World War II threatened to ruin Major League Baseball. By 1945, over 500 major leaguers and 3,000 minor league prospects had been enlisted for the war effort, leaving a dearth of talent for the Big Leagues. The St. Louis Browns, like other AL and NL clubs, were forced to fill holes in their roster with scrubs---retired major leaguers, 4-F players (those dismissed from the military due to physical ailments), and youngsters not yet ready to leave the minors. But there were still some top level players to be had, and 1944 Browns manager Luke Sewell assembled the franchise's most successful team ever, taking the St. Louis ball club to its first and only Fall Classic. Author David Heller champions the '44 Browns as legitimate pennant winners, worthy of the same respect given to the '43 Yankees and '45 Cubs. Along with a wealth of biographical info on the team's colorful cast of characters, he recounts the entire season---from spring training woes, through one of the most exciting pennant races of any decade, to the all-St. Louis World Series versus the cross-town rival Cardinals. Over 50 vintage photographs highlight the book.
Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.