fans (cranks) to criticize the eyesight of umpires on close and disagreeable calls. In the knowledge that NL umpires now have the power to quickly produce a certificate which attests to the perfection of their vision, NL fans are silenced from using that ancient and hackneyed critical cry: "YOU'RE BLIND, UMP!"

            OK, that was pretty lame, but APRIL FOOL! anyway. *

            * Lynch's call for these certificates on this date was the only true part of this story.

            Births on April 1

            William Edward "Bill" Friel is born on April 1, 1876 in Renovo, Pennsylvania. The BL/TR utility player is one of the transferring Milwaukee Brewers (1901) who becomes a member of the 1st American League Browns club (1902-1903). Friel will hit .245 and 6 HR's for his 3 years in the big leagues and then be gone-for-good. - Fromer Niagara pUniversity player Bill Friel will pass away on December 24, 1959 in St. Louis, Missouri at the age of 82.

            Jacob "Whistling Jake" Fields is born on April 1, 1912 in Morehead City, North Carolina. The BL/TL North Carolina State University alumnus will go on to an 8-year big league pitching career (1936-1939, 1942-1944, 1946) and build a total record of 27 wins, 40 losses, and an ERA of 5.00. In one partial season with the 1939 Browns, Wade will register 0 wins, 2 losses, and a 11.02 ERA in 16.1 innings of work. - Jake Wade lives on as one of the oldest living former Browns.

            Happy 93rd Birthday, Jake Wade? - Can you still whistle?

            George Washington "George" Bradley is born on April 1, 1914 in Greenwood, Arkansas. The BR/TR center fielder will go 2 for 12 (.167) with 3 RBIs in 3 games for the 1946 Browns and then become a gone-for-gooder from the big league scene. Unlike his more famous namesake, our April Fool's Day "GW" is first in nothing when it comes to big league baseball record setting. - George Bradley will die on October 19, 1982 in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee at the age of 67.

            We cannot tell a lie! - BCT/GB to you, George Washington Bradley!

            John Geoffrey "Jeff" Heath is born on April 1, 1915 in Fort William, Ontario, Canada. The BL/TR outfielder will hit .293 in a career that spans 14 seasons (1936-49). In his two seasons as a Brown (1946-47), Heath will hit .275 and .251. - Jeff Heath will die on December 9, 1975 in Seattle, Washington at the age of 60.

            Deaths on April 1

            George Edward "Rube" Waddell passes away on April 1, 1914 in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 37. (See above story.) The BL/TL pitcher was one of the greatest, biggest oddball lefties of all time. Over the course of his career (1897, 1899-1910), Rube won 193 games, lost 143, and achieved an ERA of only 2.16. Although his best years were registered with the Athletics, Waddell did mark a record of 33 wins and 29 losses to wrap up his big league career with the 1908-1910 Browns. Rube Waddell is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was born on October 13, 1876 in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

            Walter C. "Heinie" Jantzen passes away on April 1, 1948 in Hines, Illinois, just 8 days shy of his 58th birthday. The BR/TR right fielder hit .185 (22 for 119) and 1 HR for the 1912 Browns as the totality of his big league career and was then gone-for-good. - He did survive those less ethnicallly sensitive days with the nickname "Heinie" as he vanished into the woodwork of American culture. - Henie Jantzen was born on April 9, 1890 in Chicago, Illinois.

            BCT/GB to you, Heinie Jantzen! :atthepc

            Ernest Robert "Ernie" Walker dies on April 1, 1965 in Pell City, Alabama at the age of 64. The BL/TR outfielder hit .256 with 1 HR in three seasons for the 1913-1915 Browns and - that was that was that! Ernie Walker was born on September 17, 1890 in Blossburg, Alabama.

            Ivan Edward "Pete" Bigler dies on April 1, 1975 in Coldwater, Michigan at the age of 82. - Move over, Moonlight Graham! - You had a bigger day than Bigler in The Bigs! - Ivan Bigler got into one game as a pinch runner for the Browns on May 6, 1917 and that was it! - Nope! He stole no bases and he didn't score. - Had he ever been allowed to do anything but stand on and near a base, Bigler was a righty all the way, but his position in the field is lost to the keyboard-tapping fingers of easy research. - Hmmm! - Wonder how many times Juniata College alumnus Ivan Bigler told the story of his big league career over the course of a lifetime? - For the record, Ivan Bigler was born on December 13, 1892 in Bradford, Ohio.

            A BIG BCT/GB To You, Ivan "Pete" Bigler! - You're One for The Books! :atthepc

            Frank William "Frankie" Gustine passes away on April 1, 1991 in Davenport, Iowa at the age of 71. The mainly Pirate career of Gustine (1939-1950) ended the BR/TR utillity infielder with a career BA of .265 and 38 HRs. He appeared in only 9 games for the 1950 Browns and went 3 for 19 for an "it's time to go" BA of .158. - Frankie Gustine was born on February 20, 1920 in Hoopeston, Illinois.

            Today's Reference Links ...

            Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.

            One More April Fool's Day Note. Check out today's post date. We all know that April "1/8" isn't today's date. We also know that "1/8" was really Eddie Gaedel's uniform number. - This one was lame too, but ....

            ... anyway.
            Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 04-01-2005, 04:34 PM.
            "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


            • April 2nd

              On This Date in History!

              April 2, 2005: Ancient Browns Fan Blown Away by Invitation.

              In late May 2005, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts is hosting the next stop of Cooperstown's "Baseball As America," the historical exhibit now playing in St. Louis. The Houston MFA has asked me to deliver the introductory lecture at the museum auditorium on May 21st, the night before the public exhibit begins here. I have accepted the invitation to be the Houston leadoff man with equal volumes of humility and passionate commitment to the job at hand. Please keep your rabbit feet charms warm for me, Brownie fans. All I can do is give this surprise time at bat my best shot.

              If you want more information on the "Baseball As America" exhibit, here's the link ...

              April 2, 1937: Dizzy, Daffy, & Ducky In Fist Fight with The Press!

              Dizzy & Daffy Dean Were a Fightin' Machine in '37!

