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  • November 9th

    November 9, 1992: McLane Buys Astros for $115 Mil. Drayton McLane Jr. of Temple, Texas officially becomes owner of the Houston Astros today, purchasing the team from John McMullen of New Jersey for $115 million. In a fast forward of only 12 years to November 9, 2004, we now find Astros owner McLane faced with the reality that he may have to cough up another $115 million to even have a chance at keeping Carlos Beltran, the best player from his 2004 club. Today's owners are paying more for individual players than they once paid for their entire franchises. What's up with the economics of baseball these days? How can it be so out-of-scale from the way most of us live in these early years of the 21st century?

    By now you may be wondering - what's this have to do with the St. Louis Browns? - Read on.

    November 9, 1953: Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Baseball. The U.S. Supreme Court decides today by a 7-2 margin that baseball is a sport and not a business and, therefore, not subject to anti-trust laws. The ruling is made in a case involving New York Yankee farm hand George Toolson, who refused to move from AAA to AA.

    The ruling is obviously correct. Anyone with eyes to see should understand that the recent move of the Browns from St. Louis to Baltimore was simply a sporting proposition that had nothing whatsoever to do with business and the secondary pursuit of that almighty dollar.

    Baseball. Love the sport. Hate the business. :atthepc
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-09-2004, 06:42 PM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


    • November 10th

      November 10, 2004: A Brownie Profile / Rube Waddell.

      Rambunctious Rube

      Best remembered as a member of the deadball era Philadelphia Athletics, the great lefty known as George Edward (Rube) Waddell went 19-14 with a 1.89 ERA for the 1908 St. Louis Browns. He had been acquired for mere cash from Connie Mack and the A's following his 19-13, 2.15 ERA mark with Philadelphia in 1907. If you look only at the record book on Waddell, you will see that his performance for the A's from 1902 to 1907 was the stuff that insured his eventual Hall of Fame selection. On facts alone, there's no way a club simply sells a player like Waddell for cash, - especially not in the days of the reserve clause, when clubs had no worries about good ones getting away.

      Rube's sale to the Browns was testament to his ability for trying the patience of even the mild-mannered and gentle genius that was Connie Mack. In today's terms, Rube Waddell was a "high maintenance contributor" whose great ability to win finally tumbled under the greater weight of problems he brought to Mr. Mack's peace of mind.

      Here are some thumbnail facts about Waddell which only add to his lore over time as one of the great eccentrics (crackpots) in baseball history:

      Success In Spite of Self. Connie Mack called Rube Waddell one of the best lefties of all time. With a sharp-breaking curve and a fastball comparable to the great Walter Johnson, Rube collected 50 career shutouts. His (K/W) strikeout-to-walk ratio was almost 3-to-1. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.

      Was There Something In The Water Where Rube Grew Up? Who knows? Maybe it was just a bump in his gene pool. Waddell grew up on the farmlands around Bradford, PA. "He often missed school," said his sister, "but I could always find him playing ball, fishing or following a fire engine."

      Early Times. Waddell pitched for a college team for one year, and for town teams at $25 a game, before signing his first contract with Louisville (NL) in 1897. He was playing for Pittsburgh when, unhappy with the stern discipline of manager Fred Clarke, he jumped the club. Clarke, preferring not to have to deal with the flaky hurler, let him go.

      Enter Mr. Mack. Connie Mack "borrowed" Waddell from the Pirates' Barney Dreyfuss for his Milwaukee team in the newly christened American League, which was still a minor league in 1900. On August 19, Milwaukee played a doubleheader against the White Sox. Waddell went all the way in the 17-inning opener, winning it 3-2 on his own triple. The two managers agreed the second game would be five innings. Mack, knowing Waddell was an avid fisherman, asked him, " would you like to go fishing at Pewaukee for three days instead of going with us to Kansas City? All you have to do is pitch the second game." Waddell threw a five-inning shutout.

