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  • Originally posted by Bill_McCurdy
    A Brownie Profile: Hub Pruett. [/url]

    "Hub" is short for Hubert, so I guess it's pronounced "Hube"? (i.e., rhymes with Cube).

    Nickname was "Shucks", which I think I read sometime came from a radio broadcast - he was asked about a good pitching outing & said something like "Shucks, it wasn't nothin' ..." after that, whenever guys wanted to razz him they'd yell "Hey, "Shucks"!"

    ...ballplayers can be so cruel ....


    • October 31st

      October 31, 2004: Happy Halloween, Brownie Fans!

      On another slow news day in the Brownie Calendar of History, here's my humble offering of how a certain group of movie monsters could have been assembled to make up the most horror-bull lineup in St. Louis Browns history. We'll get back to serious stuff tomorrow.

      Count Dracula, Pitcher: Although he wields a pretty mean bat, the starting pitcher for the Halloween Browns leaves a little to be desired when it comes to his pitching prowess. - For one thing, he's only able pitch in night games, for some reason that he had written into his contract. - Another bizarre contract stipulation? Dracula has the only locker in the Browns clubhouse that rests horizonatlly on the floor. As a pitcher, "The Count" has a fastball and a nickel curve, but the latter really sucks. Other teams hit him hard and - when Dracula gets knocked out of the box - he really gets knocked out of the box.

      The Blob, Catcher: Best defensive guy on the whole Halloween Browns club. Nothing gets past him - and he's always good for a cover up story any time something goes wrong for the Browns, which is often.

      The Frankenstein Monster, 1st Base: Lack of mobility caused Frankie's move here from the outfield, but his powerful bat forced the Browns to make a place for him. Does a monster job on 1st and is hitting on a pace to break the home run record of Barry Bonds. Frankie was struck by lightning in the first inning a recent game with the Yankees. He not only stayed in the game, he also hit monster-job homers in each of his five trips to the plate.

      Forrest "Spook" Jacobs, 2nd Base: "Spook" makes the club because I've liked his nickname since his minor league days with the Fort Worth Cats. He was the kind of guy who should've been a Brown in reality, but somehow pleased or angered the baseball gods (depending on your perspective), and got sent to the majors by way of the Athletics and their own version of baseball horror.

      Dr. Henry Jekyll, 3rd Base: The most frustrating guy on the club. At times, he plays defense on the hot corner like Brooks Robinson to the nth degree. Other days, his defense is absolutely horrible. After Jekyll made 6 throwing errors in the 1st inning of a game against the Tigers recently, the Brownie fans were ready to kill him. "You'd better hide, mister!" shouted one Browns fan from the 3rd base railing of the stands.

      Lawrence "The Wolfman" Talbot, Shortstop: Covers a lot ground in a hurry. A speedy 2.5 seconds to 1st leadoff man, Talbot scratches out a lot of hits that otherwise would be outs. Great on defense and generally plays the game in a "go for the jugular" mode. Only has a bad game every once in a blue moon.

      Godzilla, Left Field: Nobody hits one over this guy's head, except the lawyers. "Godzi" is currently being sued for malicious negligence by both the Yankees and Red Sox for damage to parts of their ballparks on a recent road trip. At Yankee Stadium, the Yankees are trying to hold Godzi responsible for flattening "Monument Valley" while in pursuit of a fly ball. At Fenway, Godzi is accused of destroying the left field wall with his fist in a fit of rage. Of course, he destroyed it. If they made a movie entitled "Godzilla vs. The Green Monster", you'd expect Godzi to win, wouldn't you?

      The Mummy, Center Field: Weakest defensive spot on the club. With no budding Tori Hunter or Carlos Beltran on the roster, the Halloween Browns had to settle for "The Mummy" after they failed to sign either Jim Edmonds or Spiderman. Slow afoot and with very limited range - every ball hit to center field is a potential homer with "Mum" in the big pasture. Brownie teammates attribute much of "Mum's" problems to his self-centered attitude. "He could do a whole lot better if he weren't so dadgum wrapped up in himself," offered Spook Jacobs.

