This article was written by Mark Stangl
This article was published in the Team Ownership History Project
The St. Louis Cardinals won a World Series championship in 2006, their first season at the new Busch Stadium. (Kevin Ward/Flickr.com. Used by permission: CC BY-SA 2.0.)
The St. Louis Cardinals have achieved a level of success in Major League Baseball that has been outdone only by the New York Yankees. Through the 2021 season, the franchise has won 11 World Series, 19 National League pennants, four American Association pennants, and the 1886 World Series versus the Chicago White Stockings — a winner-take-all battle with bragging rights included. This level of success has been the catalyst for the franchise to be identified as a major asset to the city of St. Louis and the surrounding metro area. The Cardinals are as much a part of the community fabric as the “Birds on the Bat” worn on their uniform.
For the fans known as Cardinal Nation, following the Redbirds is a religion passed from generation to generation. Proudly wearing their Cardinal red, they have cheered with relish their favorite players, in victory or defeat. Reciting the names of Hall of Famers such as Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, and Ozzie Smith, plus members of the Cardinals Hall of Fame such as Willie McGee, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen, and current players Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, is akin to reciting the Litany of the Saints before a Catholic Mass.
In nearly 150 years, the team’s owners have been as varied as the fans. Click on a link below to scroll down to that chapter.
- Chris Von der Ahe (1882-1898)
- Robison Brothers (1899-1911)
- Helene Hathaway Robison Britton (1911-1916)
- “The Cardinal Idea” (1917-1919)
- Sam Breadon (1920-1947)
- Fred Saigh Jr. (1948-1952)
- Anheuser-Busch (1953-1995)
- Bill DeWitt Jr. (1995-present)
Chris Von der Ahe
St. Louis Brown Stockings (American Association), 1882
St. Louis Browns (American Association) 1883-1891
St. Louis Browns (National League) 1892-1898
Chris Von der Ahe was born in Hille, Germany in 1851. He came to St. Louis by way of New York in 1867 and found work as a grocery clerk. He married Emma Hoffman, a native Missourian of German descent, in 1870 and they had a son, Edward. The grocery business was very successful, serving the German residents and quarry workers. It became so profitable that the ambitious Chris bought the store from his partner for $1,125 in 1872. He expanded the business by including a saloon and a beer garden, located a block and a half from the Grand Avenue Grounds, at the corner of Grand and Dodier, then the premier baseball site in St. Louis. The saloon became a popular destination for politicians, fans and the ball players before and after the games.1
Von de Ahe started buying real estate in the neighborhood. He got involved in politics, becoming a party activist and a supporter of mayoral candidates.2 St. Louis was a fast-growing city, reaching a population of 350,518 in the 1880 census and German ancestry figured prominently in the city’s political and social life.
Professional baseball made its debut in St. Louis in 1875. Two teams represented the city in the National Association that year, the Red Stockings and the Brown Stockings. The Red Stockings played at Red Stockings Park located at Gratiot at the west side of Compton Avenue in midtown St. Louis.3 The Brown Stockings were led, and substantially financed by $20,000 from the club’s president, J. B. C. Lucas. a St. Louis banker and grandson of Jean Baptiste Charles Lucas, who was a major developer of downtown St. Louis.4 Their home park was the Grand Avenue Grounds near Von der Ahe’s beer garden.
The Red Stockings generally used local amateur players hoping to outdraw their rival by pointing to the Brown Stockings’ use of imported talent. However, they paid the price for that decision when playing against their veteran opponents.5 After posting a 4-15 record by July 4, the Red Stockings ceased operations as a professional club but continued to play other amateur nines around the country for the remainder of the season. The Brown Stockings finished fourth with a roster that featured pitcher George Bradley, shortstop Dickey Pearce, outfielder Lip Pike and outfielder Ned Cuthbert. Troubled by gambling, players jumping from team to team, and teams refusing to complete their schedules, the National Association collapsed after the 1875 season. Lucas and the Brown Stockings moved to the new National League. Unlike the National Association, it was a league to be closely managed by the owners and run as a business.