      Big Years With The A's. Waddell joined Mack's Philadelphia Athletics in 1902 and went 24-7, leading the AL in strikeouts for the first of six straight seasons. In 1904 he struck out 349 - an AL record that stood for over 70 years until it was surpassed by Nolan Ryan. (He had been credited with 343 until after Bob Feller fanned 348 in 1946. Further digging into past records later increased Waddell's total to 349 K's.) In 1905 he led the league with 26 wins, 8 relief wins, 46 appearances, 287 strikeouts, and a 1.48 ERA.

      Money Meant Nothing. It was rumored that gamblers paid Waddell to fake an arm injury and sit out the 1905 World Series against the Giants. "That's ridiculous," maintained Mack. "Money meant nothing to him." In truth, Waddell had fallen on his left arm while horsing around with teammate Andy Coakley. It stiffened up overnight, and he didn't pitch again that season. Though he pitched four more ML seasons, he never again threw with the same snap.

      It is believed Waddell never made more than $2,800 a year, and he spent money as fast as he got it. For a time the A's paid him in dollar bills, hoping to make his money last longer. He was forever borrowing or conning extra money out of Mack.

      Prior to Paige Antics. Who knows? Maybe Satchel Paige later stole a page from the Book of Rube. Twenty years prior to Paige, Waddell enjoyed waving his teammates off the field and then striking out the side. He actually did so only in exhibition games, since the rules prohibit playing with fewer than nine men on the field in regulation play.

      In a league game in Detroit, Waddell had his outfielders come in close and sit down on the grass. He struck out the side. Once the stunt almost backfired. Pitching an exhibition in Memphis, he took the field alone with his catcher, Doc Powers, for the last three innings. With two out in the ninth, Powers dropped a third strike, allowing the batter to reach first. The next two hitters patted flies that fell behind the mound. Waddell ran himself ragged but finally fanned the last man.

      "Rasslin' Rube & Other Over-The-Top Tricks. Waddell wrestled alligators in Florida, hung around in firehouses, married two women who then left him, and tended bar when he wasn't the saloon's best customer. He held up the start of games he was scheduled to pitch while he played marbles with children outside the park. There was a provision in Waddell's contract barring him from eating Animal Crackers in bed. In those days, two players had to share a double bed on the road, and Ossie Schreckengost was Waddell's catcher and roommate. "Schreck wouldn't sign unless he saw that clause in Waddell's contract," said Mack, "so I wrote it in there, and the Rube stuck to it."

      Peer Reactions. Though Waddell was always a fan favorite, his erratic behavior and declining effectiveness strained the tolerance of his teammates. Some threatened not to report in the spring of 1908 unless Mack got rid of him. As a result, Waddell was shipped to the Browns for cash and team peace of mind. On July 29, 1908, new Brownie Rube tied what was then the AL single-game strikeout record by fanning 16 of his former A's teammates.

      April Fool Decline & Demise. By 1910 Waddell was back in the minors. He won 20 games for Joe Cantillon's Minneapolis (American Association) club in 1911. In the spring of 1912, he was staying at Cantillon's house in Hickman, Kentucky, when a nearby river flooded. Standing in icy water, Waddell helped pile sandbags on the embankments. The incident affected his health; though he went 12-6 that year, he collapsed while with Virginia (Northern League) in 1913 and landed in a sanatorium in San Antonio, Texas. He died there in 1914 - ironically, on April Fool's Day.

      Rube Waddell was only 37 years old at the time of his death.

      In Time, They Remembered. For several years there was no monument on Waddell's grave. The president of the San Antonio ballclub told Connie Mack and John McGraw, whose Giants trained there. They raised enough money to put up a six-foot granite marker. Waddell was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Committee on Baseball Veterans in 1946.

      My thanks to "NLM" of the Baseball Library for organizing most of the facts I've chosen to use here. If you care to read that version of this report, click on to ...

      As a kid, I remember reading with fascination the story of Waddell's crackers-in-bed behavior, but I never heard that they were "Animal Crackers" until now. As much as I love ferreting out the truth about historical minutiae, I will have to leave the "Saltine versus Animal" question lingering low on my list of things to find out about someday. There's too much else on my plate right now. And so little time. Besides, my imagination tells me that Rube probably never lost a moment of sleep thinking about his behavior or it's consequences to himself and others. Why should we care what kinds of crackers he ate in bed? :atthepc
      Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-10-2004, 05:33 AM.
      "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


      • November 11th

        November 11, 2004: A Veterans Day Salute. On this day of honor to those who have served our country in the military, we pause to remember a former Brown who never had the chance to receive this day of national respect from a grateful nation. Bob Neighbors of the 1939 Browns is but one of those brave men who put himself in harm's way in defense of these United States during the Korean War and never returned.