      The Invisible Man, Right Field: "I.M." plays right field with all the ability of a Larry Walker. The problem is - he's not particularly reliable. You never know if he's actually going to show up to play until somebody on the other club hits a can-of-corn fly to right field.* - If "I.M." is out there, you will see the ball seem to suddenly stop in mid-air about five feet from the ground. Then you will see the ball sort of make a semi-circle and quickly whip itself back to the infield on a clothesline trajectory.

      If "I.M." is taking the night off, even a can-of-corn will likely drop in for a home run to right field. Who's going to go get it in time to prevent such? The Mummy? The Frankenstein Monster? Spook Jacobs?

      * Technically speaking, "I.M." doesn't even show up when he does show up!

      Forgive me this once. I promise not to do this again. It was just my way of saying BOO!
      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 10-31-2004, 08:06 PM.
      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


      • Originally posted by Bill_McCurdy

        October 31, 2004: Happy Halloween, Brownie Fans!

        The Invisible Man, Right Field: "I.M." plays right field with all the ability of a Larry Walker. The problem is - he's not particularly reliable. You never know if he's actually going to show up to play until somebody on the other club hits a can-of-corn fly to right field.* - If "I.M." is out there, you will see the ball seem to suddenly stop in mid-air about five feet from the ground. Then you will see the ball sort of make a semi-circle and quickly whip itself back to the infield on a clothesline trajectory.
        Thing is, the I.M.'s clothes don't turn invisible, so if that's all you see then he must be ... let's just say nobody wants to sit next to him on the bench ...


        • and his bench pal could be ...

          Thing is, the I.M.'s clothes don't turn invisible, so if that's all you see then he must be ... let's just say nobody wants to sit next to him on the bench ... westsidegrounds

          You make a very good point, WSG, - but how would they rest of the team even know where I.M. was sitting, unless he bumped into them, or breathed heavily, or made a giveaway noise of some kind?

          Next thought would be to find him a compatible teammate. Now that he's a free agent, maybe the Halloween Browns could sign Moises Alou as I.M.'s bench mate - and maybe even sign Dusty Baker as the new manager. After all, Dusty knows a thing or two about managing horror shows.

          Then there's that other disappearing man, Sammy Sosa. Hmmm, ... I wonder if maybe Sammy could get along well with I.M. After all, they both play right field - and sometimes they both get into that pattern of not showing up. ... h
          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 10-31-2004, 04:53 PM.
          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


          • Hey, if you're including Spook Jacobs, you might also consider making room for Creepy Crespi, and Jo-Jo Moore - the Gause Ghost.

            This Browns aggregation might play an exhibition game against the Wichita Witches ...

            And now it's time to get into my Bud Selig costume & go trick or treating ... have a great Halloween, everybody!


            • Originally posted by Bill_McCurdy

              October 31, 2004: Happy Halloween, Brownie Fans!

              Forgive me this once. I promise not to do this again. It was just my way of saying BOO!
              Forgive? You are to be lauded for this offering, Bill, it really made my night! Imaginative and humorous. Thank you. Can't wait for your next howliday offering.


              • November 1st

                November 1, 1949: A Theme That Never Played for The Browns. The Gillette Razor Blade Company buys the World Series television rights for $1.37 million, with the money derived to be dedicated to the players pension fund. Gillette will soon introduce World Series televiewers to the slogan and musical jingle, "Look Sharp! Feel Sharp! Be Sharp!" Unfortunately, the Browns never looked, felt, or performed sharply enough to hear the Gillette theme played for them as participants in the World Series.

                November 1, 1946: Veeck Undergoes Amputation. The right foot of Cleveland owner Bill Veeck is amputated as a result of a war injury in the South Pacific two years earlier. Veeck has had a major impact on the art of big league baseball promotion in a mere half season of Indians ownership. For example, a minor but typical change made by Veeck is the regular posting of National League scores on the Cleveland scoreboard, a departure from the long-standing practice of both leagues simply ignoring each other, except for the All Star Game and World Series.