              Former Browns Broadcaster Dizzy Dean, brother Paul "Daffy" Dean, and outfielder Joe "Ducky" Medwick have a scuffle in a Tampa, Florida hotel lobby with New York News reporter Jack Miley and Chicago Times writer Irv Kupcinet. Two of the three Cardinal players, Dizzy and Ducky, will later be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but not for anything they did this night. The substantive issues that sparked this latest battle between players and the press are now lost in the mist of history - and whatever the boys may have been drinking on that long ago night in 1937. - Paul Dean later pitched in three decisionless games for the 1943 Browns. - Dizzy Dean also hurled four scoreless innings for the 1947 Browns as a publicity stunt.

              Births on April 2

              Edward Tilden "Ed" Siever is born on April 2, 1877 in Goddard, Kansas. The BL/TL pitcher will mark a career record with the Tigers and Browns of 83 wins, 83 losses, and an impressive ERA of 2.60 from 1901 to 1908. Siever starts and ends his career with the Tigers. The Browns are the slimmer middle of his big league sandwich when he goes 23 wins and 29 losses for the 1903-1904 St. Louis American Leaguers. - Ed Siever will pass away on February 4, 1920 in Detroit, Michigan at the age of 42. The reason for his early death is unknown without further research.

              Charles William "Jack" Harper is born on April 2, 1878 in Galloway, Pennsylvania. The BR/TR pitcher is one of the original 1902 Browns. He contributes a fine record of 15 wins, 11 losses, and ERA of 4.13 to the club's maiden voyage through the American League. Sadly, 1902 also will be Harper's only year as a Brown. Over the road of his full career (1899-1906), Jack Harper will compile an MLB record of 80 wins, 64 losses, and an ERA of 3.55. Brownie original Jack Harper will pass away on September 30, 1950 in Jamestown, New York at the age of 72.

              BCT/GB, Jack Harper! - Few of the many pitchers who shall follow 1902 will give us 15 wins in a single year! :atthepc

              Earl Henry "Earl" Pruess is born on April 2, 1895 in Chicago, Illinois. The BR/TR right fielder is another member of the Brownie chapter of the unofficial "Moonlight Graham Club." "Gibby", as Preuss is sometimes called, gets into one game as a right fielder for the Browns on September 15, 1920. Based on his one batting opportunity, Pruess either got hurt early, or else, he became a late inning replacement. He draws a walk in his his only MLB time at bat and does come around to score. - After this one day, however, Earl "Gibby" Preuss joins the ranks of those long-forgotten-til-now Brownies-Gone-For-Good. - Ed Preuss will die on August 28, 1979 in Branson, Missouri at the age of 84.

              BCT/GB, Earl Preuss! An MLB career OBP of 1.000 ain't too shabby!

              Deaths on April 2

              Charles Claude "Charlie" Jones passes away on April 2, 1947 in Two Harbors, Minnesota at the age of 70. The BR/TR utility guy played 74 games as an outfielder for the 1908 Browns in his only year of service to the club. He finished the season hitting .232 with 0 homers. For his MLB career (1901, 1904-1908), the man they sometimes called "Casey Jones" batted .233 with 5 HR's. - Charlie Jones was born on June 2, 1876 in Butler, Pennsylvania. He attended Grove City College prior to entering professional baseball.

              Have a Nice Weekend, Everybody, and Take Heart!
              - The New Baseball Season is Finally Here!

              Today's Reference Links ...

              Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 09-30-2005, 05:25 PM.
              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


              • April 3rd

                On This Date in History!

                April 3, 1960: Another Link on Courtney Team Chain.

                The Baltimore Orioles today pick up former St. Louis Browns Browns catcher Clint Courtney (1952-1953), along with shortstop Ron Samford, from the Washington Senators in exchange for 2nd baseman Billy Gardner.

                April 3, 1938: Another Link on Goslin Team Chain.

                Former St. Louis Brown Goose Goslin (1930-1932), recently released by the Detroit Tigers, signs today for his third tour of duty with the Washington Senators.

                Births on April 3

                John Edmond "John" Frill is born on April 3, 1879 in Reading, Pennsylvania. The BR/TR pitcher will lose one game in three starts for the 1912 Browns, registering a 20.79 ERA in only 4.1 total innings of work. He will be moved to Cincinnati before the 1912 season is done. For his career with the Highlanders, Browns, and Reds (1910, 1912), Frill will post a record of 3 wins, 3 losses, and a 5.85 ERA. - The world will know fewer frills on September 28, 1918. That's the date that John Frill will pass away in Westerly, Rhode Island at the tender age of 39 from causes unknown to us at this writing.

                Bert "B.G" Graham is born on April 3, 1886 in Tilton, Illinois. The BR/TR 1st base/2nd base spot player will have a brief whirl with the 1910 Browns as his only big league exposure and then be gone-for-good. Graham will play 8 games and go 3 for 26 (.115) with 0 HR's. He gets his hits when they count, however, driving in a season/career total of 5 RBI. - B.G. Graham will leave this world on June 19, 1971 in Cottonwood, Arizona at the age of 85.

                BCT/GB, Bert "B.G." Graham!

                Deaths on April 3

                Alvin Floyd "General" Crowder

                Browns Gave up General Crowder & Heinie Manush To Acquire Goose
                Goslin (Slugging Away Above) In Deal Completed on June 13, 1930.

                Alvin Floyd "General" Crowder passes away on April 3, 1972 in Winston-Salem at the age of 73. Over the course of his 11-year big league pitching career (1926-1936), the BL/TR hurler compiled a record of 167 wins, 115 losses, and an ERA of 4.12. Crowder was 21-5, with a 3.69 ERA for the 1928 Browns and he achieved a Browns mark of 44 wins and 32 losses during his 4 years in St. Louis (1927-1930). Crowder was dealt by the Browns to the Senators on June 13, 1930, along with outfielder Heinie Manush, in exchange for outfielder Goose Goslin. Crowder went on to two more 20 + win seasons for the Senators in 1932 and 1933. Over those two banner seasons, he won 50 games total. "The General" was another good one that got away, but you don't acquire Hall of Famers like Goose Goslin for nothing. Sometimes you have to trade another Hall of Famer like Heinie Manush and a great pitcher like Crowder to get what you think will better serve the needs of your club's talent and treasury. - General Crowder was born on January 11, 1899 in Winston-Salem, NC.

