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1946 St. Louis Browns season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1946 St. Louis Browns
Major League affiliations
Record66–88 (.429)
League place7th
Other information
Owner(s)Richard Muckerman
General manager(s)Bill DeWitt
Manager(s)Luke Sewell, Zack Taylor
Local radioWIL
(Dizzy Dean, Johnny O'Hara)
(Harry Caray, Gabby Street)
< Previous season     Next season >

The 1946 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 66 wins and 88 losses.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Branch Rickey: A matter of fairness


Evan Caminker: Hi, I'm Evan Caminker, the Dean of the Law School. As part of the school�s celebration of its 150th anniversary, it�s my great pleasure to introduce this short film about a great Michigan Law alumnus. Branch Rickey graduated from this law school in 1911 and went onto become the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He is best known for helping to break baseball�s color line by bringing Jackie Robinson into the all-white Major Leagues. Branch Rickey exemplifies what Michigan law is all about. We care about public values and we care about making the world a better place. As part of this celebration, we recently established a professorship in Branch Rickey�s name, partly through the generosity of two U of M alumni who own baseball teams, Fred Wilpon of the New York Mets, and Sam Zell of the Chicago Cubs. Thank you and I hope you enjoy this film. Male: So much of his life was a little like Mark Twain. You know wherever you go in America, you discover Mark Twain was there and wherever you go in baseball, you discover that Branch Rickey was there. Male: He had enormous self-confidence. He believed in himself and he believed in America and sort of the ideals of America. Branch Rickey III: There were still many, many, many people in the United States who had very strong racial feelings, who did not applaud in any way, my grandfather�s involvement bringing Jackie Robinson to the Major Leagues. Male: It was a society and he won against them. Once you put a black man on the field, forget it, it�s a new world. That's what baseball meant to this country. Male: I don�t think anybody really recognized that he would be the forerunner of the whole civil rights movement. David Maraniss: In so many ways he was an arch conservative and the last person that you might expect would be this champion of such an important moment in the 20th century advancement of blacks. Judy Wilpon: He was very dynamic. He wasn�t a big tall man, but he was just an overpowering presence that he brilliant beyond words. I mean he could come up with concepts that were just so far ahead of his time. Male: Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson transcend baseball. What they did together is one of the important moments in 20th century�s social history. Male: Wesley Branch Rickey was born in 1881 near Lucasville, Ohio. He grew up inside a progressive political culture, deeply influenced by the new Republican Party, the abolitionist and the anti-slavery movement. Rickey�s parents were staunch Methodists and farmers. Branch Rickey III: Hillside farming, that's what it was, modest, very, very, very humble background and origin for my grandfather to grow up in. Murray Polner: They were very religious. They believe very much in their God, their branch of Christianity, tolerant, open-minded, broad and welcoming, but rigid in many ways, the kind of rigidity that Rickey brought to his later life, such as never play baseball on Sundays. Male: With the Civil War ended 16 years earlier, the towns and villages of Central and Northern Ohio were filled with war veterans. The carnage had shocked the conscience of the nation and small colleges with pacifist sympathies began to dot Ohio, among them, Oberlin and Ohio Wesleyan University. These institutions had welcomed black students since they were founded. Daniel Okrent: If you look at the nature of Methodists in the late 19th century, early 20th century, they're very much reformers in terms of social movements. They were abolitionists. They had been abolitionists, earlier they were the heart of the temperance movement of the anti-liquor movement. Male: As a boy, Branch Rickey�s day on the family farm began before dawn. He put on his hand-me-downs, did his chores and went to school in a one-room school house. Afterward, Rickey played catcher on his brother Orla�s sand-lot baseball team. With high school diploma in hand, Rickey applied for a teaching certificate and taught school. When he finished, he attended Ohio Wesleyan University