                Man! If it weren't for people like Branch Rickey, and Bill Veeck joining him in the post-WWII era, baseball may well have strangled in the mossback minds of most owners in that era. How little they all knew back in 1946 how many other novel marketing tricks Bill Veeck had up his sleeve for baseball in the years to come. 1946 was only the start of his genius promotional run. Veeck was like a free-spirited, creativity-cutting power mower running wildly amuck on the placid lawn of baseball tradition.

                Today's General Reference Link ...
                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-01-2004, 05:52 PM.
                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                • November 2nd

                  November 2, 1913: Federal League Grabs Ex-Brown as 1st Theft from MLB. The Federal League began an ominously symbolic assault upon MLB by signing a former Browns manager as the first field person stolen from the established organization of major league baseball. Former St. Louis Browns manager George Stovall is the first MLB player to jump to the Federal League, signing to manage Kansas City. With glib salesman Jim Gilmore as its president, and backed by several millionaires, including oil magnate Harry Sinclair and Brooklyn baker Robert Ward, the Federal League declares open war two weeks later by announcing they will not honor the ML's reserve clause. It will prove a long, costly struggle, similar to the American League's beginnings, but with more losers than winners.

                  Rumors that the Federal League adopted Stovall's managerial slogan as their war cry in the battle against MLB are unfounded. The Feds never said: "Two kegs of beer if we force organized baseball to recognize us. - One keg if we don't." h

                  November 2, 1881: Birth of Those "Other" Browns. The American Association of Professionals is founded with the motto "Liberty to All." The members are St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Allegheny, Athletic, and Atlantic. This new American Asociation will be considered a major league.

                  The American Association was formed by midwestern clubs who resented the National League's ban on beer and Sunday baseball. Dominated by the St. Louis Browns of brewing magnate Chris von der Ahe, the league thrived, quickly making peace with the NL. However, the Players' League revolt undid the American Association, which (on the advice of the National League) expanded to 12 teams in 1890 to directly compete with the Player's League - a disastrous move that exacerbated the ills of that strife-torn year and led to the AA's being absorbed by the NL after the 1891 season.

                  The AA/NL Browns would change their name to the St. Louis Perfectos in 1899 and then to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1900 because of their cardinal red uniform sox. Two years later, in 1902, the Milwaukee Brewers will move to town and become the new St. Louis Browns of the American League. The club adopts the old "Browns" name to recall the glory days of Charlie Comiskey's clubs - and also as an "in your face" challenge to the same town competing Cardinals who abandoned that original identity following the 1898 season.

                  Today's General Reference Link ...
                  Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-02-2004, 05:55 AM.
                  "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                  • November 3rd

                    November 3, 1926: Sisler Out As Browns Skipper. George Sisler's tenure as playing manager of the St. Louis Browns ends today when the greatest Brownie player in history is replaced by Dan Howley. Sisler was on the job as Browns skipper from 1924 through 1926, finishing 4th, 3rd, & 7th. Howley will hold down the wheel for the Browns from 1927 through 1929, but will leave after finishing 7th, 3rd, & 4th - not a bad result for a Brownie mentor.

                    Howley broke into baseball as a catcher with Indianapolis of the American Association in 1906 and he appeared briefly with the Phillies in 1913. He managed at Montreal for four years, then moved to Toronto (International League), where he won a pennant in 1918. He was a coach for the Tigers in 1919 and 1921-22. He returned to Toronto, and in 1926 won a pennant to break Baltimore's streak of seven straight flags. A combative manager known for his ability to develop young pitchers, he managed the Browns and Reds for three seasons each.

                    Today's Reference Link ...

                    A Brownie Profile: Dr. Bob Poser. I didn't know Dr. Bob Poser well. In fact, my only contact with him was through seeing him at two or three of the annual May reunions of the old Browns in St. Louis afew years ago. All I knew of him was that he was a retired doctor from Wisconsin who also had spent a little time in the big leagues in the 1930s after a successful career at the University of Wisconsin as a righthanded pitcher.

