October 25, 1944
Pitcher Walt Brown Sold To St. Louis Americans
Bemus Point Righthander Will Report in Spring
Walt Brown, who started his baseball career as a right handed pitching phenom as a member of the Bemus Point High School team and who, since that time, has traveled the highways and byways of the diamond realm, has been sold to the St. Louis Browns. He will report to the American League champions next spring.
Brown finished the 1944 season, his ninth in organized baseball, with the Toledo Mudhens of the American Association, being sold to the Toledo club July 12 by the Memphis Chicksaws of the Southern Association, who owned his contract for three years.
The sturdy righthander has little time these days to discuss baseball. Since his return home after the American Association playoffs (the Mudhens played the St. Paul Saints in the semi-finals) Walt has been either fishing or hunting every day for the last three weeks.
"I'll soon be on a job at one of the plants in Jamestown and settle down for the winter, so I want to get in my hunting now," he told a Post-Journal sports writer.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown and two children make their home in Bemus Point.
Brown is elated to think he has a chance to make the big time grade with the Browns. "It's the realization of a lifelong hope," he said. "It is ample repayment for the long nine-year grind when I had more ups and downs than a roller coaster and was almost as active as one of the coaster cars on a summer vacation."
News of his purchase by the St. Louis club was not exactly a surprise to Brown. "When I was ready leave Toledo, I dropped into the office to say good-bye and one of the club officials said, 'I don't know whether we'll be seeing you next spring or not.' Naturally I wanted to know why. 'The Browns are considering buying your contract,' I was told."
During his stay with the Mudhens, Walt pitched a no-hit, no-run game against the Milwaukee Brewers and wound up the season with a record of nine won and six lost. He won one playoff game from St. Paul and appeared in another game in a relief role.
Brown first hit the sports page headlines in this area back in the early '30s when he pitched three no-hit, no-run games for Bemus Point High. After playing Class AA Muny League ball here for a couple of seasons, he was signed by the National League St. Louis Cardinals late in the winter of 1935 and was shipped to Asheville, NC for spring training in 1936.
From that introduction to organized baseball, Brown has progressed through a succession of minor league clubs, having performed in classes D, C, B, A, and AA in addition to a couple of stints as a batting practice pitcher for the Cardinals. Briefly, Brown's career shapes up like this:
1935 - Spring training with the Cardinals, paid own expenses, landed at Asheville, NC of Piedmont League; Albany, GA of Georgia-Florida League; Huntington, WV; Bloomington, IL; St Louis for batting practice pitching chores; Bentonville of Arkansas State League, won 13, lost 4.
1936 - Bradenton, FL spring training with Cardinals; Daytona Beach of Florida State League, won 15, lost 11.
1937 - Spring training with the Columbus Red Birds at Deland, FL; dropped off at Asheville when club moved north; shipped to Union Springs of the Alabama-Florida League, won 16, lost 11.
1938 - Reported to Columbus of South Atlantic wheel; third year in Class B ball, won 10, lost 10.
1939 - Contract transferred to New Iberia, LA of Evangeline League, too many class men on team, sent to Kilgore of East Texas loop, won 15, lost 12. Highlight of baseball career - was married at home plate with overflow attendance at park. Club finished second and played eight playoff games.
1940 - Optioned to Portsmouth, OH of Middle Atlantic League, released from Cardinal chain after one week; took best of three offers going to Clarksdale, MS of the Cotton State League, won 9, lost 3; joined Oklahoma City Indians of Texas League in fall, winning 2 and losing 2.
1941 - Reported to Oklahoma City, stayed until June 19, winning 2, losing 5; shipped to Salina, KS of Western Association, winning 13, losing 7.
1942 - Contract sold to Memphis but he elected to remain at home that season.
1943 - With Memphis
1944 - Started with Memphis, sold July 12 to Toledo