and joined the baseball team. To pay his way, Rickey also played semi-pro baseball in Portland, Ohio. But when Ohio Wesleyan�s president found out, he revoked Rickey�s amateur status and barred him from playing. He made Rickey the team coach instead. Murray Polner: But he was also knocking off the courses, taking 21 credits, passing flying colors. He was a brilliant student, no question about it. Male: In April of 1901, Rickey embarked on a journey that would change his life. He took his team to South Bend, Indiana to play Notre Dame. Rickey�s team included a star player and catcher. Charles Thomas was a bright young African-American student, excited about the upcoming big game when he, his coach, and his team got to the front desk of the Oliver Hotel. Branch Rickey III: And the clerk behind the counter saw Charles Thomas and said, �He can't stay here.� He sent all the other players to their rooms and he arranged with the clerk that Charles Thomas could go up to his room, my grandfather�s room and wait for him. Branch Rickey: And during that period I can remember him sitting on the edge of the bed pulling his fingers with his great big tears running down in his cheeks, a great effort to control his emotions and he was good at that, properly so. [CHECK ON THIS--around 6:45]and he would say -- that was the only difference that he was a fine student, a fine scholarly fellow. Branch Rickey III: He said that from that point, he had determined if he was ever in a position to do something about that injustice, he would do it. John Bacon: And Rickey told that story the rest of his life, in Sunday sermons, on TV and that clearly was a life changing moment, ended up being a nation changing moment. Murray Polner: He grew out of this whole experience and while he was extremely politically conservative later in his life, he was also extremely socially liberal as we know in racial questions. Male: Rickey�s love of baseball would soon become a tug-of-war with his other love, Jane Moulton. She did not see much future or respectability in the sport. Branch Rickey III: His in-laws were successful and educated and no one in my grandfather�s family had gone to college. He married up from duck run to a daughter of a merchant in Lucasville. He married up, over his head. Male: The honeymoon was a road trip with the St. Louis Browns, to Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia. Along the way, the young bride began to see and understand her husband�s attraction to baseball. In a letter she wrote, �I saw in his eyes all the eagerness and his basic knowledge that his keen mind had stored away.� Murray Polner: She saw him in the context and we loved it how he put the passion, the speed, the dedication, the skill that was required. It was still a very bucolic sport and it was something that she could understand. She became the rock of his life, critic sometimes, but the rock of his life. Male: He always wanted to go to Law School. He had studied law at Ohio Wesleyan, he did a little bit at Ohio State. Richard Friedman: I have thought of the kind of application essay that Branch Rickey might have written and he might have said, �I have a combination of credentials that makes me unique not only among those who are applying to your law school this year but who�ve ever applied.� Male: By the time Rickey arrived at the University of Michigan Law School in the Fall of 1909, he had played professional baseball for four years, earned a teaching certificate, then two college degrees, and was already married. Male: To some extent he was a man among boys. Male: There are there older students but he was a good deal older, obviously much more mature than most of his classmates. Yes, that's right, an extraordinary life already for a 28-year-old. Male: Michigan�s Law School was one of the most progressive in the country. Rickey�s classmates included several women and blacks to whom the school had already been open for nearly four decades. Among them was Moses Fleetwood Walker, the son of a black Ohio doctor. He had attended Oberlin and then Michigan Law in the 1880s and played baseball for the university. Walker joined the minor league Toledo Blue Stockings, becoming the first known African-American to play professional ball. Eugene Robinson: You know Michigan was early to integrate in some important ways and it�s hard to imagine that some of that didn�t rub off on Branch Rickey. Male: He did very well. He had to negotiate the situation because he already had taken law classes and actually taught some law because when his teacher in Ohio Wesleyan died, Rickey took over the classes. Male: But