History of St. Louis Browns on display at the Field House Museum

A new exhibit at the Field House Museum is celebrating the St. Louis Browns.
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 4:40 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – A new exhibit at the Field House Museum is celebrating the St. Louis Browns.

“This is the first time their family member, a parent, grandparent, uncle is really being honored and that’s what’s really special,” said Ed Wheatley, president of the St. Louis Browns Historical Society.

The Browns played in St. Louis for 52 years in the American League starting in 1902. There was little winning early on for an organization that featured some of the game’s best, like George Sisler, Satchel Paige and Ned Garver.

The high point for the team was in 1944, the year of the Streetcar Series. It was the year that the Browns and Cardinals would make it a St. Louis World Series.

“The Browns finally win a pennant. Do they get the glory and spotlight of the city to themselves? No! They have to share it with the Cardinals who already won the pennant in ‘42 and ‘43 and now have to play the Browns. So nothing ever goes the Brown’s way,” Wheatley said.

Sometimes, the owner’s theatrics got more attention than the players.

“The Veeck years, ‘52, ‘53, if you were born in St. Louis, you would get a letter from Bill Veeck, a poem he had written, he signs it personally, and includes two passes to bring your parents to a game the players.”

Veeck was also behind sending Eddie Gaedel, who was 3-foot-7, to the plate to pinch hit on Aug. 19, 1951.

For Wheatley and the St. Louis Browns Historical Society, the exhibit preserves two things: A baseball fan’s memories and a team’s legacy.

“The Baltimore Orioles have nothing to do with the browns. They said their legacy, they died in St. Louis and the legacy did not fly east. You don’t see the 1944 pennant flying there, no statue for George Sisler. That’s our job, we are keeping it.”

The exhibit includes uniforms, baseball cards and game-used bats. Some of the pieces have ties to the St. Louis Cardinals, such as a photo of a young Bill DeWitt with Babe Ruth. The exhibit will open at 5 p.m. on March 31.

Click here to learn more about the Field House Museum.