        On August 8, 1952, Air Force pilot Robert Neighbors was flying a mission over North Korea when his B-26 bomber was shot down. On that same day back in St. Louis, no one had any idea. In fact, it's likely that most Brownie fans at that time had no memory of the short-term shortstop from 13 years earlier. The few fans who showed up at Sportsman's Park on that day to witness another ordinary game near the end of another hopeless Browns season could have had no way of knowing what was happening a half world away on this same date.

        On that fateful day in North Korea, Duane Pillette of the Browns was facing off against Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians in a game that hardly meant a thing. The Browns were 18 games under .500 on August 8, 1952 and they were well on their way to another 7th place finish in the American League. In the end, neither Pillette nor Feller were particularly effective as the Browns lost a 10-9 slugfest to the Tribe and closed the door on another seemingly forgettable day at the yard.

        Forgettable in the short term, but not forever - because of Bob Neighbors.

        Neighbors was listed as missing in action when his plane failed to return to base on 8/08/52. It was not until several months following the 7/23/53 armistice in Korea that Bob Neighbors was officially declared dead. He left behind him a wife, Kitty, and a two-year old son, Cameron.

        In the year 2000, on the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, Commissioner Bud Selig paid tribute to 100 men who had traded in their major league flannels for military service in Korea. As he spoke to the group who had assembled to honor those Korean veterans, Selig's words touched eloquence.

        "Major Neighbors hailed from a family that embodied the admirable ethic of service to country," Selig told the gathering. Then, speaking directly about Bob Neighbors, the Commissioner's attention turned to a career Air Force man in the crowd. "Cam, I thank you for all that you, your father and your family have done for your country."

        The recipient of Selig's praise was Cameron Neighbors, a career Air Force man - and the son of the late Bob Neighbors. That little two-year old who lost his father in Korea had grown up to be a military man too.

        Bob Neighbors' time in the big leagues back in 1939 had amounted only to 7 games, 11 official times at bat, and 2 hits - one a homer at Fenway Park. He is remembered today for a much more significant home run - the one he hit for his country and, by example, for his son.

        God bless you, in memoriam, on this Veteran's Day, Bob Neighbors. May we never forget you and those who have served our country with courage and valor.

        Source material for this article was excerpted from a beautifully written and much more detailed account of Bob Neighbors' life in the current Fall 2004 issue of Pop Flies, the newsletter of the St. Louis Browns Historical Society. That beautiful tribute to Bob Neighbors was written by Ronnie Joyner.

        November 11, 1953: First The Browns. Now Marion. The ownership of the "new" Baltimore Orioles continues to erase ties with their historic past. In a move which surprises few, the Orioles hire amiable Jimmy Dykes as their first fiekd mentor. Dykes, who recently was released as the manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, succeeds St. Louis icon Marty Marion as the manager of the Baltimore Orioles.

        Reference link ...
        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-11-2004, 05:47 AM.
        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


        • November 12th

          November 12, 2004: Former Brown To Be Honored Tonight. Infielder Debs Garms, who broke into the majors with the St. Louis Browns in 1932, is scheduled for for posthumous induction tonight into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in Houston. Garms. most noable achievement came in 1940 when he won the National League batting title as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

          Born June 26, 1908, the Bangs, Texas native joins seven previously recognized Browns in the Hall. Please note that Dizzy Dean makes this list only because of his one-game publicity stunt appearance on the mound for the 1947 Browns. That being said, other former Brownie members of the TBHOF and their induction years include: Tex Shirley (1981), Rogers Hornsby (1983), Sam West (1983), Bob Muncrief (1984), Dizzy Dean (1987), Jerry Witte (1992), and Frank Mancuso (2003).

          Here's a link to the Houston Chronicle coverage of the induction ceremony. ...