                    Ultimately, medical school and becoming a small town doctor had won Dr. Bob's heart and became the great calling that consumed his life. In spite of that louder life siren, Dr. Bob never forgot his brief time in the big leagues. At the Brownie reunions, he seemed to quietly revel in the company of other former Browns - all of whom were more famous, but none of whom went back as far as actual participants in big league play.

                    As a pitcher with the Chicago White Sox in 1932, and the St. Louis Browns in 1935, Poser put together a 1-1 career record with a 10.05 ERA in 5 games. Not much to write home about, but more time in the big leagues than most of us who ever played the game and dreamed of the bigs ever saw. Bob Poser's 14.1 innings pitched in two seasons put him way ahead of so many of us on that score. No matter how short his time - or how undistinguished his record - no one will ever take away the fact that he did get there - and he did play baseball in the big leagues.

                    Dr. Bob was truly a gentle man, as I briefly knew him. Our last contact was May 19, 2002, in the lobby of our reunion hotel in St. Louis. As I was sitting in the lobby, Dr. Bob walked in, cane in hand, to wait for his ride back to his hometown of Columbus, Wisconsin. I believe it was his son who had driven him to St. Louis - and it was the son who was getting the car to pick up Dr. Bob, age 92, at the front door.

                    "Let me get a picture of you before you go, Dr. Bob," I suggested. Dr. Bob just beamed. "You really want a picture of me?" he asked. "You bet I do," I responded. "You were a Brown once, weren't you?"

                    I took that picture. It most likely was the last photo ever taken of Dr. Bob in his lifetime. Two days later, on May 21, 2002, Dr. Bob Poser died in his sleep at home.

                    When I learned of Dr. Bob's death, it saddened me greatly, even though I barely knew more of him than the fact that I liked the soul that shone through the eyes of this very nice fellow. I had several copies of the photo I took made and sent them to his widow, whose address I had retrieved from the Browns Fan Club. Several weeks later, Mrs. Poser wrote to thank me.

                    "Bob would've been so pleased," she wrote. "He always came back from those reunions feeling a little badly that few remembered him or seemed to want his autograph. I know it made him happy that you even wanted to take his picture."

                    The pleasure was mine, Dr. Bob. - You once were a St. Louis Brown - and that's enough reason for me to remember you. Always.

                    If you care to see my last photo of Dr. Bob Poser, click on this link below to view it at my photo website. ...

                    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-03-2004, 08:11 AM.
                    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                    • November 4th

                      November 4, 2004: A Brownie Profile / Don Gutteridge. Don's big league career started like Gangbusters with the 1936 Cardinals. Had the rest of his career gone like this one day, Don Gutteridge unarguably would be remembered today as the greatest player in the history of baseball. On his second day as a Cardinal in 1936, in a doubleheader at Ebbets Field, rookie Don Gutteridge banged out six hits, including an inside-the-park home run. Oh yeah, as icing on the cake, Don also stole home twice.

                      One of 70 players to play for both the Cardinals and Browns, Gutteridge was a pepperpot second baseman on the Browns' lone pennant-winner in 1944. On June 30, 1944, Gutteridge took part in five double plays in one game, setting a since-surpassed American League second basemen's record.

                      Later, as a coach for the Chicago White Sox, Don took over the helm when Al Lopez retired on May 4, 1969. He remained as the Chicago manager until he was fired in September 1970. It was nothing personal. The White Sox weren't winning with the talent on hand and - as writers often like to report - when a club needs to make a change to restore public confidence - it's easier to fire the manager than to can the whole team.

                      Don Gutteridge hit .319 in 91 ABs for the '36 Cardinals. He never hit .300 again in a full season, but he established himself as defensive presence, - first at third base - and later at second base. Over the course of his 12 year major league career (1936-48), Gutteridge collected 1,075 big league hits and batted .256.

