1951 St. Louis Browns
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record52–102 (.338)
League place8th
Other information
Owner(s)Bill DeWitt, Bill Veeck
General manager(s)Bill DeWitt, Bill Veeck
Manager(s)Zack Taylor
Local televisionKSD
Local radioKWK
(Buddy Blattner, Howard Williams)
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The 1951 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 52 wins, and 102 losses.

Regular season

Bill Veeck

Bill Veeck, the majority owner and manager of St. Louis Browns, signed Satchel Paige July 17, 1951, and announced the 45-year-old would start the following night against the Washington Senators.[1] In his first game back in the major leagues since 1949, Paige pitched six innings of shutout baseball before giving up three runs in the 7th inning. Paige ended the season with a 3–4 record and a 4.79 ERA.

Another of Veeck's promotions included the signing of Eddie Gaedel. Gaedel gained immortality in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday, August 19. Weighing just 65 pounds (29 kg), and 3 feet 7 inches (1.09 m) tall, he became the shortest player in the history of the major leagues. He stood 3 feet 4 inches (1.02 m) shorter than Jon Rauch, whose height of 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) made him the tallest person to play in a major league game. He had been secretly signed by the Browns and put in uniform (complete with elf slippers & the number "⅛" on the back) as a publicity stunt.

Gaedel popped out of a papier-mache cake between games of a doubleheader to celebrate the American League's 50th anniversary, and as a Falstaff Brewery promotion. Falstaff, and the fans, had been promised a "festival of surprises" by Veeck. Before the second game got underway, the press agreed that the "midget-in-a-cake" appearance had not been up to Veeck's usual promotional standard. Falstaff personnel, who had been promised national publicity for their participation, were particularly dissatisfied. Keeping the surprise he had in store for the second game to himself, Veeck just meekly apologized.

Gaedel entered the game between the Browns and Detroit Tigers in the first inning as a pinch hitter for leadoff batter Frank Saucier. Immediately, umpire Ed Hurley called for Browns manager Zack Taylor. Veeck and Taylor had the foresight to have a copy of Gaedel's contract on hand, as well as a copy of the Browns' active roster, which had room for Gaedel's addition.[2] Tigers pitcher Bob Cain walked him.[3] Jim Delsing pinch ran for Gaedel,[3] but did not score.

Ned Garver

In 1951, Ned Garver fashioned an outstanding season. Pitching for the Browns, Garver compiled a 20–12 record,[4] which was noteworthy considering the Browns lost 102 games. Garver also posted a 3.73 ERA. Garver's wins accounted for nearly 40 percent of the Browns' 52 total wins. Garver also led the American League in complete games with 24 in 1951, and when he pitched he often batted sixth in the order rather than the customary ninth, compiling a .305 batting average with one home run.

Garver is the only pitcher in American League history to win 20 or more games for a team which lost 100 or more games in the same season, and the only pitcher in Major League history to do since 1920 or with a winning record.

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Yankees 98 56 0.636 56–22 42–34
Cleveland Indians 93 61 0.604 5 53–24 40–37
Boston Red Sox 87 67 0.565 11 50–25 37–42
Chicago White Sox 81 73 0.526 17 39–38 42–35
Detroit Tigers 73 81 0.474 25 36–41 37–40
Philadelphia Athletics 70 84 0.455 28 38–41 32–43
Washington Senators 62 92 0.403 36 32–44 30–48
St. Louis Browns 52 102 0.338 46 24–53 28–49


Record vs. opponents


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


Notable transactions

Roster

1951 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 Sherm Lollar 98 310 78 .252 8 44
1B Hank Arft 112 345 90 .261 7 42
2B Bobby Young 147 611 159 .260 1 31
SS Bill Jennings 64 195 35 .179 0 13
3B Fred Marsh 130 445 108 .243 4 43
OF Ken Wood 109 333 79 .237 15 44
OF Jim Delsing 131 449 112 .249 8 45
OF Ray Coleman 91 341 96 .282 5 55

