1951 St. Louis Browns season: Wikis


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1951 St. Louis Browns
Major league affiliations
1951 Information
Owner(s) Bill Veeck
Manager(s) Zack Taylor
Local television KSD
Local radio KWK
(Buddy Blattner, Howard Williams)

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

When Bill Veeck bought an eighty percent interest in the Browns, the first thing he did was sign Satchel Paige. 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, 1951. 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 was secretly signed by the St. Louis Browns and put in uniform (complete with elf slippers & the number "⅛" on the back) as a publicity stunt by maverick Browns owner and showman Bill Veeck.

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.

Eddie Gaedel entered the game between the Browns and Detroit Tigers 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.


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


1951 St. Louis Browns roster
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats


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 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


Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Byrne, TommyTommy Byrne 19 122.2 4 10 3.82 57
Turley, BobBob Turley 1 7.1 0 1 7.36 5

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Kennedy, BillBill Kennedy 19 56 1 5 5.79 29

Relief pitchers

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

Farm system

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





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