1951 St. Louis Browns season

1951 St. Louis Browns
Major League affiliations
Record 52–102 (.338)
League place 8th
Other information
Owner(s) Bill DeWitt, Bill Veeck
General manager(s) Bill DeWitt, Bill Veeck
Manager(s) Zack Taylor
Local television KSD
Local radio KWK
(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 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 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
New York Yankees9856.636--
Cleveland Indians9361.6045
Boston Red Sox8767.56511
Chicago White Sox8173.52617
Detroit Tigers7381.47425
Philadelphia Athletics7084.45528
Washington Senators6292.40336
St. Louis Browns52102.33846

Record vs. opponents

1951 American League Records

Boston 11–118–1412–1011–1115–715–715–7
Chicago 11–1112–10–112–108–149–1315–714–8
Cleveland 14–810–12–117–57–1516–616–613–9
Detroit 10–1210–125–1710–1213–912–1013–9
New York 11–1114–815–712–1013–917–516–6
Philadelphia 7–1513–96–169–139–1314–812–10
St. Louis 7–157–156–1610–125–178–149–13
Washington 7–158–149–139–136–1610–1213–9

Notable transactions


1951 St. Louis Browns
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
OFJim Delsing131449112.249845
OFRay Coleman9134196.282555

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
Don Lenhardt3110327.262518
Paul Lehner21679.13412
Kermit Wahl8279.33303
Frank Saucier18141.07101
Eddie Gaedel100----00


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 Garver3324620123.7384
Tommy Byrne19122.24103.8257
Bob Turley17.1017.365

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
Bill Kennedy1956155.7929

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
Satchel Paige233454.7948
Cliff Fannin70206.4611
Bobby Herrera300027.001

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



  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. 1 2 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 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
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