                Merritt Patrick "Sugar" Cain dies on April 3, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 68. Merritt Cain is the first of two unrelated pitchers called "Sugar Cain" in Browns history. The second will be Bob Cain, who pitched for the Browns in 1952-1953. - Merritt "Sugar" Cain does his work for the 1935-1936 Browns by going 10-9 in those two seasons. For his big league career (1932-1938), Merritt Cain won 53. lost 60, and had an ERA of 4.83. - Merritt Cain was born on April 5, 1907 in Macon, Georgia. - Oh yeah, Merritt Cain was one of those BL/TR guys.

                Today's Reference Links ...

                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 04-05-2005, 07:39 AM.
                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                • April 4th

                  On This Date in History!

                  April 4, 1960: Another Link on Sievers Team Chain.

                  Roy Sievers

                  The Chicago White Sox today send catcher Earl Battey and 1st baseman Don Mincher plus cash to the Washington Senators for 1st baseman and former St. Louis Browns 1949 American League Rookie of the Year Roy Sievers. It's the 3rd link in Sievers's career team movement chain, with two more to links to come. After two seasons the White SSox will deal Roy to the 1962 Philadelphia Phillies. In time, the Phillies will move Sievers back to Washington during the 1964 season. Roy Sievers will then play 12 games for the 1965 Senators before ending the chain by retiring from baseball.

                  Births on April 4

                  Joe Vosmik

                  Joe Vosmik: Too Good To Stay a Brown.

                  Joe Vosmik is born on April 14, 1910 in Cleveland, Ohio. The BR/TR outfielder will post an outstanding career BA of .307 over the course of his 1930-1944 big league time. In his lone year as a member of the 1937 Browns, Vosmik will collect 193 hits and bat .325. Of course, that performance meantsthat he will be too good to keep any longer than a single season. On December 2, 1937, the Browns will trade Vosmik to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Bobo Newsom, outfielder Buster Mills, and shortstop Red Kress. - Joe Vosmik will pass away on January 27, 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 51.

                  Deaths on April 4

                  Charles Anthony "Charlie" Schnell passes away on April 4, 1988 in Reading, Pennsylvania at the age of 94. The BR/TR catcher was 4 for 19 (.211) with 0 homers for the 1912 Browns as his only MLB appearance and was then gone-for-good. - Charlie Schnell was born on November 29, 1893 in Hampstead, Maryland.

                  Today's Reference Links ...

                  Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
                  Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 04-04-2005, 05:37 AM.
                  "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                  • April 5th

                    On This Date in History!

                    April 5, 1966: Last Brown Standing.

                    Former Brown Don Larsen is released today by the Baltimore Orioles. It looks like the end of Larsen's career, but Don isn't ready to quit. Larsen will be out of the big leagues in 1966, but he will come back in 1967 in one last gasp try as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

                    Pitcher Don Larsen, of course, will be best remembered forever as the author of the only perfect World Series game. As every serious baseball history fan knows, Larsen threw that 2-0 gem for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 8, 1956. The question here is, once we stray too far from Browns history, how many of those same fans also know of Larsen's place on our ledger of less glorious records?

                    Larsen's in our Brownie record book, although, by the time he did what he did, the franchise had been dead for nearly 14 years. It's doubtful that anyone wrote of it at the time, and it's probable that only a few people even took note of Larsen's incidental achievement.
                    On July 7, 1967, Don Larsen became the last surviving former member of the St. Louis Browns to appear in a major league game. Of all the players who had worn a Browns uniform from 1902 through 1953, Don Larsen was the last man to appear in a big league game beyond the end of the club's existence in St. Louis. The finale came for Larsen in an inauspicious final appearance on the mound for the Chicago Cubs. After that date, 7/07/67, Don Larsen never played another game in the majors, but he had gone far enough. Don Larsen will always be on record as the last Brown standing - and the last Brown down.

                    April 5, 1960: Former Brown Dale Long Dealt Away.

                    The New York Giants today purchase the contract of former Browns 1st baseman Dale Long from the Chicago Cubs. Long still has some gas left in the tank. He will continue to play for three more years, ending his career as a member of the New York Yankees on July 18, 1963.

                    Births on April 5

                    William Henry "Big Bill" Dineen is born on April 5, 1876 in Syracuse, NY. Dineen was a BR/TR pitcher with a lot of effective pitching time in the big leagues between 1898 and 1909. His best years will blossom before his three-year finish with the Browns (1907-1909) when he registers four 20-win seasons with the Boston AL club. "Big Bill" was only 6'1", but that is tall physical stature for his era. Dineen will post a career MLB mark of 170 wins, 177 losses, and an ERA of 3.01. He will die on January 13, 1955 in Syracuse, New York at the age of 78.

                    Thomas Gerald "Tom" Phillips is born on April 5, 1889 in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. The BR/TR pitcher breaks into the big leagues by posting a record of 1 win, 3 losses, and an ERA of 2.96 for the 1915 Browns. It's Phillips's only year as a Brown, but still he hangs around MLB long enough (1915, 1919, 1921-1922) to finish out with a career record of 8 wins, 12 losses, and an ERA of 3.74. - Tom Phillips dies young. He will pass away on April 12, 1929 at the age of 40.

                    Merritt Patrick "Sugar" Cain is born on April 5, 1907 in Macon, Georgia. Merritt Cain is the first of two unrelated pitchers called "Sugar Cain" in Browns history. The second will be Bob Cain, who pitches for the Browns in 1952-1953. - Merritt "Sugar" Cain does his work for the 1935-1936 Browns by going 10-9 in those two seasons. For his big league career (1932-1938), Merritt Cain will win 53. lose 60, and rack up an ERA of 4.83. - Oh yeah, Merritt Cain is one of those BL/TR guys.- Sugar Cain I will die on April 3, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 68.

                    Robert Clinton "Bobby" Hogue is born on April 5, 1921 in Miami, Florida. The BR/TR will post a 1-1, 5.19 ERA record in a partial season, 18-game stint with the 1951 Browns. His career (1948-1952) MLB record will close at 18 wins, 16, losses, and an ERA of 3.97. - Bobby Hogue will die on December 22, 1987 in his hometown of Miami, Florida at the age 65.

                    Deaths on April 5

                    Arthur Herman "Art" Bader passes away on April 5, 1957 in St. Louis, Misouri at the age of 70. The BR/TR left fielder went 0 for 3 in 2 games for the 1904 Browns before joining the gone-for-gooder club. His one walk at bat balanced out in some way with his one error in rhe field. - Art Bader was born on September 21, 1886 in St. Louis, Missouri.