                      In one of those little curiosities of baseball history, Don Gutteridge appeared twice in the World Series in opposition to his original club, the Cardinals. The first time this happened, of course, was his 1944 appearance for the Browns against the Cardinals. Two years later, Don again opposed the Cardinals in the World Series as a member of the 1946 Boston Red Sox. Unfortunately for Gutteridge, he drew the losing side on both occasions.

                      Don Gutteridge, now 92, still lives in his lifetime home of Pittsburg, Kansas. He remains sharp as a tack on baseball matters - and is also one of the nicest gentlemen I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. In 2002, Don Gutteridge wrote his fine autobiography with the help of Ronnie Joyner and Bill Bozman. "Don Gutteridge: In Words and Pictures" is a beautiful hard cover story of Gutteridge's life in baseball. Beyond its excellence as the story of one player from the golden years of baseball, it is another nice exposition, in words and pictures, of how life was for the ordinary ballplayer during the reserve clause era of the 1930s and 1940s.

                      This is not a commercial, but a recommendation to all Browns fans in particular. If you would like a signed copy of the Gutteridge book, a few copies remain available at $24.95. If you are interested, simply make out a check or money order to "Pepperpot Productions" in that amout and send it with your order and mailing instructions to:

                      Pepperpot Productions
                      P.O. Box 1016
                      Dunkirk, MD 20754

                      If you have further questions about the Gutteridge work, drop an e-mail to the book's producer, Ronnie Joyner, at [email protected]

                      Joyner is the same talented writer, artist, producer, and passionate baseball man who did the graphics work for me on the book I wrote with former Browns player Jerry Witte, "A Kid From St. Louis: Jerry Witte's Life in Baseball." If you have any questions or interest in the Witte book, simply drop me an e-mail message at [email protected]
                      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-04-2004, 07:03 AM.
                      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                      • November 5th

                        November 5, 1901: In The Beginning, ... In the beginning, St. Louis was dark and disconnected from the 1901 first season of American League baseball. Now comes American League President Ban Johnson and Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey to bring new baseball light to this western border of the established National League. On this day, the two men sign a five-year lease on Sportsman's Park for ready use by an American League team in the 1902 season. Two weeks from today, the Milwaukee Brewers franchise will be officially transferred to St. Louis.

                        Charles Comiskey's participation in this trip to St. Louis with Ban Johnson was no accident. As a player-manager for the St. Louis Browns (now Cardinals) of the American Association from 1885 to 1888, Comiskey won four league titles. Comiskey knew the city well and was eager to place his new American League association in direct competition for the hearts and wallets of St. Louisans.

                        Comiskey had played a major role in putting St. Louis on the baseball map during the late 19th century. He is also remembered for a number of other things, from his role as a penurious owner whose tight pocketbook may have tilted the table of player discontent toward the 1919 Black Sox scandal to the fact that the name "Comiskey" untimately became more famous as a ballpark. In 1901, however, he remained in St. Louis consciousness as the man who first brought championship baseball to the city.

                        In 1901, Charles Comiskey also was long-noted as the man who wrote the book on how to play first base. In fact, Comiskey did not invent first base defense. He simply learned well and brought it to light on a bigger stage. In 1879, Chicago sandlotter Comiskey hooked up with a now forgotten baseball promoter named Ted Sullivan, who taught him the art of playing first base. Until the 1880s, most first basemen started each play with a foot on the bag. Comiskey increased his range by playing off the bag, and his success popularized that style. As a player-manager for the St. Louis Browns of the American Association.

                        At any rate, on this date in history, November 5, 1901, Charles Comiskey was on hand to signal the impending birth of the new St. Louis Browns.

                        Today's reference link ...
                        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-05-2004, 05:20 PM.
                        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                        • November 6th

                          November 6, 2004: Speaking of Sportsman's Park. Here's some trivia about the old home of the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals:

                          (1.) Sportsman's Park was renamed Busch Stadium in 1953. When new Cardinals owner August Busch bought the ballpark from the Browns that same year, it gave him the right to replace the name of a St. Louis landmark with his own identity. When one has ego, money, and power - anything is possible and change may happen quickly.