Although the 1876 season didn’t end with a pennant, the Brown Stockings finished second, percentage points ahead of Hartford. Their own George Bradley pitched the League’s first ever no-hitter in St. Louis beating that Hartford squad 2-0 on July 15.6 For the 1877 season, the team fell below .500 and Lucas thought a house-cleaning was in order. Lucas signed four players from the Louisville team, which had ceased operations, and picked up others. Expectations for 1878 championship were high. But before they could ever don St. Louis togs, several of the Louisville players were suspended for life for their involvement in fixing games. The scandal soured St. Louis Base Ball fans on Lucas, whom they thought knowingly signed tainted players. Lucas was so disgusted with the innuendo that he and his associates shut down the Brown Stockings. 7
From 1878-1881, watching semipro teams at the Grand Avenue Grounds, was one place where St. Louis fans could go to get their base ball fix. Von der Ahe knew nothing about the game and was confounded by the enthusiasm of the fans. But he was very happy when players and fans came to his saloon for post-game drinks. Ned Cuthbert, who was now running a semipro team called the Brown Stockings, was a regular patron and became friendly with Von der Ahe. Before the 1880 season, Cuthbert approached Von der Ahe and asked him if he would front the money for the rent at Grand Avenue Grounds so that his Brown Stockings could play there. Von der Ahe would be repaid from profits of the games.8 Near the end of the season, Von der Ahe obtained a new lease on the ballpark, promising to make improvements to it with the hope of getting membership in the National League.9
That offseason, Von der Ahe formed the Sportsman’s Park and Club Association and improved the Grand Avenue Grounds with more seats and new buildings. The Association was composed of Von der Ahe, who was controlling shareholder with at least 51 percent, beer producer William Noelker, newspaperman Al Spink, saloon owner John Peckington, and Congressman John J. O’Neill.10 The first game at the renovated diamond was Sunday May 22, 1881.
According to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, “The preparations for the contest were very hurriedly made, the baseball diamond especially showing need of water and a roller. The infield was so rough that perfect play thereon was out of the question. In the positions assigned to the pitcher and catcher however a smoother state of affairs existed and the outfield recently mowed was all that could be desired.”
The game featuring two local semipro teams attracted 2,500 spectators.11 On October 23, 1881, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat used the name Sportsman’s Park for the first time in promoting a game at the diamond on Grand Avenue — a game between two semipro teams.12
The revenues from games for the 1881 season were divided with the Association members receiving the revenues from ticket sales of reserved seating plus concessions. The players’ share was based on the walk-up attendance. In the beginning, the player earned about $3.75 per game. As the season wore on, with judicious scheduling by Al Spink, the club’s secretary, and with the Brown Stockings playing winning baseball, growing attendance provided players with income between $150 and $175 per month.13
Von der Ahe was not happy that some of the players only showed up for the weekend games when attendance was largest. The club had to get fill-in players for the weekday games so the quality of play was not as good and the crowds were smaller. The players who missed those games argued that they had regular jobs and couldn’t risk losing them to play ball during the week. Von der Ahe ultimately kept only the players who could play full time. Spink obtained more players and the “New Brown Stockings“ finished a season that lasted into November.14
At the end of the 1881 season, the partnership split profits of almost $25,000 in a back room in Von der Ahe’s saloon. Seeing how owning a baseball team could increase profits as well as his prestige, Von der Ahe bought out the other partners for $1,800. The total value of the franchise was roughly $3,700.15 His first act as owner was to sign Charlie Comiskey, first baseman of the Dubuque Rabbits, to a new contract for $150 a month.16
