The Post-Journal

Outspoken Lou Brown is Natural for Semi-Pro Commissioner Post

Louis R. "Lou" Brown, 14 Barker Street, this city, whose appointment as New York State semi-pro baseball commissioner for 1949 has been announced by Ray Dumont, president of the National Baseball Congress, with headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, has a solid background to qualify him for the post.

The forthright and outspoken Brown received his high school education at South Dayton High School where he caught for the baseball team, played two years in the line and two years in the backfield in football, and was a guard on the basketball team during the coaching regime of Harold Goodrich, now the principal at Brocton Central.

He studied as a post-graduate at Gowanda High School where he ran the 440-yard event in track.

In the fall of 1930 he matriculated at the University of Michigan and became a member of the freshman football squad, playing in the line. The following spring, he was recruited to help in rounding the varsity pitchers into condition, although a freshman, Coach Ray Fischer being short of grabbing talent. Lou had the rare opportunity, therefore, of obtaining fine coaching as a member of both the Varsity and Frosh squads.

Brown was back in football gear in the autumn of '31 and he also reported for spring football practice. He suffered a broken kneecap during the spring drills, however, an injury that terminated his career as a college athlete.

Lou caught for the Forestville town baseball team in 1929, '30 and '31, at the time that fastball pitcher Chan Wolfe, later a minor league ace, was the club's No. 1 hurler. He switched to first base in 1932 owing to his injured knee, playing with the South Dayton nine. He also performed with the Gowanda football independents that fall.

In 1933 and 1934, Brown caught for Gerry, a team that nosed out Brocton for the Chautauqua County title in '33 and he was with the Falconer club in '35 and '36, when he also played with the Ariel A.C. in the city league. He was back with South Dayton in 1937, the team winning the Buffalo Suburban League title.

That was the year, Lou, as a member of the Ariels, represented this part of the state in the state's semi-pro tournament at Niagara Falls, the promotional enterprise of Art Schwartz and Harry Bisgeier, the latter of whom was later to own the Jamestown PONY League Falcons. He was with the Ariels one more season before signing with the Hope's Windows nine, which all but dominated city league play for some six years, the string being broken through for a couple of campaigns by the Vikings. In 1941, he piloted Ashville to the Big 6 League crown.

It was in 1944 that Brown first met Dumont, president of the National Baseball Congress. The Hope's Windows team made the trip to Wichita after winning the New York State semi-pro honors, bearing the standard of the Jamestown Booster Club.

The Steel Partitions nine came into being in 1945, sponsored by Rueben Johnson, and the Bombers have dominated semi-pro circles hereabouts ever since. They have won the state title three times in '44, '47 and '48, and they were runner-up in '45 and '46.

In the officiating field, Brown made his debut in working scholastic basketball and football games in 1936 and has not missed a season since, branching out to accept college game assignments. He is also at home as a baseball arbiter.

Brown, sales representative for the Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania district for Kasco Mills, Inc., with headquarters Toledo, Ohio, is married and the father of three sons.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.