                          (2.) The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, had an ad on the right center field wall that showed the star of the previous game. Immediately to the right of this ad, the league standings for both leagues were listed.

                          (3.) After the ballpark's 1953 purchase by Busch, the Anheuser Busch logo eagle was perched atop the left center field scoreboard. The Busch eagle flapped its wings after every Cardinal homer. During World War II, a War Chest promotion resided where the eagle eventually roosted.

                          (4.) The Herbert Hoover Boys’ Club, with a baseball diamond where the major league version used to be, resided on the site of the ballpark for years. The club still operates a service program for inner city kids on the grounds of the old ballpark. They also used to maintain a plaque at the site of home plate. I'm not sure what they are doing about historical preservation now. The last time I visited the hallowed grounds, in about 2000, the plaque was gone and there was no trace of a baseball diamond, It was all laid out for soccer.

                          Someone at the club told me that the plaque was stolen was some time back. They now have a plaque on the office building of the community service program to denote the place as the site of the former Sportsman's Park. Apparently they decided that it would be futile to replace the home plate plaque because there is no way to keep it from being swiped again by collectors or crumbums. As a sad result, now you can't tell exactly where home plate used to be.

                          :grouchy (Nice going, creep, whoever you are!) :grouchy

                          (5.) The Cardinals office at Sportsman's Park was located at 3623 Dodier; Browns office was around the corner at 2911 North Grand.

                          (6.) There were pavilion seats in the power alley in right center field. A second deck, from first base to third, was added in 1909. It was expanded to the foul poles in 1925.

                          (7.) Bleachers were added to parts of the outfield in 1926.

                          (8.) The flagpole stood in fair territory until it was removed in the 1950s.

                          (9.) Bill Veeck’s family lived in an apartment under the stands in the 1950s. When he bought the stadium from the Browns in 1953, Cardinals owner Gussie Busch almost named it Budweiser Stadium, but he was prevented by league and public pressure against the idea of naming a ballpark after a beer. "OK," Busch must've thought, "if I can't name it after my beer, I'll just name it after me. And while you're at it, change the name of that old "Buff Stadium" down in Houston to "Busch Stadium" too. - The world can't have too many ballparks named after me."

                          (10.) When the new St. Louis venue was built in the mid-1960s, a helicopter carried home plate from old Busch Stadium to (where else?) new Busch Memorial Stadium after the last game was played at the storied original park on May 8, 1966.

                          (11.) Sportsman's Park was the site of the 1940, 1948 and 1957 All-Star games. Of course, that '57 game was played under its new Busch name.

                          For further information, check out this link to "St. Louis' Big League Ballparks." There are some great photos and interesting information there about the changing dimensions of the ballpark over the years. ...

                          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-06-2004, 11:02 AM.
                          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                          • November 7th

                            November 7, 1938: Browns Sign Fred Haney. Fred Haney is signed to manage the St. Louis Browns. Following a career spent mostly as a Detroit Tiger third baseman and a long tour in AAA baseball, Haney began his managerial career with the Toledo Mudhens of the American Association in 1936. From this date of his signing, Haney will go on to lead the 1939 Browns to a club-record 111 losses. The '39 Browns will be regarded by many historians as the worst Browns club in franchise history. As a partial result of this inauspicious start, Haney will be replaced as Browns manager by Luke Sewell after 44 games in 1941, an axe-fall which hastens his return as the manager at Toledo. Haney will shift to broadcasting games for the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League from 1943 through 1948, and will then manage the same club to two pennants in four seasons.

                            Haney's PCL success will success earn him the managerical job in Pittsburgh, where he will lead the Pirates to last place finishes for three years in a row (1953-55). Taking over the Milwuakee Braves in June 1956, Haney will lead them to a world championship in 1957 and a pennant in 1958. Despite finishing second in 1959, he will be fired again.