Von der Ahe wanted to take his new team into an organized league. The established National League, however, required three things that the Brown Stockings owner couldn’t accept. The league banned Sunday baseball, alcohol sales, and required admissions cost at least 50 cents. As a result, Von der Ahe sought like-minded owners in cities that would allow Sunday games, 25 cent admissions and beer sales. They would cater to the working class rather than the privileged. He found such an owner in Denny McKnight of Pittsburgh and on November 2, 1881, they and owners in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Louisville and Philadelphia created the American Association. Von de Ahe was named a director on the Association’s Board.17
At Sportsman’s Park, Von der Ahe turned the right-field corner into a beer garden which included space for lawn bowling and a handball court. The beer garden required its own ground rule. Until the 1888 World Series, it was part of the playing field. The outfielder could go into the seats to retrieve a fair ball but had to throw it to a fielder in the pitcher’s box before a runner could be put out.18 In addition to the renovations Von der Ahe planned to have the park wired for electricity.19 He wanted Sportsman’s Park to be a multi-use facility, with space for track and field meets, soccer and lacrosse.20
The first game of St. Louis’ American Association season and first as the franchise occurred on May 2, 1882 at Sportsman’s Park against Louisville. Von der Ahe’s Brown Stockings honored the traditional name and came onto the field wearing crisp white uniforms with brown stockings and caps. Von der Ahe emphasized the connection by bringing in Ned Cuthbert as the manager. A crowd of 2,000 was treated to the franchise’s first win, 9-7. They were also entertained by Joseph Postlewaite’s band between innings. The band, which performed crowd favorites was conducted by umpire Charley Houtz, who pulled double duty.21
Focusing on maximizing beer sales at the ballpark, Von der Ahe delegated the procurement, training and discipline of players to his on-field managers. Cuthbert resigned due to ill health (consumption) in late September.22 To help him out financially, Von der Ahe had a benefit game and dinner for his friend.23
For 1883, Von der Ahe hired Ted Sullivan who had an organized, regimented way of running a ballclub. Von der Ahe felt the Browns, as they were now called, had lacked discipline in their first season. But Sullivan quickly antagonized the players with fines or threats of fines. Two players, Pat Deasley and Fred Lewis, attacked Sullivan after being accused of breaking curfew. The players had been drinking and playing pool after an August 11 game in Columbus. After a heated exchange, the two players chased Sullivan around the block and beat him. Both players were jailed by police and later released on bail. Von der Ahe found out but didn’t discipline Deasly or Lewis, who had been an expensive acquisition.24 Sullivan resigned, feeling unsupported by Von der Ahe and angry at the insinuation that he caused dissension among the players. To fill the vacancy, Von der Ahe named Comiskey manager for the rest of the season.25
Discipline issues didn’t disappear with a different manager for 1884. Instead of keeping Comiskey as player-manager, Von der Ahe brought in Jimmy Williams, the secretary of the American Association. Von der Ahe said price was no object as he would double the $45,000, he said he spent on the Browns.26 Again Fred Lewis was in the eye of the storm. He was arrested on the morning of July 2, 1884 accused of assaulting “a lady of the evening.” Upset with Lewis’ behavior during the heat of a pennant chase, the other Browns players wanted him off the team.27 Von der Ahe settled for a heavy fine, since Lewis was one his better players.28 Williams, tense and on edge as the play of the club deteriorated, resigned September 4. Charlie Comiskey for the second time in two years took over as interim manager.29
Despite the off-field issues, fan attendance was strong for Von der Ahe’s club, with 135,000 in 1882, 243,000 the following year and 212,000 in 1884, all higher than the National League average those three years. Von der Ahe said he had his own method of counting attendance not using turnstile count but of the number of barrels consumed. “Veil, Ve Sold so many barrels ve must have had a crowd of such and such size.”30 Newspapers loved to report Von der Ahe’s sayings in his heavy German accent.