          November 12, 1936: New Brownie Owners Have Big Plans. Three years after the death of Phil Ball, wealthy owner of the St. Louis Browns, his estate sells the team to a syndicate headed by Donald L. Barnes and William O. DeWitt. As the new owners of Sportsman's Park, Barnes and DeWitt their announce plans to install lights and bring night baseball to the American League. It is an idea that is wholly endorsed by the Cardinals as well. With the progressive Branch Rickey at the helm of the Redbird brain trust, one would expect nothing less.

          Today's reference link ...
          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


          • November 13th

            November 13, 2004: Happy Birthday, Jim Delsing!

            Former Browns outfielder Jim Delsing, born in 1925, is 79 years old on this date in Browns history. Jim Delsing is best remembered as the pinch runner in 1951 for midget Eddie Gaedel. Delsing hit .300 several times in the minors and made the Northern League, Pacific Coast League, and American Association all-star teams. His best big league batting average was .288 with the 1953 Tigers. His son Jim is a member of the PGA golf tour.

            Too bad there was no videotape available on August 19, 1951 when Delsing took over for Gaedel as the runner at first following the little guy's laughable, but most memorable walk in baseball history. Word is that Gaedel gave Delsing the traditional pat on the butt for relieving him of his duties as a runner. Now that would've been a moment of record, especially if it had included the look on Jim Delsing's face when he received that supportive salutation from his fiesty, albeit vertically challenged teammate!

            November 13, 1963: Former Browns Player & Manager Ruel Dies. Muddy Ruel died today at the age of 67. The native St. Louisan broke into the big leagues as a 19 year old catcher for the 1915 Browns, but he had the inglorious distinction of going 0 for 14 with 5 walks and 5 strikeouts in his total times at bat.

            Ruel made it back to the big leagues with the Yankees (1917-20) and Red Sox (1921-22), but he really came into his own with the Senators (1923-31) before going to the Tigers in a trade in 1931. Ruel then saw part time service with the Tigers (1932), Browns (1933), and White Sox (1934) before retiring as an active player. He finished with a .275 BA in 1,461 games, and he left the game as a veteran of two World Series appearances with the Senators in 1924-25. Ruel returned to the Browns as their 1947 manager, but his one year at the helm produced only a 59-95 club and another last place finish for the St. Louis American League club.

            What's in a nickname? "Muddy" picked up his nickname as a boy, improvising a messy game using a mud ball. He became one of baseball's most diversified participants, working jobs that ranged from star catcher to assistant to Commissioner Happy Chandler. Ruel was smart. He acquired a law degree from Washington University, and was later admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

            Ruel's best offensive year was 1923, when he hit .316 and collected 142 hits for the Washington Senators.

            today's reference link ...
            Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-13-2004, 05:42 AM.
            "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


            • November 14th

              November 14, 1963: Oscar Melillo Dies at 64. Oscar "Ski" Melillo died today at the age of 64. The Browns 2nd baseman from 1926 through an early season trade in 1935, Melillo had his best year in 1931 when he collected 189 hits and registered a .306 batting average. Oscar played out the balance of his career (1935-37) with the Boston Red Sox, finishing with 1,316 career hits and a career batting average of .260.

              "He fought to the fin-itch,
              Cause he ate his spinach!"

              Melillo's career, and life, were threatened by Bright's disease, an often fatal kidney inflammation. He doggedly stuck to a doctor's prescribed diet of spinach, and nothing but spinach, until cured. That commitment allowed the fellow they already called "Ski" for the usual anatomical reasons to acquire the second nickname of "Spinach." He must have missed out on the name of "Popeye" by hitting the public eye prior to the great popularity of the spinach-empowered cartoon sailor man.

