Last Call? - The St. Louis Browns Reunion

The 2006 St. Louis Browns Reunion Dinner, will be held this year on Thursday, June 8, 2006 at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis. If you are a baseball fan, you won't want to miss this historic event.

From 1902 to 1953 the City of St. Louis was the home of the St. Louis Browns.  The old expression about the St. Louis Browns was, "First in shoes, first in booze, and last in the American League." In their 52-year history, the Browns finished in the cellar 14 times, and seventh 12 times. They made only a dozen appearances in the first division. Once, in 1944, they treated their fans to a pennant and faced their cross time rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals in what was dubbed as the Trolley Series.

After leading the Cardinals two games to one, the Browns lost the final three contests, and the World Championship. Due primarily to WWII, the 1940s have been described as a time when "even the Browns" won a pennant, demeaning their only legitimate success.

The owners that followed the 1944 pennant, Richard Muckerman (1945-49), and Bill and Charlie DeWitt, were caught in a spiral of rising inflation and sagging expectation. The Browns had to sell off players to pay their bills; when attendance dropped as a result, they were forced to sell more talent.

In 1951 Bill Veeck bought the non-contending Browns with the expressed purpose of driving the Cardinals out of town. Cardinals owner Fred Saight had income tax troubles that resulted in a prison term, but August Busch restored order by purchasing the team. To draw fans, Veeck gave them "fun 'n' games," including midget Eddie Gaedel. The stunts so angered the other owners that Veeck was forced to sell the club to Baltimore interests in 1953, putting an end to the St. Louis Browns.
Coming up on June the 8th, is the St. Louis Browns Reunion Dinner.  It's been fifty-three years plus since the Browns last season in St. Louis and today there are only 65 St. Louis Browns players still living and this could be the last Browns reunion.

It's never a sure a thing, but some of the great Cardinal icons often show up as attendees at this event and they are very accessible to fans when they do. We're talking about Stan Musial, Marty Marion, and Red Schoendienst here.

"A Season to Remember: 60 Years Later" was the theme of the last St. Louis Browns Reunion dinner that was held in St. Louis in 2004.  In celebration of the Browns 1944 American League Pennant, over 200 fans turned out for the event.  Legendary former Cardinal greats, Stan Musial, Marty Marion and Bing Devine were present as well as former Browns, Jimmy Delsing, Bill Jennings, Dick Kryhoski, Ed Mickelson, Don Lendhardt, Bud Thomas, J.W. Porter, Charlie Hopkins, Roy Sievers (the 1949 AL Rookie of the Year) and Ned Garver (author & 20 game winner on a team that lost 106 games).

The Browns Reunion dinner this year will be held in the 4th Floor Crystal Room of the Missouri Athletic Club, 405 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri.

Cost of the dinner will be $65, the same as in 2004. Dinner reservations accompanied by a check should be sent to:

Frank Kane, BFC Treasurer
443 Fieldcrest Drive
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Parking for the dinner is available in the club's garage located directly behind the club on Lucas Avenie. The garage can be reached by proceeding north on 4th Street to the rear of the club building.

Former players requiring room reservations should contact:

Erv Fischer
1921 Riverwoods Trail Drive
Florissant, MO 63031
or call 314-831-4843

Out-of-town fans wishing reservations at the (Missouri Athletic) club may contact the club directly at 314-231-7220 and ask for Linda Soncasi. Room rates are $90 for a single and $95 for a double. In making reservations identify yourself as attending the St. Louis Browns Fan Club meeting. The club will accept most major credit cards in payment. A continental breakfast is included in the room rate. Don't miss this one - make your reservations now!

If you are a baseball fan, you will want to attend this event and spend an evening talking baseball.  Personally, I attended the 2004 Reunion Dinner and I'll be arriving early for this one and staying late, I hope to see you there.


Bill McCurdy, Erv Fischer, the Baseball Library and the Baseball Almanac contributed to this report.

For more information about the St. Louis Browns, check out the Browns Fan Club website at

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