                    BCT/GB, Art Bader!

                    Robert Baxter "Bob" Clemens passes away on April 5, 1964 in Marshall, Missouri at the age of 77. The BR/TR outfielder is 3 for 13 (.231) with no homers in 7 games for the 1914 Browns before ho-humming his way into the chasm known here as the Land of Gone for Good. To his credit, Clemens was an alumnus of Missouri Valley College before he embarked upon his brief big league career. - Bob Clemens was born on Auhyst 9, 1886 in Odessa, Missouri.

                    BCT/GB, Bob Clemens!

                    Today's Reference Links ...

                    Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
                    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 08-09-2005, 06:09 AM.
                    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                    • April 6th

                      On This Date in History!

                      April 6, 1932: No Truth To The Rumor.

                      In spite of fast-landing and abundant evidence, there is no substance to the rumor that the entire pitching staff of the The Class D Arizona-Texas League's El Paso Longhorns are all former members of the St. Louis Browns. Today's season opening game with the Albuquerque Dons, however, isn't helping much to plant the flag of truth.

                      In one of the highest scoring professional baseball games in history, the men from Albuquerque defeat the boys from El Paso today by a score of 43-15! Talk about opening a can of worms! Hey! This is the first game of the season for both clubs!

                      In a game played at Tingley Field in Albuquerque, El Paso scores 11 runs in the top of the 1st - then goes on from there to lose the game by 28 runs!

                      The game takes only 2 hours and 40 minutes to play - in spite of the fact that the two clubs combine for 58 runs, 46 hits, and 12 errors! (Where are the rumors about former Brownie fielders?) Amazingly, only one home run is hit in the game, but the two clubs do manage together to pile up a total of 13 triples and 10 doubles. (There may be some truth to the grapevine tale that the official scorer of this game is later lured away by the Browns at mid-season in 1932.)

                      Births on April 6

                      Deaths on April 6

                      Rolla Hamilton "Rolla" or "Lefty" Mapel passes away on April 6, 1966 in San Diego, California at the age of 76. The BL/TL pitcher worked in 4 games and pitched 20 innings for the 1919 Browns, finishing with a record of 0 wins, 3 lossess, and an ERA of 4.50. After 1919, Lefty Mapel is (you guessed it) - gone for good from the big leagues. - Lefty Mapel was born on March 9, 1890 in Lees Summi, Missouri.

                      BCT/GB, Lefty Mapel! :atthepc

                      On a slow day in Browns history, it's hard to dispel a belief in astrology. We could chalk up April 6th as one of those days that "wasn't in the stars" for the St. Louis Browns, but then we'd have to get past the head count on births and deaths and settle for the greater realization of how that easy explanation applies to all matters in the history of our club. That is to say - most days of the year were like that. h

                      Today's Reference Links ...

                      Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
                      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 04-06-2005, 05:55 AM.
                      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                      • April 7th

                        On This Date in History!

                        April 7, 1908: Browns-Cards in Benefit Game for Chris Von der Ahe.

                        Chris Von der Ahe: "der boss president"
                        of the original St. Louis Browns

                        The final score didn't matter and that's just as well because we couldn't find it. Today the Browns and Cardinals played a benefit game, raising $5,000 for the beleaguered Chris Von der Ahe, the former owner of the original Browns who were eventaully renamed the "Cardinals." Von der Ahe had fallen on hard times with his health and finances by 1908, and the two St. Louis clubs wanted to help him out. I'm not sure what they did to raise $5,000 in one day at the ballpark back then, but that was a pretty nice nest egg gift to the old brewer, saloonkeeper, and baseball innovator.

                        Christian Friedrich (or: Frederick) Wilhelm von der Ahe (?1851-June 5, 1913) came to the United States in 1867 from Germany. He became a brewer and owner of the St. Louis Browns baseball team from 1882 to 1898. Von der Ahe bought the old Browns because the stream of fans who came to drink beer at his saloon after games helped him smell the money to be made in baseball.

                        The original Browns were so-named by Von der Ahe simply because that was the color of the uniforms they wore, but the loud-talking man with the bushy moustache and exaggerated German accent wasn't lacking for imagination in most areas. He hired future Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey to manage the Browns and play first base. Von der Ahe dubbed himself "der boss president."

                        The original Browns (later Cardinals) were successful, winning four straight league championships starting in 1885. Income from baseball, beer, and other investments made von der Ahe wealthy. Amazingly, he quickly made $500,000 off the baseball team alone. That was a pretty good profit off his original investment purchase of the franchise for $1,800, don't you think?

                        Von der Ahe saw concessions, especially beer sales, as the way to make money in baseball. He set the ticket price at a quarter in the calculated hope that fans would then spend far more money on beer. He was right. The old Browns twice led the league in attendance because of this plan and they were soon able to expand the size of the ballpark.

                        Von der Ahe's nose for the dollar left no stone unturned. He didn't mind his players drinking after the game - as long long as they did their drinking in one of his saloons. Supporting other saloonkeepers was strictly forbidden. A player could be fined or even fired if he was caught doing so.

                        Egos are not a 21st century invention. In 1885, Von der Ahe erected a larger-than-life statue of himself outside of Sportsman's Park.

                        The eccentric Von der Ahe was also ahead of his time when it came to the business of baseball. He operated a farm club called the St. Louis Whites and he "invented" the post-season championship series, mostly to raise additional monies. They didn't use the term "revenue streams" in those days, but old Chris didn't miss many fishing holes when it came to casting for dollars.

                        It's an oft-repeated tale, but ego finally did Von der Ahe in. In 1887, after a poor showing by the Browns in the "World Series," the angry owner vowed to withhold his players' share of the earnings. He also soon fired Comiskey and started running the team himself. In 1892, the Browns rejoined the National League after the American Association collapsed. Back in the National League, with "der boss president" now also serving as manager, the club quickly slipped into last place.

                        Beseiged by legal and financial problems, Von der She moved his club to a larger park in 1892. He surrounded the place with amusement park fun, including water rides, an artificial lake, a beer garden (of course), and a horse track that rimmed the outer perimeter of the outfield. The horse track was hated by outfielders and the league office, for slightly different reasons.