baseball was never far from Branch Rickey. When an opening came up to coach the team, Rickey began a letter-writing campaign and got the job. Male: Well, he coached for four years all together. He coached the two years while he was a student and then he was invited back actually before he graduated to coach the 1912 and 1913 Seasons. The way he had their best Season in his last season in 1913, he had a very special player that season: George Sisler. Male: Sisler would become a star at Michigan and graduated with an engineering degree. In the years ahead, he played for the St. Louis Browns where he batted .400 and set a Major League record. It stood for 84 years. By 1913, baseball�s popularity in America was soaring. Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson were two of the most famous names not only in baseball, but in the entire country. For Sisler and Rickey, the lure of the professional ranks was too strong and their days at Michigan were drawing to a close. In the summer of 1913, Rickey left the university for a job as general manager of the St. Louis Browns. George Sisler would soon join him and Browns owner Robert Lee Hedges was innovative and he said, �Looking for someone brainy to take the Browns in a new direction.� Rickey wasted no time. He brought new equipment, discipline and training techniques to professional baseball. That winter, Rickey moved the Browns to St. Petersburg, Florida. For the first time a baseball team underwent winter training. �I shall have three batting cages, three handball courts, one sliding pit, and a place for running dashes," he wrote to Hedges. "Hitting alone will not win ball games. I want speed on my team and every man on the squad will know how to slide." Other teams took notice and began copying what Rickey was doing with the Browns. Jimmy Breslin: Baseball at that time was a game played by hillbillies with good eyesight and the owners with the sun�s up, somebody who had money, like Crosley for the Crosley radios. Rickey came in just knowing this -- I don�t know, that�s all it was still. Male: Rickey eventually would leave the Browns for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Gas House Gang earned their name because they often looked unwashed and scruffy when they took the field, then they would beat the pants off the opposing team. Rickey led his Gas House Gang to six national pennants and he continued to innovate. Male: Branch Rickey essentially did invent the Minor League system. John Bacon: Rickey was also way ahead of his time, certainly in the Minor Leagues as a scatter shot system for no system at all, so a few bucks here and there. Barnstorming teams, hundreds of thousands of them around the country. Branch Rickey III: The impact of that law school without question caused him to stand apart in his baseball career. There were no other lawyers in the sport of baseball. His entire way of approaching problem solving, I think changed complexion because of his training at law school. Male: Well Boston was a great place for me. It was the big leagues first of all and every announcer Minor League wants to be a big leaguer. Ernie Harwell: I came out of the Marines in 1946 and began to do playback play for my hometown team, the Atlanta Crackers, and in 1948 I went to Brooklyn to replace Red Barber who was felled by an ulcer on a trip to Pittsburgh. Fred Wilpon: And I lived in a neighborhood that had lots of second generation kids from immigrant families and education was the key. But sports were very, very important. The one identifying factor, Brooklyn, being different than other places in the country or even in New York was they had �Dem Bums,� the Brooklyn Dodgers. They didn�t win much for many, many years. They went on not winning. Male: I was a baseball player, an amateur baseball player in Brooklyn. I used to see Mr. Rickey quite frequently. He didn�t really know me as distinguished from many other players but he did know me and even scouted my best pal at the time whose name is Sandy Koufax and he did pretty well at the Major League level. Male: In 1945, Rickey began telling a small circle in confidence that he intended to bring a black player to the Dodgers. He did not know who or when, but he was determined to do it. For nearly four decades he had carried inside of himself the anger of Charles Thomas� humiliation at the Oliver Hotel in South Bend. Now he was going to do something about it. Rickey settled on a former UCLA star and World War II veteran, an Air Force officer now playing in the Negro Leagues. His name, Jack Roosevelt Robinson. In the Air Force, Robinson had demonstrated a