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COLUMN OF THE WEEK
September 13, 1954
As the Baltimore Orioles, the former St. Louis Browns are the same old cellar-dwellers. Sports Editor J. Roy Stockton, who knew them in good times and bad, examines their history and the sad lesson of a ball club bled white.
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September 13, 1954

Column Of The Week

As the Baltimore Orioles, the former St. Louis Browns are the same old cellar-dwellers. Sports Editor J. Roy Stockton, who knew them in good times and bad, examines their history and the sad lesson of a ball club bled white.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch

We haven't heard anything lately about the small crowds and unfriendly fans in St. Louis having been responsible for the poor showing of the 1953 Browns on the playing field. Perhaps they're learning in Baltimore that a poor ball club is just that, whether it plays in Missouri or Maryland.

They still have a lot to learn in Baltimore, however, such as the fact that firing a manager and/or a business manager isn't an open sesame to the first division.

HONESTY'S REWARD

Let's review the front-office operation of the Orioles since the transfer from St. Louis to Baltimore. In the purchase of the Browns, Baltimore acquired a field manager, one Marty Marion, who knew all about the ball club's playing personnel, and a general manager in Bill DeWitt, one of the shrewdest men baseball has known in decades.

So what did the front office, headed by Clarence W. Miles, do? It fired Marion because he was honest enough to say the ball club was a bad one and could expect to finish no higher than seventh. And instead of persuading DeWitt, who also was under contract, to contribute his talents to the rebuilding job, the front office hired Arthur Ehlers away from the Athletics.

It took a long time to get the Browns, now the Orioles, into the plight they're in and it's going to take a long time to make them a ball club worthy of the name again. Miles says "at least $250,000 will be available next year for the purchase of playing talent."

It's going to take much more than that, Mr. Miles.

The Browns' troubles and their downward trend started years ago when Dick Muckerman made extensive improvements in the Grand-Dodier baseball plant, then Sportsman's Park, and invested a large chunk of dough in a new ball park at San Antonio.

Muckerman's ball club found itself in a bad financial situation. Something had to be done. Bill DeWitt started selling. The club's talent pool was used to bail out the ball club.

Then the DeWitts, Bill and Charley, bought the club from Muckerman. They may have had a burning desire at the time to make the investment a permanent thing. If they had the burning desire or the hope, they were soon disillusioned.

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