                        (Old Chris may have inadvertently been the inventor of the outfield warning track. The thought of all those horses running around the perimeter of the inside-the-park wall also inspires what could've been a great trivia question back in 1892. - How do Browns outfielders know they've reached the warning track? Answer: They check the bottoms of their shoes.)

                        The press called the new facility "Coney Island West" - and they nicknamed Von der Ahe as "Von der Ha Ha." Under the heavy losses he incurred from his grand scheme and lack of support all around, Von der Ahe was forced into selling his best players to stay afloat. - This, of course, would become a way of life in the years ahead for the new Browns as well.

                        1898 was a year of calamity for Von der Ahe. (Where were the good C&W song writers back then when old Chris really needed them?) - Part of the ballpark burned down, his second wife divorced him, and his bondsman kidnapped him for not paying his debts. In a highly public trial connected with the fire, Von der Ahe lost his baseball team. The Browns then changed hands twice and changed their name twice, first to the St. Louis Perfectos and then to the St. Louis Cardinals. The American League version of the St. Louis Browns (1902-1953) had no connection to Von der Ahe's team aside from the name, which was designed to challenge the NL Cardinals by evoking the memory of their former identity with St. Louis fans.

                        After losing his team and his wealth, Von der Ahe was reduced to tending bar in a small saloon. Thus we see the need for today's benefit game in clearer light. In spite of his excesses, and maybe even because of them, people in St. Louis still respected Von der Ahe as a man with great reach to his soul. Like Bill Veeck, who would much later follow, Chris Von der Ahe was a man who did things that others had neither the imagination nor the courage to try.

                        Chris Von der Ahe died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1913. He was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, with the statue that once stood in front of Sportsman's Park adorning his grave.

                        Births on April 7

                        Arthur Coggshall "Art" or "Six O'Clock" Weaver is born on April 7, 1879 in Wichita, Kansas. The B?/TR catcher will hit .183 in his 4-year (1902-1903, 1905, 1908), 83 times at bat career - which most probably explains why we are unclear today on his right or left side hitting stance at the plate. The reason for his unusual nickname of "Six O'Clock" also remains a mystery. All I know is that the clock struck midnight pretty early on our "six o'clock" guy. In his only season with the 1905 Browns, Weaver will hit .120 in 28 games. Oh yeah, Weaver's career will include no homers. - Art Weaver will pass away on March 23, 1917 at the age of nearly 38.

                        Joseph Frederick "Joe" Hassler is born on April 7, 1915 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The BR/TR shortstop will hit .239 (11 for 46) in his brief 37-game MLB career (1928-1930). Hassler is 2 for 8 in 3 games for the 1930 Browns and, almost inevitably, he is thereafter gone-for-good. - Joe Hassler will leave this old world for good on September 4, 1971 from Duncan, Oklahoma at the age of 56.

                        BCT/GB, Joe Hassler! - Thanks for stopping by Brownsville on your way to eternity!

                        Oral Clyde "Oral" Hildebrand is born on April 7, 1907 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The BR/TR Butler University alumnus will record an MLB pitching record of 83 wins, 78 losses and an ERA of 4.35 from 1931 to 1940. He has 16 wins and 27 losses as a member of the 1937-1938 Browns. - Oral Hildebrand will die on Spetember 8, 1977 in Southport, Indiana at the age of 70.

                        Deaths on April 7

                        Johnny Tillman
                        Birth Name: John Lawrence Tillman Bats : Both
                        Born On: 10-06-1893 Throws : Right
                        Born In: Bridgeport, Connecticut Height : 5-11
                        Died On: 04-07-1964 Weight : 170
                        Died In: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania First Game: 09-20-1915
                        College: None Attended Last Game: 09-22-1915
                        Nickname: Ducky Draft: Not Applicable

                        Pitcher John "Ducky" Tillman wasn't long for "Lake Big Leagues." Tillman pitched for the Browns in 2 games in September 1915, registering a 1-0 record with an ERA of 0.90 for 10 innings of work in 2 days (September 20-22). For reasons now lost in time to easy answers, Tillman never worked again in the big leagues. - Johnny Tillman was 70 when he died in 1964. - BCT/GB, DuckyTillman! - You "done good," even if you were done fast!

                        Olen Edward "Ollie" Voigt passes from this earth in Scottsdale, Arizona on April 7, 1970 at the age of 70. The BL/TR hurler from the University of Illinois posted an 8-game, 16.1 innings career with the 1924 St. Louis Browns. Ollie finished his "15 minutes of fame" with a winning percentage that even Cy Young couldn't master. Voigt's winning percentage is right at 1.000 with 1 win, 0 losses, and a 5.51 ERA. - Ollie Voight was born on January 29, 1900 in Wheaton, Illinois.

                        BCT/GB, Ollie Voigt! Nothing like showing up long enough for one measure of perfection!

                        Today's Reference Links ...

                        Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
                        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 10-06-2005, 07:22 AM.
                        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                        • April 8th

                          On This Date in History!

                          April 8, 1922: Browns Win Game As Cardinals Unveil Iconic Logo!

                          It's an historic day at Sportsman's Park. The St. Louis Cardinals take the field in a pre-season game with the St. Louis Browns dressed in new sartorial splendor. For the first time ever, the Cardinals are wearing their new uniforms with the two red birds on a bat and the script "Cardinals" written on the front of each jersey. - The Browns win the game, 3-2, behind the steady pitching of Urban Shocker as Willie Sherdel takes the loss for the Cardinals. The game result and score are a repeat of the outcome that occurred between the two clubs only a week earlier. This time, however, the Cardinals are sporting a symbol that will long outlast any memory of the actual game itself. April 8, 2005 marks the 83rd anniversary of those two red birds on a bat theme in St. Louis Cardinals history.

                          Births on April 8

                          Ralph Edward "Hap" Myers is born on April 8, 1888 in San Francisco, California. The BR/TR 1st baseman attends the University of California before embarking upon a 5-year MLB/Federal League career (1910-1911, 1913-1915) in which he hits .268 and 4 HR's. - In 11 games for the 1911 Browns, Hap Myers goes 11 for 37 (.297) before being moved that same season to the Red Sox. - At 6'3", Hap was a big player for his day. - He will pass away on June 30, 1967 in San Francisco at the age of 79.