certain reluctance to be humiliated. For example he was court martialed for refusing to move to the back of a military bus. Ernie Harwell: He was an angry guy really in a lot of ways and very outspoken and very opinionated, but he was able to fall back because of the advice of Mr. Rickey had given and before they signed and I think he held it very well. Male: He picked Robinson because of his character and his nature and he knew what Robinson would have to go through and he needed the right guy for that. Branch Rickey: He was everything that I had hoped he would be at that moment. The big surprise with that whole occasion was Robinson. I couldn�t convince him that I was giving him this interview and considering him for a job on our team, the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie Robinson: When I walked in the door, I had no idea why I was being brought into the office and then they have him sit and tell me exactly why and then they go through all of the kinds of things that he envisioned. The prospects of violence and everything and how I have to control myself and it was a meeting that I shall never forget and a meeting that started me thinking that this is perhaps one of the truly great Americans of our time. Branch Rickey: I had to give him an actual picture, my voice, my gesture, but my -- every means I had to have him realize what he was in front and what he was about to agree to. He had to know that he would be called these names and his mother would be attacked and his ancestry as I put it. Well I asked him what he would do. �I kill it.� It was a very resentment that I wanted and yet he had to realize that he must be able to handle himself under those dire convictions. Male: Rickey and George Sisler were reunited in Brooklyn. As a Dodger scout. Sisler recruited Don Lund, a star at the University of Michigan who had lettered in multiple sports. He�d also been a first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears. Don Lund: So he show me to play and the next day we sat down and he said, �Would you meet the Michigan Central Depot? I�d like to take you to New York.� Male: Lund was sent on a long two-year route with various farm teams, among them the Montreal Royals. One of his new teammates was Jackie Robinson. In April of 1947, Lund was called to the Dodgers. Don Lund: And they brought both my contract, Jackie Robinson�s contract and then we joined the Dodgers to open up the season. Male: The contract was signed and Robinson�s arrival at the Dodgers made history, but the decision was not popular everywhere. Robinson endured racial slurs, taunts and even objects thrown at him on the field. Opposing teams were as bad as the fans, but the young players' deal with Rickey was that for three years, Robinson would ignore them and play the best baseball he could. Male: There were some on the Dodgers that were raised in the South and thought differently and was just a little different but they came around and other people were curious and would show up. He�d go to places and everything would be sold out. In Cincinnati, and it wasn't big ballpark, Crosley Field, they�d rope it off in the outfield for people to get in, enough people and so they packed them in and so it was very, very big. Steve Wulf: The great thing about Rickey was that he was doing the right thing but he was also doing the most intelligent thing possible. I mean this was -- you know his great quote is, �Luck is the residue of design.� This was the essence of design to pick Jackie Robinson as the standard bearer. Male: If Rickey had died at age 65 say, if he had never met Jackie Robinson, he would still be regarded I believe as one of the great baseball executives ever because he fundamentally transformed a professional side of the game. Branch Rickey III: When it came time to take down the plaques after he had passed away, it was noticeable. That office did not contain a single plaque that was recognition of having had a role in breaking the color barrier in the Major League Baseball. None whatsoever in the aspect of righting a wrong in race relations and you accept credit for it. He wouldn�t accept credit for it. It made a profound impact on me. Male: Robinson, while he�s scuffling his feet in the batting box to rearrange the dirt, was rearranging the United States of America while he was doing it. Male: He was a guy that did it, but he couldn�t have done it without Branch Rickey. He had the guts and the courage to face the establishment in those days. His fellow owners were all against him going to Jackie Robinson and letting him play and he fought them and he finally won.

