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The 1922 St. Louis Browns: Best of the American League's Worst Paperback – 30 Apr 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc; Reprint edition (30 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786477458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786477456
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 2 cm

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Product Description


"the year the lowly Browns led the league in most every category, and still finished second"-Baseball America.

About the Author

Roger A. Godin currently serves as team curator for the NHL's Minnesota Wild after having served two tours as director of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. While American hockey is the principal focus of his research, he has written a number of monographs for Society for American Baseball Research publications. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Good Short History of an Interesting Episode in the History of MLB 22 Dec 2007
By Roger D. Launius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Library Binding
The St. Louis Browns were often considered, along with the Washington Senators, the worst team in the American League throughout their more than fifty year history. They only took one pennant, in 1944, and were beaten by their city rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, in a streetcar World Series.

As this short book points out, The Browns did not start out as the laughing stocks of the American League. They were a powerhouse in the 1920s that came close, but never quite took, the brass ring. In 1920 the team finished in the first division for the first time since 1908. The Browns' star first baseman, George Sisler, set the pace by leading the league with a .407 batting average, driving in 122 runs, and setting a single season record of 257 base hits. Ably assisted by outfielder Ken Williams, who hit 24 home runs and drove in 117, and pitcher Urban Shocker, who won 20 games and lost 10, the Browns made a run at the pennant. In 1921 they finished third, with the same cadre of players. This time Shocker won a league-high 27 games. It looked like 1922 would be the year of the Browns, and everyone in St. Louis was poised to take a championship. It is that 1922 season that author Roger Godin is concerned with in this fine book.

As Godin notes, in 1922 the Browns won 93 games, the most ever in the franchise's history, but they finished one game behind the New York Yankees. Even so, it was probably the best team in Browns' history. Sisler had a career year, batting a league high .420, and Ken Williams hit a league leading 39 homers with 155 runs batted in. Shocker, winner of 24 games, anchored the pitching staff. The Browns ran neck and neck with the Yankees all summer, and were in first place as late as July 22. The fans in St. Louis were jubilant, rocking the city's center with impromptu street parties and at least one riot. At a game on Labor Day, fans unable to get tickets to the Browns/Cleveland Indians game in Sportsman's Park, a palace of a playing field by the standards of the day, rushed the gate. Police had to restore order.

The pennant race took a turn for the worse on Saturday, September 16, 1922, when the Yankees arrived in St. Louis for a critical three-game series. At that point the Yankees barely led the league with 86 wins and 55 losses (a .609 percentage) and the Browns stood at 86 wins and 56 losses (a .606 percentage) with only 12 games left to play. The Yankees took two of three and managed to stay just ahead of the Browns the rest of the season, winning the pennant but losing the World Series to the New York Giants.

As Godin relates, the 1922 season represented the high-water mark for the Browns. The next year, absent George Sisler who missed the season with an eye infection that nearly did him in, the Browns slipped to fifth in the league. When Sisler returned in 1924, the team improved its record and vied for the pennant, finishing fourth. It finished third in both 1925 and 1926, slipped to seventh in 1927, and then returned to third in 1928. Thereafter, the Browns began a collapse that lasted until their pennant-winning year of 1944.

This is a fine short history of that 1922 season and the Browns' near miss run at a championship.
A rare and interesting subject. 22 July 2014
By Kevin J Kearney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An interesting book about a long forgotten team. However, you do need a particular interest in baseball history to enjoy this book
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