Monday, October 10, 2011

1944 AL Champion St. Louis Browns

Amazing how you learn as you go when it comes to sports history. Who other than Baltimoreans knew that their beloved Orioles started out in St. Louis. I'm sure the baseball connoisseur's of the sports world know this bit of trivia, but I've been mostly in the dark about it.

I do own the movie "A Winner Never Quits" about the one-armed major league baseball player Pete Grey in 1945, but I thought the Browns he played for were a fictional team. Who knew!

St. Louis once had an American League team named the St. Louis Browns. They were one of the original 8 charter franchises of the 1901 startup league, spending its first year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns.

In 1954, after 52 hapless years, the Browns left St. Louis for Baltimore and adopted the Orioles name, a name used by previous Baltimore baseball clubs, in honor of the official state bird of Maryland.

The Orioles name had been used by previous major league baseball clubs in Baltimore, including the American League Baltimore Orioles franchise from 1901–1902 that became the New York Yankees and the National League Baltimore Orioles which won National League titles with legendary Hall-of-Fame manager John McGraw, before McGraw took the black and orange team colors to New York to become the Giants baseball team. That Giants team would become would leave New York for San Francisco after the 1957 season, winning their first World Series for the city by the bay in 2010.

John McGraw Teams
As Player

As Manager

How many San Francisco Giants fans knew that the Orange and Black colors they cloaked themselves in through the 2010 World Series Championship run were stolen from a Baltimore baseball club over 100 years ago? Gee, thanks John McGraw for being such a hard ass manager and superstitious strategist.


Original St. Louis Browns in St. louis 1901-1954
- move to Baltimore and become Orioles 1954

Original Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore 1891-1902 (AA/NL)
- move to New York and become Giants 1902

The story of the early Baltimore Orioles gets very confusing. It includes the New York Highlanders who became the New York Yankees; The Brooklyn Gladiators who were forerunner to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the great bambino himself Babe Ruth.

The story of the 1969 Seattle Pilots is interesting as well. Read about this one season team and it's connection to the Seattle Mariners, Milwaukee Brewers and Bud Selig. A book written by a Pilots player titled "Ball Four" gives the full story of the Pilots one major league season.

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