                          Dee Wilman "Dee" Sanders is born on APril 8, 1921 in Quitman, Texas. The BR/TR pitcher got into 2 games and pitched 1.1 innings for the 1945 Browns as his only MLB exposure. The Univeristy of Oklahoma alumnus recorded no wins or losses, but he left an ERA balloon of 40.50 on the books before departing to the Land of Gone-For-Good. - Dee Sanders is still living.

                          Happy 84th Birthday, Dee Sanders!

                          Deaths on April 8

                          William Henry "Big Bill" Abstein passes away in St. Louis, Missouri on April 8, 1940 at the age of 57. The BR/TR 1st baseman was only 6'0" and 185 lbs., but his relative height to the average shorter players of his day gained him the nickname of "Big Bill." Of course, he may have received that descriptor for having a big nose. (Big Bill? This "Big Bill" also played for the Pirates. Don't Pirates keep parrots? And don't parrots have big bills?) Having never seen Abstein's picture, it's hard for me to say. - At any rate, the shadow of this Groundhog Day born baby was not very long. Abstein played in only 3 big league seasons (Pirates: 1906, 1909 and Browns: 1910). In 23 games for the 1910 Browns, "Big Bill" hit only .143. He batted .242 with 1 HR over the whole course of his 619 AB MLB career. - Bill Abstein was born on February 2, 1883 in St. Louis.

                          BCT/GB, "Big Bill" Abstein!

                          Robert Max "Bob" or "Sugar" Cain

                          Sugar Cain II

                          Robert Max "Bob" or "Sugar" Cain passes away on April 8, 1997 in Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 72. The BL/TL pitcher was the second "Sugar Cain" in Browns history. The other ambi-dextrose Cain was an earlier hurler named Merritt Cain (See "Births on April 5.") - Bob Cain's most memorable moment came as a Detroit Tiger pitching against the Browns on August 19, 1951. By pitching to Eddie Gaedel of the Browns, Bob Cain became the only pitcher in MLB history to face a midget batter in an official game. In the process, he also became the only MLB pitcher to ever walk a midget batter. - Bob Cain's 5-year MLB record (1949-1953) included 37 wins, 44 losses, and an ERA of 4.50. As a member of the 1952-1953 Browns, Cain won 16 and lost 20. - Bob Cain was born on October 16, 1924 in Longford, Kansas.

                          Today's Reference Links ...

                          Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
                          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 04-08-2005, 06:55 AM.
                          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                          • April 9th

                            On This Date in History!

                            April 9, 1953: Veeck Sells Sportsman's Park To Cardinals.

                            "This Bud's For You, St. Louis fans!" - August Busch

                            New Cardinals owner August Busch buys Sportsman's Park for $800,000 from Browns owner Bill Veeck. In baseball history's grandest role reversal, Busch turns around and gives the Browns a 5-year lease. It's a 180 degree turn in the relationship between the two St. Louis clubs. Until today, it was the Browns who had been the "landlords" and the Cardinals who had been the "tenants." It had been that way for 33 years - ever since 1920. - Now it all had been turned around in the deal hammered out by Veeck and Busch.

                            The sale itself s not the only hammer that falls. After purchasing venerable Sportsman's Park, Busch quickly renames it as "Budweiser Park." This gross commercial action outrages the St. Louis community. Busch quickly reacts to the protest as a potential damage to his commercial interests and changes the ballpark's name again to Busch Stadium. The storms quiets, even though many remain unhappy that the old "Sportsman's Park" identity is now lost. In a way they are consoled by the fact, at least, that the new Cardinals owner only renamed the ballpark by his family name, and not by his beer product. A year from this time, Busch will introduce a new beer product called "Busch Bavarian." - By then, there will be no further public protests.

                            All this happened 52 years ago from 2005 - before even people like August Busch thought of how much money was out there to be made on the sale of stadium naming rights to other commercial interests. We've come a long way from purist concerns about commercialization of ballpark names since 1953, haven't we?

                            April 9, 1922: Browns Take City Series From Cardinals.

                            "Not today, George!"

                            A record crowd of 29,000 fans show up at Sportman's Park today to watch the Browns top the Cardinals, 6-3, to win the St. Louis City Series. George Sisler will be thrown out at home three times during the game. Sisler will go on to lead the American League in stolen bases during the 1922 season.

                            April 9, 1907: Cardinals Take City Series From Browns.

                            "One of these days, some St. Louis National League
                            baseball genius is going to see a couple of guys like us
                            sitting on a tree branch and figure out that we might also
                            look fairly good perched on a baseball bat. - Why heck!
                            We might even become part of a famous team logo!"

                            Without the adorning assistance of two redbirds on a bat across their uniform breasts, the St. Louis Cardinals still whip the St. Louis Browns, 9-1, to take the City Series, 4 games to 3. The two teams will further stoke their same city rivalry in the fall with a post-season rematch. The Cardinals also will take that one by a acore of 5 to 2.

                            Births on April 9

                            Oliver Daniel "Ollie" Pickering is born on April 9, 1870 in Olney, Illinois. The BL/TR outfielder will hit for a total BA of .272 in an 8-year career that stretches over time from 1896 to 1908. Ollie will hit .276 in his one full season as a starter for the 1907 Browns. - Ollie Pickering will pass away on January 20, 1952 in Vincennes, Indiana at the age of 81.

                            Malcolm Joseph "Joe" McDonald is born on April 9, 1888 in "unknown parts" of Texas - and that covers a lot of ground - and much more than McDonald covers as a big leaguer. The BR/TR 3rd baseman will play 10 games for the 1910 Browns, going 5 for 32 and a .157 career batting average. After 1910, of course, Joe McDonald is gone-for-good. - Joe McDonald will die on May 30, 1963 in Baytown, Texas, just east of Houston, at the age of 75. - It's probable that McDonald worked in the Humble Oil/Exxon refinery after his baseball days. That's the major reason people live in Baytown to the present day. That's not a certainty, but a pretty good bet. There isn't much other reason to be in Baytown - unless you were born there and don't know any better. h

                            BCT/GB, Joe McDonald!

                            Joseph Denk "Joe" Willis is born on April 9, 1890 in Coal Grove, Ohio. The BR/TL pitcher loses his only start for the 1911 Browns on May 3, 1911 and is soon shipped to the Cardinals for the balance of his brief MLB career. Willis posts a 1911-1913 record of 4 wins, 11 losses, and an ERA of 4.63. - Joe Willis will dies on December 4, 1966 in Ironton, Ohio at the age of 75.