              A smooth-fielding second baseman, Melillo was a Browns regular for nearly a decade. He later became a popular big league coach, serving as a loyal lieutenant to Lou Boudreau with the Indians, Red Sox, and A's.
              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-14-2004, 05:31 AM.
              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


              • November 15th

                November 15, 1939: Barely There, But Not Forgotten. Former Brown Tom Richardson died today in Onawa, Iowa at the age of 56. Richardson was born in Louisville, Illinois on August 7, 1883. In between those two dates, little else is publicly known in baseball annals about a man who was the Brownie equivalent of Moonlight Graham. Unlike the fabled Giant Graham, who only had the chance for one half inning of defensive play in right field as his only major league experience, Richardson actually got a time at bat in his only trip to the plate for the 1917 Browns. Whereas, Graham's lore finally earned him full development as a quasi-fictional character in the movie, Field of Dreams, the mystery of Richardson's story has gone unexplored - until now - as far as I know. Perhaps someone has written about him previously and I just missed it.

                Who was Tom Richardson? How did he get to the majors in 1917 via the Browns? Why did he only get one time at bat before he disappeared forever from the landscape of big league ball? I wish we knew. All I have to go on are the minimal lines afforded him in Macmillan's Baseball Encyclopedia. They don't tell us much, but anything is something when you start with nothing.

                Richardson is listed as a righthanded hitter and thrower who stood six feet tall and weighed 190 pounds. That tells us something. It says that he was a big man for his era. A lot of players in that pre-1920 era stood far short of the old benchmark on tallness of six feet.

                The fact that Macmillan's lists no position for Richardson tells us that his one plate appearance was as a pinch hitter. If he had played a single moment in the field, the encyclopedia would've given him note. It didn't happen for this Tom.

                What did Tom do with his one opportunity? Well, he didn't get a hit, but they didn't strike him out either. That tells us that he was capable of making contact with the ball, but how much contact, we have no idea. It might've been nothing more than a squibber-nick that landed fair - only to be quickly grabbed by an alert catcher and rammed into the ribs of a novice hitter. It also could've been a smash that drove the left fielder way back for a home run robbing catch, but that's less likely. If Tom Richardson had been capable of that kind of pop in his first time at bat, there most surely would've been a second chance.

                In the end, we don't know where Richardson hit the ball, or how hard he hit it. Even though he was "oh for one" in his career, we don't even know if they got him out. After all, he may have been safe on an error or fielder's choice.

                One final, but blatant clue remains before us. - Richardson was 34 years old when he got his one shot at bat - with no "BB"s or "K"s to extend or further define his talent as a hitter. - What was a 34 year old doing in this spot? To answer that question, we have to remember that this was the Browns for whom "One AB" Richardson played for. (I just gave Tom a much needed nickname.) Even in the days which far preceded the coming of showman Bill Veeck, maybe this was "One Lucky Fan Gets To Hit Day!" at Sportsman's Park.

                At any rate, thanks for dying on this otherwise big hole of a date in Browns history, Tom "One AB" Richardson. It gave me something to write about - and it gave all of us plenty to wonder about - even if it is - much adieu about nothing. :atthepc
                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-15-2004, 02:40 AM.
                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                • November 16th

                  November 16, 2004: A Brownie Profile: Clint Courtney. They called him "Scrap Iron" - and for good reason. The fiesty bespectacled catcher, the first receiver to wear glasses, earned a fearless, if not always intelligent reputation as a constant battler.

                  I first saw Courtney play when he caught for the 1950 AA Texas League regular season champion Beaumont Roughnecks. Beaumont lost in the first round of the Shaughnessy Playoffs that year to the eventual Texas League champions, the San Antonio Missions, who just happened to be the Browns farm club in that minor league circuit. Frank Saucier of the Missions, the man who became famous the following year as the only fellow to have a midget pinch hit for him, was the batting champion of the Texas League in 1950 with a .343 mark.

                  The 1950 Beaumont club featured another famous future star in Gil McDougald, who would go on to become the first member of the Roughneck club to earn consecutive Sporting News Rookie of The Year honors by taking the award as a member of the 1951 Yankees. McDougald led the 1950 Texas League with 187 hits.

                  Clint Courtney would win the 1952 honors as American League Rookie of the Year honors and there was a definite Beaumont connection to that story from the start. By 1952, Rogers Hornsby was now the manager of the Browns. Two years earlier, he had managed Courtney at Beaumont in the Yankee chain. At Hornsby's insistence, the Browns obtained Courtney from New York in a Nov. 23, 1951 trade for pitcher Jim McDonald. It was one of those rare times when the Browns got the better value in a trade with the Yankees.

