1944 St. Louis Browns
1944 American League Champions
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record89–65 (.578)
League place1st
Other information
Owner(s)Donald Lee Barnes
General manager(s)Bill DeWitt
Manager(s)Luke Sewell
Local radioWEW/WTMV
(Dizzy Dean, Johnny O'Hara)
< Previous season     Next season >

The 1944 St. Louis Browns season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Browns finishing first in the American League with a record of 89 wins and 65 losses. In the World Series, they lost to the team they shared a stadium with, the Cardinals, four games to two.

Offseason

Regular season

The Browns were one of the unlikeliest pennant-winners in history; in nine out of the previous 10 seasons, they had finished in the second division. However, 1944 marked the peak of wartime conditions in Major League Baseball. The shortage of available players dragged the talent level of both major leagues down, which benefitted the St. Louis AL team.

The 1944 Browns were relatively untouched by the military draft. Nine players on the roster were 34 years old or older. Their all-4F infield included 23-year-old shortstop Vern Stephens, who led the league in RBI (109) and was second in home runs (20).

St. Louis started the season with nine straight wins and continued to hang tough in a four-team race with Detroit, Boston, and New York. It came down to the final week, when the Browns defeated the Yankees five times, winning the pennant by 1 game over Detroit. It would be the only championship the franchise would ever win in St. Louis.

Season chronology

Opening Day lineup

Hal Epps CF
Don Gutteridge 2B
George McQuinn 1B
Vern Stephens SS
Gene Moore RF
Milt Byrnes LF
Mark Christman 3B
Frank Mancuso C
Jack Kramer P

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB Home Road
St. Louis Browns 89 65 0.578 54–23 35–42
Detroit Tigers 88 66 0.571 1 43–34 45–32
New York Yankees 83 71 0.539 6 47–31 36–40
Boston Red Sox 77 77 0.500 12 47–30 30–47
Cleveland Indians 72 82 0.468 17 39–38 33–44
Philadelphia Athletics 72 82 0.468 17 39–37 33–45
Chicago White Sox 71 83 0.461 18 41–36 30–47
Washington Senators 64 90 0.416 25 40–37 24–53


Record vs. opponents


Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
Team BOR CHW CLE DET NYY PHA SLB WSH
Boston 17–5 8–14 10–12–2 11–11 11–11 10–12 10–12
Chicago 5–17 14–8 9–13 10–12 9–13 8–14 16–6
Cleveland 14–8 8–14 10–12 8–14 12–10–1 10–12 10–12
Detroit 12–10–2 13–9 12–10 14–8 11–11 9–13 17–5
New York 11–11 12–10 14–8 8–14 13–9 10–12 15–7
Philadelphia 11–11 13–9 10–12–1 11–11 9–13 9–13 9–13
St. Louis 12–10 14–8 12–10 13–9 12–10 13–9 13–9
Washington 12–10 6–16 12–10 5–17 7–15 13–9 9–13


Roster

1944 St. Louis Browns
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats

Batting

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 Red Hayworth 89 239 60 .223 1 25
1B George McQuinn 146 516 129 .250 11 72
2B Don Gutteridge 148 603 148 .245 3 36
3B Mark Christman 148 547 148 .271 6 83
SS Vern Stephens 145 559 164 .293 20 106
OF Milt Byrnes 128 407 120 .295 4 45
OF Mike Kreevich 105 402 121 .301 5 44
OF Gene Moore 110 390 93 .238 6 58

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
Al Zarilla 100 288 86 .299 6 45
Frank Mancuso 88 244 50 .205 1 24
Floyd Baker 44 97 17 .175 0 5
Chet Laabs 66 201 47 .234 5 33
Mike Chartak 35 72 17 .236 1 7
Hal Epps 22 62 11 .177 0 3
Frank Demaree 16 51 13 .255 0 6
Ellis Clary 25 49 13 .265 0 4
Tom Turner 15 25 8 .320 0 4
Tom Hafey 8 14 5 .357 0 2
Joe Schultz 3 8 2 .250 0 0
Babe Martin 2 4 3 .750 0 0
Len Schulte 1 0 0 ---- 0 0

Pitching

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
Denny Galehouse 24 153.0 9 10 3.12 80
Sig Jakucki 35 198.0 13 9 3.55 67
Jack Kramer 33 257.0 17 13 2.49 124
Bob Muncrief 33 219.1 13 8 3.08 88
Nels Potter 32 232.0 19 7 2.83 91
Steve Sundra 3 19.0 2 0 1.42 1

Other pitchers

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

Player G IP W L SV ERA SO
Al Hollingsworth 26 92.2 5 7 1 4.47 22
Tex Shirley 23 80.1 5 4 0 4.15 35

Relief pitchers

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

Player G IP W L SV ERA SO
George Caster 42 81.0 6 6 12 2.44 46
Sam Zoldak 18 38.2 0 0 0 3.72 15
Lefty West 11 24.1 0 0 0 6.29 11
Willis Hudlin 1 2.0 0 1 0 4.50 1

1944 World Series

Main article: 1944 World Series

NL St. Louis Cardinals (4) vs. AL St. Louis Browns (2)

Game Score Date
1 Browns 2, Cardinals 1 October 4
2 Cardinals 3, Browns 2 (11 innings) October 5
3 Browns 6, Cardinals 2 October 6
4 Cardinals 5, Browns 1 October 7
5 Cardinals 2, Browns 0 October 8
6 Cardinals 3, Browns 1 October 9

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

League leaders

Team leaders

Farm system

See also: Minor League Baseball

Level Team League Manager
AA Toledo Mud Hens American Association Ollie Marquardt
D Newark Moundsmen Ohio State League Clay Bryant

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Newark[13]

References

  1. ^ Sam Zoldak page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Owen Friend page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p. 49, David Alan Heller, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina, 2003, ISBN 0-7385-3199-5
  4. ^ As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p. 65
  5. ^ a b As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p. 70
  6. ^ a b c As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p. 78
  7. ^ As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p. 79
  8. ^ As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p. 83
  9. ^ As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p. 89
  10. ^ As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p. 95
  11. ^ As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p. 96
  12. ^ As Good As It Got, The 1944 St. Louis Browns, p.97
  13. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997