                            Walter C. "Heinie" Jantzen Henie Jantzen is born on April 9, 1890 in Chicago, Illinois. The BR/TR right fielder will hit .185 (22 for 119) and 1 HR for the 1912 Browns as the totality of his big league career and then be (big surprise!) gone-for-good. - He will survive those less ethnicallly sensitive days with the nickname "Heinie" and then vanish into the woodwork of American culture. - Heinie Jantzen will pass away on April 1, 1948 in Hines, Illinois, just 8 days shy of his 58th birthday.

                            Earl Welton "Earl" Caldwell is born on April 9, 1905 in Sparks. Texas. The BR/TR pitcher has one those tenure interrupted careers as a big leaguer (1928, 1935-1937, 1945-1948). In spite of the fact he needs 20 years and 3 different decades to get in 8 seasons of MLB, the man they sometimes call "Teach" will close out his career with 33 wins, 43 losses, and an ERA of 4.69. - Caldwell wins 10 and loses 18 in his three seasons as a Brown (1935-1937). - Earl Caldwell will pass away on September 15, 1981 in Mission, Texas at the age 76.

                            Deaths on April 9

                            Philip "Phil Ketter" Ketterer passes away on April 9, 1965 in St. Louis, Missouri at the age of (4 days shy) 81. Why Ketter dropped the last two letters on his given name suring his playing career, all I can say is "... er ... I dunno." All I know is that the B?/TR Ketter hit .333 (2 singles in 6 times at bat) in 2 games as a catcher for the 1912 Browns and was then gone-for-good. In the case of Ketter(er), his MLB career began on May 23, 1912 and ended exactly two days later on May 25, 1912. He wasn't even there long enough to complain about the travel or the long hot summers, but, ah yes, he was there - if ever so briefly. Phil Ketter was born on April 13, 1884 in good old St. Louis, Missouri.

                            BCT/GB, Phil Ketter(er)!

                            Alfred Voyle "Roxie" Lawson dies on April 9, 1977 in Stockport, Iowa at the age (4 days shy) of 71. The BR/TR Iowa Weslayan College alumnus pitched for 9 seasons in the big leagues (1930-1931, 1933, 1935-1940), registering a career record of 47 wins, 39 losses, and an ERA of 5.37. In his two seasons as a Brown 1939-1940), Roxie won 8 games and lost 10. - Roxie Lawson was born on April 13, 1906 in Donnellson, Iowa.

                            William Aulton "Bill" or "Lefty" Kennedy passes away on April 9, 1983 in Seattle, Washington at the age of 62. The BL/TL pitcher had a 3-year record with the Browns (1948-1950) of 11 wins and 19 defeats. For his 8-year total MLB career (1948-1957). Kennedy recorded 15 wins, 28 losses, and an ERA of 4.73. - Bill Kennedy was born on March 14, 1921 in Carnesville, Georgia.

                            Richard Jerome "Dick Kokos" Kokoszka

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

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

                            BCT/GB, Mr. Kokos! You were one of my favorites as a kid. I'm still looking for that Bowman card of yours that I kave kept for years. As I said earlier on your birthdate post, it's around here somewhere.

                            Postscript. It's a good thing that everyday isn't this busy on the mountain climb search of Browns history - especially when it happens on days when my real time world is making other demands upon me.

                            Never fear. God willing, we'll get there - one day at a time. I love this stuff and the Browns are worth every moment of it.

                            Have a nice weekend, everybody! :atthepc

                            Today's Reference Links ...

                            Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
                            Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 04-09-2005, 05:32 PM.
                            "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                            • April 10th

                              On This Date in History!

                              April 10, 1950: Widmar Chooses Eating Now Over Legal Battle on Principle.

                              The power of the reserve clause in baseball rears its head in Brownsville. Al Widmar is the latest example of a player choosing to take what he can get over unemployment. Based on his 22 wins for Baltimore of the International League in 1949, St. Louis Browns pitcher Al Widmar quits the team in a salary dispute with the Browns. Widmar threatens a suit against baseball unless the team grants him a pay raise. The Browns do not react to his individual words of threatened legal assault upon the system which keeps Widmar from seeking work elsewhere in baseball.

                              Al Widmar is no Curt Flood. Within a week, Widmar signs with the Browns for what the club is willing to pay him.

                              April 10, 1917: Browns Win Drill Team Competition.

                              Laurel: "Those St. Louis Browns certainly were excellent students, weren't they, Ollie?

                              Hardy: "Why, they certainly were, Stanley! - They most certainly were!"

                              The United States entry into the Great World War and a cold, damp spring wrap themselves around the start of the 1917 baseball season like a wet blanket. 48 National League games will be postponed in the first month - and half of the big league clubs will show losses this year. It gets worse at the lower levels of organized baseball as 8 of the 20 minor leagues will fold before the season is over.

                              As a morale and, hopefully, fan-attractive gate promotion, the American League gets the Army to assign drill sergeants to each AL team for daily pre-game drills. The players are taught to march on the field with bats instead of rifles. A final contest will be held for a $500 prize. The St. Louis Browns will take the money as best marching club in the American League. - It must have been the quality of their instruction, combined with that old Brownie hunger to be first in something.

                              Births on April 10

                              Thomas Griffith "Tom" or "Tut" Jenkins is born on April 10, 1898 in Camden, Alabama. The BL/TR outfielder will go to a 6-year MLB career (1925-1926, 1929-1932), hitting .259 and 3 homers. In his 4 seasons of limited action as a Brown (1929-1932), "Tut" gets all of his 3 HR's in the 81 games he plays in 1931 and hits .265 on the year. 1931 is the only season in which Jenkins plays more than 25 games. - Tom Jenkins will pass away on May 3, 1979 in Weymouth, Massachusetts at the age of 81.

                              Edward Harold "Ed" Strelecki is born on April 10, 1905 in Newark, New Jersey. The BR/TR pitcher will win 1 and lose 3 for the 1928-1929 Browns and also pitch 24.1 innings for the 1931 Reds with no record. His career ERA will settle for all time at 5.78. = Ed Strelecki will die on Jamuary 9, 1968 in his birthplace of Newark, New Jersey at the age of 62.