In June 1883, Von der Ahe challenged an American Association rule with a popular gesture. The rule was “the visiting team, employees and umpires are guaranteed their monies if a game is called. The fans are NOT entitled to getting their money back.”31 That rule came into play on June 20 when rain delayed the game after a half inning of play. The game was called after a 30-minute wait. After the announcement around 200 irate fans stormed the ticket office and then Von der Ahe’s office demanding rain checks or their money. Von der Ahe, at first, pointed to the rule posted on the ticket window.32 The next day, feeling that the rule was unfair, he announced rain checks would be issued. “the fans of St. Louis won’t pay for what they don’t see.”33
Before the 1885 season, Von der Ahe took the interim tag off Charlie Comiskey. He felt that as player-manager, the first baseman could instill discipline off the field while playing winning baseball on it. Von der Ahe did his part by demanding players board in buildings he owned so he could keep an eye on them. Not missing an opportunity to make or save money, he garnished the players paychecks for room and board.34 Despite anger from some players, the Browns laid waste to the American Association from 1885 to 1888, winning four straight pennants. The pinnacle moment for Von der Ahe and the Browns was winning the 1886 World Series. It was a winner-take-all affair agreed to by Von der Ahe and Al Spalding of the Chicago White Stockings. The Browns bested the White Stockings four games to two.
Winning the last game at home on an extra-inning wild pitch touched off the fans:
“The wildest celebration prevailed, the crest multitude hanging around the scene of battle and making demi-gods of the brown-legged heroes. When the ball-players took their carriages, the people followed them and the scene of excitement was transferred to the central part of town,” reported the Chicago Inter-Ocean.35
Von der Ahe led the parade. As was his custom on big moments at the ballpark, he wore “a silk hat, his portly figure in his Prince Albert coat, striped trousers and spats trailing his two fawn-colored greyhounds.”36
Von der Ahe’s owner’s share came to $6,960.05 while there was $580.05 for each of the 12 players.37 The spoils of victory were displayed in the windows of Mermod & Jaccard Jewelery Company. “The magnificent solid silver Winan Trophy, … the World’s Champions banner and other victorious emblems of the Browns … have been placed in the windows so that all in the world that loves base ball and admires its champions can see what their merits have obtained for them.”38
The Browns, and especially Von der Ahe, became the toast of the town. The Browns’ owner took full advantage by throwing nightly parties at his saloon “which bugged the eyes out of North St. Louis” according to the St. Louis Star-Times. Asked why he threw all the parties, the Browns’ owner said, “money dos ist to spend.”39
The Browns got a “bump” in attendance from the World Championship as 244,000 fans, a 17 plus percent increase over 1886, turned the turnstiles to watch the Browns win a third consecutive American Association pennant. St. Louis could not win a second consecutive World Championship, though losing, to the Detroit Wolverines 10 games to 5.
The Browns’ championships also had ended the hopes of Henry V. Lucas, the brother of the J.B.C. Lucas who had owned the original Brown Stockings in the National Association. Henry Lucas had formed a team, called the Maroons, in the short-lived Union Association. The Maroons had signed some of Von der Ahe’s players and ran away with the association’s 1884 pennant. But the Maroons success revealed a severe lack of competitive balance in the Association and the league folded after that season.
Lucas wanted to stay in major league baseball and felt his team could compete in the National League. The league extended a membership to the Maroons for the 1885 season despite Von der Ahe’s protest that the National Agreement between the National League and the American Association said a second team couldn’t be put in a city if one was already there.40 The Maroons found stiffer competition in the National League, finishing last in 1885 and sixth in 1886. They were also outdrawn by the Browns in both seasons. The Browns’ season totals were greater than the National League average total attendance for those two years. The Browns also dominated exhibition series with the Maroons in those years. With St. Louis fans following a winner instead of Lucas’s poor team, the Maroons folded after the 1886 season.