                            Looking back now from 2004 on the career of the conservative manager Fred Haney, it's hard to know if he really led the Browns and Pirates to last place finishes or the Braves to two World Series against the Yankees. Maybe, like the rest of us who simply watch the games, Fred Haney was just there in the dugout, going along for the ride, and once more proving an old adage about the cream rising. Ii's not rocket science. Good teams tend to go up and bad teams tend to go down. The worst manager in the world may not be able to keep a good team from winning - and the best manager in the world may not be able to keep a bad team from losing.

                            There will always be people like Fred Haney - people who are never destroyed by the bad times and never annointed by great success. Maybe it had something to do with Haney's personality. Fred Haney's bland personna aroused ire. He was once hung in effigy by Milwaukee fans during a pennant-winning campaign, but so what? Haney was resilient. You have to give him credit for his rubbery adaptability to bad career news. The man suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but he always seemed to land on his feet somewhere else. After his firing by the Braves, Haney later returned to broadcasting, and this time, he worked the NBC-TV Game of the Week. Fred Haney then added a pioneer feather to his cap by becoming the first general manager of the expansion club first known as the Los Angeles Angels.

                            Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 4/25/1898, Fred Haney died in Beverly Hills California on 11/09/1977 at the age of 79. If the pattern of his life on this planet held up beyond the grave, we assume that Fred Haney merely left this old world for a better deal elsewhere. :atthepc

                            reference link ...
                            Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-07-2004, 09:13 AM.
                            "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                            • Originally posted by Bill_McCurdy
                              Fred Haney.
                              A very nice appreciation of "Pudge"!

                              Actually I didn't know he had a nickname, I looked it up ...

                              Found out two more things in doing so:

                              He won "Executive of the Year" for his work with the Angels in '62.

                              He was 5'6" - maybe the shortest manager of modern times?

                              Man, those Milwaukee fans were rough!


                              • November 8th

                                November 8, 2004: A Brownie Profile / Johnny Bera(r)dino.

                                Johnny Berardino, Matinee Idol

                                Speaking of the 1939 Browns, Johnny Berardino may been one of the most colorful guys to play for that desolate last place club of 43 wins and 111 losses. Breaking into the big leagues with the '39 Browns, the handsome 22-year old second baseman reached the majors with a background in baseball and movie acting. He had appeared in a few of the "Our Gang" comedies as a child actor, but chose baseball as his first career pursuit. Berardino hit .256 for the '39 Browns in 126 games. He remained with the Browns through the 1946 season - with three years off for military service in the South Pacific during World War II from 1943-45.

                                After three years as a regular at the beginning of his career, including a 16 home run season in 1940, Berardino became a utility man who was called a "one-man infield" for his versatility. He hit a grand slam off Yankee relief ace Johnny Murphy in 1940. After playing for the Browns, Indians, and Pirates by the end of 1950, Berardino appeared with all three teams, in the same order, over the last two years of his career.

                                Following his release by Pittsburgh in 1952, Berardino had to hock his 1948 Indians World Series ring.

                                Because of his striking good looks and reputation among female fans as a matinee idol, Bill Veeck once insured the infielder's face as a publicity stunt. Johnny was aware of his potential as a favorite with the ladies, and he also recognized after 13 years and the equivalent of 11 full seasons in the majors that a .249 career batting average was no pathway to fame and fortune.

                                At the age of 35, Berardino quit baseball after the 1952 season. He promptly dropped the second "r" from his name and returned to acting, spending over 25 years as Dr. Steve Hardy on the popular soap opera, "General Hospital."

                                "General Hospital" may have worked out well for Beradino, but its soupy and simple melodrama couldn't hold a candle to the soap opera that was the saga of the St. Louis Browns from 1902 to 1953. Several ancient soap opera titles could easily have been parodied into use as the title for any good biography on the St. Louis Browns. I'm torn between "Search for Tomorrow" and "As The Franchise Turns" as my favorite choice for same. :atthepc

                                Today's General Reference Link ...
                                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-08-2004, 06:06 AM.
                                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


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