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Jan 24, 2022

After hiding in plain sight for the better part of five years, we finally take an initial swing at the deeply fascinating story of baseball's original "lovable losers" - the St. Louis Browns.
St. Louis native and keeper of the flame Ed Wheatley ("St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team" & "Baseball in St. Louis: From Little Leagues to Major Leagues") knows a thing or two about this most forlorn, but curiously beloved American League franchise of yore (1902-53); as the President of the St. Louis Browns Historical Society, it is his passion and duty to burnish the memory and celebrate the contributions of the Brownies - despite its half-century of mostly forgettable on-field performance.
Before organized baseball forced then-owner Bill Veeck to sell the club to a Baltimore syndicate in 1953 to ultimately become today's similarly lamentable Orioles, the Browns battled the cross-town Cardinals for St. Louis' baseball attention - often at the city's venerable Sportsman's Park, which they both claimed as home for the better part of 30 years, including an all-St. Louis World Series in 1944 (won, of course, by the Redbirds).
Despite only one playoff appearance in 52 seasons ("First in shoes, first in booze, and last in the American League"), the Browns still had their share of fans, as well as some of baseball's most memorable characters - like Branch Rickey (as a player, manager and even GM), Hall of Famers "Gorgeous George" Sisler and Rogers Hornsby, one-armed utility outfielder Pete Gray, and, of course, the one-at-bat wonder of 3-foot, 7-inch Eddie Gaedel.