                              Frank "Frankie" Pack is born on April 10, 1928 in Morristown, Pennsylvania. The BL/TR position player strikes out in his only time at bat in the big leagues on June 5, 1949 in behalf of the St. Louis Browns. One AB up on the legendary Moonlight Graham, Pack surpasses Graham by getting no opportunity to play for even a single pitch in the field. As a result, his actual position goes unrecorded in the sources available to our research. Pack was just a 1 AB, 1 "K", and gone-for-good guy. - Frankie Pack packed it in on January 26, 2000 in Hendersonville, North Carolina at the age of 71.

                              BCT/GB, Frankie Pack!

                              Deaths on April 10

                              Owen Dennis Ignatius "Owen" Shannon passes away on April 10, 1918 in Omaha, Nebraska at the age of 38. The BR/TR catcher/1st baseman played in 9 games for the 1903 Browns, going 6 for 28 (.214) with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. Shannon returned to the big leagues for a 4-game stint with the Senators that reduced his career BA to an even Mendoza (.200). On that note, he departed MLB for The Land of Gone for Good. - Owen Shannon was born on December 22, 1879 in Omaha, Nebraska.

                              BCT/GB, Owen Shannon!

                              Horace Wilbur "Hod" Leverette passes away on April 10, 1958 in St. Peterburg, Florida at the age of 68. From April 22, 1920 to May 8, 1920, the BR/TR pitcher played in 3 games, workin g10.1 frames for the Browns, 2 as a starter and 1 in relief. For his efforts, Hod posted a career record of 0 wins, 2 losses, and an ERA of 5.23. Please note the whole truth about Hod's brief, but complete MLB career: Leverette did not make a single error in the field in 7 chances. These chances also resulted in him getting credit for 7 assists. - Flawless-fielding Hod Leverette goes to his grave in the self-affirming knowledge that, over the course of his very short stay in the big leagues, he was perfect in the field. - Must've been the glove. - Hod Leverette was born on February 4, 1889 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

                              BCT/GB, Hod Leverette!

                              James "Jim" or "Jiggs" Wright dies on on April 10, 1963 in Oakland, California at the age of 62. The BR/TR pitcher recorded 1 win, 0 losses, and an ERA of 5.79 for the 1927-1928 Browns as the total scope of his MLB experience and was then gone-for-good. - Jim Wright was born on September 19, 1900 in Hyde, England.

                              BCT/GB, Jiggs Wright!

                              Chester Lillis "Chet" Johnson dies on April 10, 1983 in Seattle, Washington. The BL/TL pitcher had no record, but an ERA of 5.00 in 5 games for 1946 Browns before he joined the legion of other lost baseball souls in the MLB Gone-For-Good Club. - University of Washington alumnus Chet Johnson was born on August 1, 1917 in Redmond, Washington.

                              BCT/GB, Chet Johnson!

                              Today's Reference Links ...

                              Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
                              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 04-10-2005, 11:15 AM.
                              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                              • April 11th

                                On This Date in History!

                                April 11, 1950: Former "Brown" Dean Back In Texas League! *

                                Why pitch again? "It was a great day for baseball," says Diz.

                                * For One Pitch. The Texas League season opener between the Dallas Eagles and the Tulsa Oilers is staged in the Cotton Bowl at Dallas. Independent Dallas owner Dick Burnett is determined to open some media eyes, fan wallets, and minor league game attendance record books. He puts together what amounts to a ringer club of Cooperstown All Stars to start the game as "Dallas Eagles." After much harranging over how long the former greats should be allowed to play, the promotion is reduced to little more than a ceremonial start by the former greats. - How good would this team have been had any club had these guys together during their primes? The Dallas starters in the field include Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Tris Speaker, Dizzy Dean, Travis Jackson, Frank Baker, and Charlie Gehringer , as well as Duffy Lewis and Dallas manager, Charlie Grimm, the only two non-Hall of Famers. Former Cardinal, Cub, and ceremonial Brown Dizzy Dean throws one pitch to start the game. Then the squad is replaced by the regular Dallas Eagles team, but with a sense of mission accomplished. The 53,578 fans who showed up established a since-broken minor league attendance record as the largest minor league baseball crowd of all time. As Dean and company stroll from the field, a mighty cheer bids thanks to the former greats for taking the field one more time.

                                I'm not sure if Dallas owner Dick Burnett knew the great Bill Veeck, but there had to be a little mutual admiration going on here. Wish I could quote Bill Veeck on his thoughts about this one. I'll bet they would've been good.

                                Births on April 11

                                No Browning Today! No Browns Ever on April 11!

                                Deaths on April 11

                                Charles Vincent "Charles" Moran passes away on April 11, 1934 in Washington, DC at the age of 55. The righthanded throwing infielder's batting preference has long been forgotten, so, let's explore why. - Moran had a 3-year big league career that was split between the Senators (1903-1904) and Browns (1904-1905). The Georgetown University alumnus batted .207 with 1 HR in 970 times at bat and then was gone for good from the big time. - Any more questions about why his BL or BR stance has been noted in history books as "?" ? - I dunno. You might think somebody would've remembered, but they didn't. - Charles Moran was born on March 26, 1879 in Washington, DC.

                                Goodbye, Charlie! - Well try to make sure that you're not totally forgotten!

                                Leo Moses "Leo" Dixon passes away on April 11, 1984 in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 93. The BR/TR catcher spent 4 years in the majors (1925-1927, 1929), playing his first 3 seasons as a Brown. He missed 1928, but came back to play 14 games for the 1929 Reds as the final wrap on his career. - Dixon had a career BA of .206 with 1 HR in 427 official times at bat. - Leo Dixon was born on September 4, 1894 in Chicago, Illinois.

                                Astrological Contrast Shows Up Again. Yesterday, April 10, we had all kinds of things going on. Today, April 11, is as quiet as a Browns September pennant drive. - Maybe there's something to this astrological factor. In a way, we already know that to be true. The Browns' baseball fates were often governed by the stars - and those stars mostly played for the New York Yankees.

                                Have a great week, everybody! :atthepc

                                Today Reference Links ...

                                Official source for MLB history including player and team baseball stats, awards, records, rookies & research – by Baseball Almanac.
                                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 09-04-2005, 01:52 PM.
                                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


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