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View Full Version : Were the St. Louis Browns ever as bad as today's Pittsburgh Pirates?


Railsplitter
04-24-2008, 07:22 PM
The thread about the Pirates fan getting his jaw broke and the mention of the Buccs having 16 straight losing season got me to thinking: were the St. Louis Browns ever that bad? That team once had a champagne celebration for avoiding a 100 loss season.

eastchicagosoxfan
04-24-2008, 07:47 PM
Without looking anything up, I would say no. The George Sisler Browns were pretty good. When Veeck owned the Browns they were better than they had been. They moved to Baltimore in 1954, I think. The Philadelphia Athletics, after 1915, were terrible, but not for 16 straight years. After the 1933? season, the A's were bad again, but I think they finished in the first division a couple of times the late 1940's or early 1950's. The Boston Braves and the Phillies might give the Pirates a run for poor play over several years.

TDog
04-24-2008, 07:50 PM
The thread about the Pirates fan getting his jaw broke and the mention of the Buccs having 16 straight losing season got me to thinking: were the St. Louis Browns ever that bad? That team once had a champagne celebration for avoiding a 100 loss season.

The Browns were bad.

The Browns were competitive during the World War II years. They went to their only World Series in 1944. It wasn't like they World Series got St. Louis excited about cheering on the Browns because they lost to the Cardinals in six games. The next year, they had an outfielder with only one arm. Taking nothing away from the spirit and determination of Pete Gray, it shows you how depleted the talent pool was at the time.

The Browns had 12 losing seasons in the dozen years preceding the war, losing as many as 111 games in a 154-game season. After the war they had eight straight losing seasons. It's fortunate for the American League that the Browns didn't go bankrupt. As I understand it, they came close.

Bill Veeck sold the team to interests who moved the Browns to Baltimore after another 100-loss season. The Orioles became a truly great team of their era.

eastchicagosoxfan
04-24-2008, 08:01 PM
From 1918 to 1948 the Phillies had one winning season. From 1933 through 1948, they were below .500 every year. Over the 30 year span, they lost 100 games or more 11 times, including 1938 through 1942. I don't know if that's a record for sustained futility. Perhaps all those years of bad baseball contributed to the nasty attitude fans in Philly are accused of having?

Hitmen77
04-24-2008, 09:34 PM
Though probably not as bad as the Browns, the Indians had a stretch between 1959 and 1993 where the closest they ever came to 1st place at the end of a season was 7 games back in strike-shortened 1981. Take away that season and the closest they came in that 35 yr period was 11 games out.

TheVulture
04-24-2008, 10:49 PM
From 1918 to 1948 the Phillies had one winning season. From 1933 through 1948, they were below .500 every year. Over the 30 year span, they lost 100 games or more 11 times, including 1938 through 1942. I don't know if that's a record for sustained futility. Perhaps all those years of bad baseball contributed to the nasty attitude fans in Philly are accused of having?

I think you're on to something.

The A's pretty much stuck up the joint after '34, too. They lost at least 90 games 15 times between '35 and '54 before they left for KC, including 6 100 loss seasons and only 2 winning seasons where they finished 4th and 5th. I never realised they where that bad in Philly.

DSpivack
04-24-2008, 11:49 PM
From 1918 to 1948 the Phillies had one winning season. From 1933 through 1948, they were below .500 every year. Over the 30 year span, they lost 100 games or more 11 times, including 1938 through 1942. I don't know if that's a record for sustained futility. Perhaps all those years of bad baseball contributed to the nasty attitude fans in Philly are accused of having?

The wrong team moved to Kansas City.

Scottiehaswheels
04-25-2008, 12:41 AM
I don't know if that's a record for sustained futility. Perhaps all those years of bad baseball contributed to the nasty attitude fans in Philly are accused of having?When I went out there last year for the 3 game set, I didn't meet a single Phillie fan that wasn't nice to me. Course it could be because the bullpen singlehandedly gave them all 3 games....

dcb56
04-25-2008, 03:53 AM
Washington was lousy as well. In their first 60 seasons before moving to Minnesota, they finished in the first division less than a third of the time, won just one championship, three pennants, and only had four winning season out of the last 25 they were in DC. While not quite as futile as Philly, they were still bad nonetheless.

eastchicagosoxfan
04-25-2008, 04:32 AM
The wrong team moved to Kansas City.

I'm still find it a bit surprising that the A's moved from Philly. While both teams were bad for years, at least the A's could point to two stretches a world championships. In addition, Connie Mack was a legend. I'd have to read up on it, but it would appear to me that Philly "got" the Phillies by default.

Railsplitter
04-25-2008, 06:47 AM
I'm still find it a bit surprising that the A's moved from Philly. While both teams were bad for years, at least the A's could point to two stretches a world championships. In addition, Connie Mack was a legend. I'd have to read up on it, but it would appear to me that Philly "got" the Phillies by default.

Maybe the A's lost the coin toss.

That 1944 Browns pennat winner is aleaged to have won because all the good player were in the service. While partly true, the Brown had a guy who worked in a defense plant during the week and pitched weekends.

Viva Medias B's
04-25-2008, 07:21 AM
Washington was lousy as well. In their first 60 seasons before moving to Minnesota, they finished in the first division less than a third of the time, won just one championship, three pennants, and only had four winning season out of the last 25 they were in DC. While not quite as futile as Philly, they were still bad nonetheless.

"First in war. First in peace. Last in the American League." That was a famous quote about the Washington and the Senators.

As for the Browns, I think it was Gussie Busch persuading the Anheuser-Busch board to purchase the Cardinals that sowed the seeds of the Browns' move to Baltimore. The Redbirds has been owned by Fred Saigh, but Saigh was under financial and legal difficulties. This put the Cardinals franchise on shaky ground and started rumors that the team would move to Milwaukee or Houston. But Busch stepped in and bought the team. With the Budweiser cash flow, Busch was able to pump life into the Cardinals franchise, not to mention using the Cardinals' radio and television networks to promote and sell Budweiser. This would spell trouble for the Browns.

He eventually bought Sportsman's Park, remodeled it, and renamed it Busch Stadium.

Jurr
04-25-2008, 08:21 AM
I'll tell you one thing - on my drive to work I listen to Pittsburgh sports radio, and they don't really talk about the Pirates anymore. It's pretty sad. There will be a couple of jabs at the organization, and then it's on to Penguins or Steelers talk. They'll talk about Pitt basketball before they'll mention the Buccos. Terrible.

jortafan
04-25-2008, 08:26 AM
I'm still find it a bit surprising that the A's moved from Philly. While both teams were bad for years, at least the A's could point to two stretches a world championships. In addition, Connie Mack was a legend. I'd have to read up on it, but it would appear to me that Philly "got" the Phillies by default.

As I understand my history, it was a set of oddball circumstances that led to the Athletics leaving Philly.

Connie Mack died and his sons weren't all that interested in keeping the team, particularly since it had deteriorated so bad and would have required a significant effort to re-build. So when business interests came along willing to buy them out, they were more than willing to sell -- even if it meant the team leaving for Kansas City.

Also, one has to remember that the Phillies actually managed to win a National League pennant in 1950. So for a couple of years there, the Phillies were a clearly superior franchise to the Athletics and short-sighted fans were more than willing to let one go. You are right, though, in that they probably let the wrong team go. To this day, Philadelphia baseball's glory days reside with the team that has been gone for more than half a century.