Regular season

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB Home Road
Boston Red Sox 104 50 0.675 61–16 43–34
Detroit Tigers 92 62 0.597 12 48–30 44–32
New York Yankees 87 67 0.565 17 47–30 40–37
Washington Senators 76 78 0.494 28 38–38 38–40
Chicago White Sox 74 80 0.481 30 40–38 34–42
Cleveland Indians 68 86 0.442 36 36–41 32–45
St. Louis Browns 66 88 0.429 38 35–41 31–47
Philadelphia Athletics 49 105 0.318 55 31–46 18–59

Record vs. opponents

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
Boston 13–9 15–7 15–7–1 14–8 17–5 14–8–1 16–6
Chicago 9–13 13–9–1 10–12 8–14 12–10 12–10 10–12
Cleveland 7–15 9–13–1 5–17 10–12 15–7 15–7–1 7–15
Detroit 7–15–1 12–10 17–5 13–9 17–5 14–8 12–10
New York 8–14 14–8 12–10 9–13 16–6 14–8 14–8
Philadelphia 5–17 10–12 7–15 5–17 6–16 10–12 6–16–1
St. Louis 8–14–1 10–12 7–15–1 8–14 8–14 12–10 13–9
Washington 6–16 12–10 15–7 10–12 8–14 16–6–1 9–13

Notable transactions


1946 St. Louis Browns
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Frank Mancuso 87 262 63 .240 3 23
1B Chuck Stevens 122 432 107 .248 3 27
2B Johnny Berardino 144 582 154 .265 5 68
SS Vern Stephens 115 450 138 .307 14 64
3B Mark Christman 128 458 118 .258 1 41
OF Al Zarilla 125 371 96 .259 4 43
OF Wally Judnich 142 511 134 .262 15 72
OF Jeff Heath 86 316 87 .275 12 57

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Chet Laabs 80 264 69 .261 16 52
Bob Dillinger 83 225 63 .280 0 11
Johnny Lucadello 87 210 52 .248 1 15
Hank Helf 71 182 35 .192 6 21
Glenn McQuillen 59 166 40 .241 1 12
Joe Grace 48 161 37 .230 1 13
Babe Dahlgren 28 80 14 .175 0 9
Jerry Witte 18 73 14 .192 2 4
Joe Schultz 42 57 22 .386 0 14
Paul Lehner 16 45 10 .222 0 5
Les Moss 12 35 13 .371 0 5
Lou Finney 16 30 9 .300 0 3
Ken Sears 7 15 5 .333 0 1
George Bradley 4 12 2 .167 0 3
George Archie 4 11 2 .182 0 0
Babe Martin 3 9 2 .222 0 1
Len Schulte 4 5 2 .400 0 2


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Jack Kramer 31 194.2 13 11 3.19 69
Denny Galehouse 30 180.0 8 12 3.65 90
Nels Potter 23 145.0 8 9 3.72 72
Tex Shirley 27 139.2 6 12 4.96 45
Fred Sanford 3 22.0 2 1 2.05 8

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Sam Zoldak 35 170.1 9 11 3.43 51
Bob Muncrief 29 115.1 3 12 4.99 49
Stan Ferens 34 88.0 2 9 4.50 28
Ellis Kinder 33 86.2 3 3 3.32 59
Cliff Fannin 27 86.2 5 2 3.01 52
Ox Miller 11 35.1 1 3 6.88 12
Chet Johnson 5 18.0 0 0 5.00 8
Al Milnar 4 14.2 1 1 2.45 1

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Tom Ferrick 25 4 1 5 2.78 13
Frank Biscan 16 1 1 1 5.16 9
Al LaMacchia 8 0 0 0 6.00 3
Al Hollingsworth 5 0 0 0 6.55 3
Steve Sundra 2 0 0 0 11.25 1
Ray Shore 1 0 0 0 18.00 1

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Toledo Mud Hens American Association Don Gutteridge and George Detore
AA San Antonio Missions Texas League Jimmy Adair
A Elmira Pioneers Eastern League Ralph Winegarner
B Springfield Browns Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League Tony Robello
B Spartanburg Spartans Tri-State League Frank Kappelman
C Gloversville-Johnstown Glovers Canadian–American League Bennie Huffman
C Paris Red Peppers East Texas League Homer Peel
C Aberdeen Pheasants Northern League Gus Albright
D Pittsburg Browns Kansas–Oklahoma–Missouri League Jim Crandall
D Mayfield Clothiers KITTY League Ed O'Connell
D Newark Moundsmen Ohio State League Bob Boken


External links

This page was last edited on 7 April 2022, at 16:18
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