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1951 St. Louis Browns season

1951 St. Louis Browns
Major League affiliations
Location
  • Sportsman's Park (since 1902)
  • St. Louis, Missouri (since 1902)
  • Results
    Record 52–102 (.338)
    League place 8th
    Other information
    Owner(s) Bill Veeck
    Manager(s) Zack Taylor
    Local television KSD
    Local radio KWK
    (Buddy Blattner, Howard Williams)
    [[1950 St. Louis Browns season#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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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 manager of St. Louis Browns had Leroy Satchel Paige sign with the Browns July 17, 1951. The owner Veeck immediately announced to everyone that the negro pitcher will begin the following night during the game against the Senators.[1] In his first game back in the major leagues, on July 18, 1951, against the Washington Senators, Paige pitched six innings of shutout baseball, but was roughed up in the seventh, giving up three runs. He 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 (29.5 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 6'11" (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
    New York Yankees 98 56 .636 --
    Cleveland Indians 93 61 .604 5
    Boston Red Sox 87 67 .565 11
    Chicago White Sox 81 73 .526 17
    Detroit Tigers 73 81 .474 25
    Philadelphia Athletics 70 84 .455 28
    Washington Senators 62 92 .403 36
    St. Louis Browns 52 102 .338 46

    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
    OF Delsing, JimJim Delsing 131 449 112 .249 8 45
    OF Coleman, RayRay 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
    Lenhardt, DonDon Lenhardt 31 103 27 .262 5 18
    Lehner, PaulPaul Lehner 21 67 9 .134 1 2
    Wahl, KermitKermit Wahl 8 27 9 .333 0 3
    Saucier, FrankFrank Saucier 18 14 1 .071 0 1
    Gaedel, EddieEddie 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
    Garver, NedNed Garver 33 246 20 12 3.73 84
    Byrne, TommyTommy Byrne 19 122.2 4 10 3.82 57
    Turley, BobBob 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
    Kennedy, BillBill Kennedy 19 56 1 5 5.79 29

    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
    Paige, SatchelSatchel Paige 23 3 4 5 4.79 48
    Fannin, CliffCliff Fannin 7 0 2 0 6.46 11
    Herrera, BobbyBobby Herrera 3 0 0 0 27.00 1

    Farm system

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    Level Team League Manager

    LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Dayton

    References

    1. ^ "Paige signs with browns". New York Times Database. July 18, 1951. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
    2. ^ Numbelivable!, p. 92, Michael X. Ferraro and John Veneziano, Triumph Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2007, ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0
    3. ^ a b Numbelivable!, p. 93, Michael X. Ferraro and John Veneziano, Triumph Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2007, 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 page at Baseball Reference
    6. ^ Satchel Paige page at Baseball Reference
    7. ^ Bob Nieman page at Baseball Reference
    8. ^ Ray Coleman page at Baseball Reference
    9. ^ Eddie Gaedel page at Baseball Reference

    External links