With three consecutive American Association pennants and a World Series title, Browns players wanted to be compensated. After seeing the NL’s Chicago team sell two of its stars — catcher Mike “King” Kelly and pitcher John Clarkson — for $10,000 each, Von der Ahe saw he could get inexperienced players for less money. He felt Comiskey could get the best of their talents and still win in 1888. So, without telling Comiskey, he sold four of his stars — Doc Bushong, Curt Welch, Bob Caruthers and Dave Foutz — for $21,250 and three players. Comiskey was furious, but realized he would be hard pressed to find a player-manager position elsewhere to make his $8,000 salary. He stayed with Von der Ahe.
The 1888 St. Louis Brown Stockings won 92 games and won their fourth consecutive American Association pennant. However, they lost in the postseason World’s Series to the New York Giants of the National League. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)
The fans were not as forgiving as Comiskey. The 1887 attendance would be the high water mark for the remainder of Von der Ahe’s ownership, as he would not be hesitant to sell players. With success, Von der Ahe became more and more vocal when the team wasn’t playing well. He did not worry about their feelings and was willing to interrupt play to call them out during games. He also liked to show them who was the “boss President.”41 The majority of the time Comiskey was able to defuse the situation and calm Von der Ahe down. When the team was winning pennants, it was easier to do.42
One of the times that Comiskey couldn’t defuse a volatile situation was the day before a game in Kansas City. Von der Ahe fined second baseman Yank Robinson $25 for using foul language while in uniform. Robinson had cursed a gatekeeper who wouldn’t permit delivery of a pair of padded pants Robinson had ordered for that day’s game. The offended gatekeeper went to Von de Ahe’s box and the owner climbed onto the field and confronted Robinson. Robinson said if Von der Ahe didn’t rescind the fine he would skip the team train to Kansas City that day. Robinson’s teammates supported him because they thought that no punishment should have occurred and they refused to board the train as well. Browns’ secretary George Munson eventually persuaded all except Robinson to take the evening train.43
Von der Ahe said the punishment was warranted because Robinson was in uniform and what he did was inexcusable, although he also said he wished he had disciplined Robinson in private. Still, Von der Ahe would not relent and Robinson would have to pay the fine despite players and fans asking the owner to drop it. Robinson was equally stubborn and said he would not pay it. Von der Ahe also complained that if all the fans who supported Robinson had come to the ballpark instead of telling him how to run his club there would be fewer empty seats. Von der Ahe said that the players who caught the late train would have to reimburse the club. He said he had already paid for the scheduled train including sleeping arrangements and it was not his fault that the players missed the earlier train.44
It was high-handed incidents such as this that fueled the creation of the Players League for the 1890 season. Led by New York Giants shortstop John Montgomery Ward, the Players League was formed to compete with the established National League and American Association teams. The objective of the PL was to provide its players with increased salaries which the established leagues limited through the reserve clause.45 Comiskey and a number of Von der Ahe’s players signed with the Chicago Pirates of the Players League.
Von der Ahe dismissed the idea the Players League could damage the American Association, and he had especially strong words for Comiskey.
“There is a mistaken impression, that it was due to Comiskey’s skill that the Browns were successful. That is not so. On the contrary he was a drawback to the team. He raised a number of rows in Brooklyn, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Philadelphia and … kept me in hot water,” Von der Ahe said. Comiskey “was of a very ugly disposition and could never gain the goodwill of his players. He is a good ballplayer, but … not the brains of the St. Louis Club, by long odds.” Still not finished, Von der Ahe added, “I think that he is the ungrateful of all men. … I raised his salary from seventy-five dollars a month to five thousand a season and an interest in my team. In return, for my kindness, he left me in the hour of need.” Von der Ahe claimed he had youngsters on the Browns that could play just as well for less money.46
Von der Ahe used six managers during the 1890 season, and virtually all teams in the three leagues lost money. The Players League folded and four Association teams failed. Comiskey came back to manage in 1891 for a $6,000 contract from Von der Ahe and $4,000 raised by Browns boosters.47
Von der Ahe expressed optimism for the 1891 season. “The American Association is on a stronger basis financially than it has been for years. Both Boston and Chicago will be represented with good clubs, while Philadelphia and Washington will have better teams than either city has in a long while.” 48 He was overly optimistic. The Chicago team would fold before the season started. In fact, 1891 was the tenth year of the Association and only Louisville and St. Louis had been in the league every year.
