by Waite Forsyth
February 14, 1947
Walt Brown, Feted by Moose Bowlers, Has had Epic Up and Down Career in Following Baseball Fortunes
Brown, or “Brownie,” as he is called by his Moose Legion bowling teammates and many of his acquaintances, is scheduled to leave here within the next week, bound for Miami, Fla., and the spring training camp of the St. Louis American League Browns. He reports on Sunday, Feb. 23 and starts the training grind on the following day.
Thus, the sturdy kid with the lively ball and fast hop who first hit the sports page headlines with no less than eight no-hit, no-run performances as a Bemus Point High School (this was in the days before centralization) pitcher, is on the verge of getting his second chance in organized baseball’s big show, and for the second time it is with the same club.
The story of Brown’s adventures since he first was signed to a St. Louis Cardinal contract a decade or so ago is truly an epic one. His diamond odyssey has set him down in every section of the country but two, the New England States and the Pacific Coast. He has pitched for something like 15 clubs, running the entire gamut from Class D to Class triple and he has as many ups and downs as the devious of these contraptions at Coney Island.
After kicking around in the Cardinals chain gang for several years, during one stretch of which he operated as the Red Birds’ pre-game warmup pitcher, Walt bought his release from the National League club and signed on with the Memphis Chicks. His record with the Chicks was so impressive he was promoted to the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association, reporting on July 12, 1944, and his record was such as to attract the attention of the Browns. The feat that sold the American Leaguers on the Bemus Pointer was a no-no against the Milwaukee club in Milwaukee’s “band box” park late August.
Purchased in 1944
Brown was notified of his purchase by the Browns in the fall of 1944 and in February of 1945, on a Friday, he received his notification to report to the Browns’ spring training camp.
But Walt was destined not to report to the major league club that year. On the Monday following the receipt of the Browns’ notice, he received another official document, this one bearing instructions to report to the draft board. So he served with the Navy and was stationed at Sampson Naval Station for the next year and half. The war was over, he picked up the pattern of his baseball career, reporting to the Mud Hens last spring. Used mostly as a relief pitcher, Brown hung up a record of nine victories and eight loses in the 1946 campaign.
So now, he is ready to make his “now or never” essay at the big time. Besides bowling, Brownie has been playing basketball with the Bemus Point five of the Chautauqua County American Legion League this winter, has been getting in large doses of hunting and fishing.
Toastmaster at last night’s program was Fred Gosden, who presented Brown with a traveling bag. The entertainment was featured by songs and speeches.
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.