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
Matt Batts 79 248 75 .302 5 31
Cliff Mapes 56 201 55 .274 7 30
Johnny Bero 61 160 34 .213 5 17
Tom Upton 52 131 26 .198 0 12
Jack Maguire 41 127 31 .244 1 14
Johnny Berardino 39 119 27 .227 0 13
Dale Long 34 105 25 .238 2 11
Don Lenhardt 31 103 27 .262 5 18
Earl Rapp 26 98 32 .327 2 14
Ben Taylor 33 93 24 .258 3 6
Roy Sievers 31 89 20 .225 1 11
Paul Lehner 21 67 9 .134 1 2
Les Moss 16 47 8 .170 1 7
Bob Nieman 12 43 16 .372 2 8
Joe Lutz 14 36 6 .167 0 2
Kermit Wahl 8 27 9 .333 0 3
Bud Thomas 14 20 7 .350 1 1
Jim Dyck 4 15 1 .067 0 0
Frank Saucier 18 14 1 .071 0 1
Mike Goliat 5 11 2 .182 0 1
Clyde Kluttz 4 4 2 .500 0 1
Billy DeMars 1 4 1 .250 0 0
Eddie Gaedel 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
Ned Garver 33 246.0 20 12 3.73 84
Duane Pillette 35 191.0 6 14 4.99 65
Tommy Byrne 19 122.2 4 10 3.82 57
Jim McDonald 16 84.0 4 7 4.07 28
Stubby Overmire 8 53.1 1 6 3.54 13
Fred Sanford 9 27.1 2 4 10.21 7
Bob Turley 1 7.1 0 1 7.36 5

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
Al Widmar 26 107.2 4 9 6.52 28
Jim Suchecki 29 89.2 0 6 5.42 47
Lou Sleater 20 81.0 1 9 5.11 33
Dick Starr 15 62.0 2 5 7.40 26
Bill Kennedy 19 56.0 1 5 5.79 29
Duke Markell 5 21.1 1 1 6.33 10
Don Johnson 6 15.0 0 1 12.60 8

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
Bob Mahoney 30 2 5 0 4.44 30
Satchel Paige 23 3 4 5 4.79 48
Bobby Hogue 18 1 1 1 5.16 11
Cliff Fannin 7 0 2 0 6.46 11
Irv Medlinger 6 0 0 0 8.38 5
Sid Schacht 6 0 0 1 21.00 4
Bobby Herrera 3 0 0 0 27.00 1

Farm system

See also: Minor League Baseball

Level Team League Manager
AAA Toronto Maple Leafs International League Joe Becker
AA San Antonio Missions Texas League Jo-Jo White
A Dayton Indians Central League Jim Crandall
B Wichita Falls Spudders Big State League Bruce Ogrodowski and Cecil McClung
B Anderson Rebels Tri-State League Len Schulte and Hillis Layne
C Pine Bluff Judges Cotton States League Bob Richards
C Aberdeen Pheasants Northern League Joe King, Jim Post and Bruce Ogrodowski
D Redding Browns Far West League Ray Perry
D Pittsburg Browns Kansas–Oklahoma–Missouri League Bill Enos
D Ada Herefords Sooner State League Stan Gallo
D Appleton Papermakers Wisconsin State League Joe Skurski and Paul Erickson

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Dayton

References

  1. ^ "Paige signs with Browns". New York Times Database. July 18, 1951. ProQuest 112187358.
  2. ^ Ferraro, Michael X.; Veneziano, John (2007). Numbelievable!. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0.
  3. ^ a b Ferraro, Michael X.; Veneziano, John (2007). Numbelievable!. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0.
  4. ^ Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero, p. 105, Tom Clavin and Danny Peary, Touchstone Books, Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4165-8928-0
  5. ^ Kermit Wahl at Baseball-Reference
  6. ^ Satchel Paige at Baseball-Reference
  7. ^ Bob Nieman at Baseball-Reference
  8. ^ Ray Coleman at Baseball-Reference
  9. ^ Eddie Gaedel at Baseball-Reference