                  Courtney hit .286 with 5 homers and 50 RBIs in 116 games for the '52 Browns to earn him The Sporting News nod as rookie of the year. Courtney could hit. He twice batted over .300 as a platoon player.

                  "Scrap Iron's" most famous baseball brawl came in 1953 when the Browns met the Yankees. Courtney and Phil Rizzuto collided at second base, and Billy Martin jumped on Courtney in a wild melee that nearly provoked a riot among the few fans at St. Louis. The incident produced a then American League record aggregate of $850 in fines.

                  Sadly, Clint Courtney died young at the age of 48 on June 16, 1975 while he was serving as manager of Richmond in the AAA International League. His death came exactly two years to the day after he was hired for the position.

                  Today's reference link ...
                  Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-16-2004, 05:56 AM.
                  "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                  • November 17th

                    November 17, 1953: Browns Officially Dead.

                    Today it finally happened. We all knew it was coming, but on this day, like a wave of anticlimax, it rolled onto the beaches of our minds as we had expected - and we barely felt the ripple. The newspapers hardly said a thing about it either. The obituaries had been written some months ago. Today the St. Louis Browns officially became the Baltimore Baseball Club Inc. In the process, the Baltimore franchise board officially changed its name to the Orioles.


                    Today's reference link ...
                    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 04:59 PM.
                    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                    • Originally posted by Bill_McCurdy
                      [What did Tom do with his one opportunity?

                      He made it onto the AL leaderboard for 1917, as it happens: Number Ten in the "Oldest Player" category (, going by "age at start of season", lists him as 33).

                      He was however only the third oldest player on that '17 SLB team, after Gettysburg Eddie Plank (41) and Jimmy Austin (37).
                      Last edited by westsidegrounds; 11-17-2004, 01:34 PM.


                      • November 18th

                        November 18, 1947: Fire Sale in Brownsville.

                        SS Vern Stephens Was
                        A Top Dollar Commodity.

                        Over the course of two technically separate trades, yesterday and today, the Boston Red Sox acquire All-Star shortstop Vern Stephens, infielder Billy Hitchcock, and pitchers Jack Kramer and Ellis Kinder from the Browns - in exchange for Roy Partee, Jim Wilson, Al Widmar, Eddie Pellagrini, Pete Layden, Joe Ostrowski, Sam Dente, Clem Driesewerd, Bill Sommers, and ..... oh yeah .... $375,000. :radio

                        Today's Reference Link ...

                        Baseball Library.Com presents this information as though it is only one deal. It was really two cascading, but separate trades. For additional information on the separate character of the actual two transactions made on November 17-18, 1947, please consult the trade section of MacMillan's "The Baseball Encyclopedia." Through MacMillan's, I could only account for 9 players coming to the Browns. Baseball Library.Com reports that 10 Red Sox players moved to the Browns for those fewer, but more established Brownie players - and all that moolah.
                        Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 05:38 PM.
                        "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                        • November 19th

                          November 19, 1952: The 50's Not All Squeaky Clean.

                          "Harridge was as shocked as I was
                          on the night I learned that gambling
                          was going on at Rick's Cafe Americain."

                          Maybe it was the recent election of Dwight David Eisenhower as our new president that stirred him into action today. Maybe it's simply part of the media's far-reaching conspiracy to later present the decade of the 1950s as an era of blissful innocence. Whatever the reason, American League President Will Harridge says there will be greater fines for managers who use abusive language while arguing with umpires next year.

                          Abusive language, Will? What on earth are you talking about? Why, anyone with any sense of history in 2004 will later know that "abusive language" didn't exist in American culture back in the 1950s. It only came along in the 1960s, along with the growth of rock 'n roll, Woodstock, and the anti-war movement.

                          American League managers? Using abusive language in their disagreements with umpires prior to 1953? :grouchy :grouchy

                          Don't make us, laugh Will.

                          November 19, 1937: "Grab Your Coat - And Get Your Hat" (song intro): It is not a sunny day for the smiling guy who wears his cap at a jaunty angle as the St. Louis Browns hand manager Jim Bottomley his walking papers. Sunny Jim replaced Rogers Hornsby at mid-season, but posted only s 21-58 record as the Browns sunk to the bottom of the barrel with an overall record of 46 wins and 108 losses. Bottomley will be replaced at the 1938 Browns helm by another former Cardinal, Gabby Street.

                          Street will not be the end of the Browns' fascination with the hiring of former Cardinals, but this obsession fails to transform the Browns into winners by virtue of association with those who previously have smelled the roses in the National League with the birds-on-a-bat bunch. :atthepc

                          Today's reference link ...
                          Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 05:17 PM.
                          "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                          • November 20th

                            November 20, 1934: Campbell Escapes Brownie Soup.

                            Bruce Campbell "Escaped" Browns
                            To Indians, But Ended Up His Days
                            With the Tigers & Senators.

                            Outfielder Bruce Campbell hit .279 with 9 homers for the 1934 6th place St. Louis Browns. He is rewarded by the Browns today with a trade that sends him to the 3rd place Cleveland Indians for past-his-prime infielder Johnny Burnett, pitcher Bob Weiland, and, of course, that always popular addition at the end of most Brownie trades - $cash$. Weiland will go 0-2 with a 9.56 E.R.A. for the 1935 Browns. Weiland will be out of the big leagues in 1936, but he will come back in 1937 for the Cardinals as a 15 game winner in 1937 and a 16 game winner in 1938.

                            Campbell will hit well over .300 over the course of his first three years in Cleveland (1935-1937) and he will never hit lower than .275 in an MLB career that continues through 1942.

                            Just our Brownie luck, as per usual, the other club got the better talent exchange in this deal. At least we got enough cash to pay the Christmas bills.

                            Today's reference link ...
                            Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 04:50 PM.
                            "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                            • November 21st

                              November 21, 1949: Veeck Opens Door To Brownie Future. Bill Veeck takes a step toward becoming the major player in the final chapter of the St. Louis Browns. Today Veeck sells the Cleveland Indians for $2.2 million dollars to a local syndicate headed by Ellis Ryan. Hank Greenberg will be the new general manager of the Tribe.

                              Veeck sold the Indians for only 2.2 mil??? - Yeah, I know. That was a lot more dough in 1949, but it's nothing compared to the dollar level we've reached in 2004. Changing economics and the increasing corporate structure of major league ownership simply make some things more certain in this duller era of vanishing individuality, George Steinbrenner notwithstanding.

                              One major certainty about the way things are in 2004 is this one, in my humble opinion. - The day of the P.T. Barnum types is pretty much done. Oh sure, there always will be owners with big egos who burst upon the baseball scene, but the big money risks involved in the 21st century corporate mindset of the game take true individual showmanship from improbability to almost virtual certainty. There will never be another owner quite like Bill Veeck.

                              Today's reference link ...
                              Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 12:49 PM.
                              "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


                              • November 22nd

                                November 22, 1951: Ney, Ohio. Garver Mulls It Over.

                                Ned Garver Was 20-12
                                For The Last Place, 52-102
                                1951 Browns. So ... What's
                                That Worth, Mr. Veeck?

                                Browns star pitcher Ned Garver mulls over how big a raise he should get for winning 20 games and losing only 12 for the last place Browns who won only 52 games total while losing 102 on the season. In spite of Garver's heroics, the 1951 Browns finished a full 10 games behind the 7th place Washington Senators - and 46 full games behind the American League and World Series champion New York Yankees.

                                When Garver finally gets around to meeting with Browns owner Bill Veeck to discuss a raise for the 1952 season, he will be turned down for any increase in pay on the heels of some pristine logic offered by the wily Veeck as a plausible explanation. It supposedly was the same reasoning offered to Ralph Kiner a few years earlier when the big slugger tried to claim a raise from the 8th place Pittsburgh Pirates for his home run production.

                                What did Veeck supposedly tell Garver in refusing his raise request? - Now let's not always see the same hands!

                                Answer: "We could've finished last without you!"

                                My apologies. November 22nd is just another slow day of record in St. Louis Browns history.
                                Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 11-30-2004, 05:31 PM.
                                "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.


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