By the end of the 1891 season, it was apparent the American Association’s days were numbered.49 The National League, which had paid higher salaries to keep players from jumping to the Players League was pushing hard for a settlement which would allow it to bring salaries down. The League owners held the upper hand because their teams were on more solid financial footing than the Association clubs.50
On December 12, 1891, the American Association passed into history. The National League took in the Association teams from Baltimore, Washington, Louisville and Von der Ahe’s St. Louis Browns.51 St. Louis was given membership in the “new” League because the NL owners felt it was a “ far better baseball city” probably “more supportive of their team than Pittsburg or Cleveland” and “for baseball owners money counts for more than friendship or sentiment,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said.52
Von der Ahe, who had wanted into the National League since he bought the Browns, pushed for Sunday baseball, 25-cent admissions and beer sales in St. Louis, Cincinnati and Louisville. He won those issues, but lost on others. All the Association clubs had to put their players in a pool, with the National League teams getting first choice at signing them. By not being allowed to protect its existing players, St. Louis suffered against the other League teams.53 Von der Ahe also couldn’t retain Comiskey, who signed a three-year agreement with the Cincinnati Reds for $20,000 and a share of the club’s profits. Von der Ahe offered Comiskey his old salary for one year which Comiskey refused.54
In the February 5, 1892 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, statistician Clarence Dow, predicted that the Browns would finish last in the National League. “While it has some strong individual batters and fielders, it has a number of misfits,” Dow said.55 Two days later, Von der Ahe replied, “this same statistician put us in seventh place last year and had we not been thrown down by a trio of drunkards we would have won the pennant. … It would be well to bear in mind that paper teams seldom win pennants.”56
Von der Ahe’s eye for talent was not good. When a scout brought a young player to him, Von der Ahe turned the player away, saying “Dot little fellow … Take him over to the Fairgrounds and make a hoss yockey out of him.”57 The player was John McGraw. Without Comiskey to help him find talented players and keep them in line, Browns’ fans were the ones to suffer as they watched their team finish in 11th place.
The National League adopted a split season in 1892, seeking to give fans hope in cities that had done poorly in the first. Before the second half began, the League’s owners enacted a resolution to cut player salaries 20 percent, blaming poor attendance in most of the cities. Von der Ahe used this as an opportunity to cut salaries five to 15 percent but retroactive to the start of the season, meaning his players suffered a salary reduction of 10 to 30 percent. 58
Comiskey criticized Von der Ahe’s micro-managing. “You have a strong team at every point … in Jack Glasscock you have a first-class man. But he is not going to be successful … to the interference of President Von der Ahe … coming down from his private box. … The aggregation of players was on pins and needles while Mr. Von der Ahe was on the bench. In their anxiety to show up well they became nervous. The old players understood this and didn’t mind it. For new players, they aren’t used to it. … Chris himself will be the biggest sufferer. … If the present state of affairs continues … the sport will be dead in this greatest of baseball towns.”59
Over time Comiskey would be proved half-right.
On April 27, 1893, the Browns and Chris Von der Ahe opened New Sportsman’s Park.60 It was located at Natural Bridge Road and Vandeventer Avenue, not far from the old park and the Fairgrounds. Von der Ahe said the new park was built because he was concerned the increasing value of the Grand Avenue Grounds park would lead the owners to sell it. Von der Ahe signed a 15-year lease for the new site. It would save him $3,000 per year and gave him the right to make improvements as needed.61 Plans for a cafe, restaurant and saloon were on the drawing board. Street car lines ran directly to the grounds with another loop built around it.
Designed by Architect August Beinke, of Beinke and Wells, the grandstand measured 164 feet long and 60 feet wide. The pavilions were of equal width, 100 feet long, and the grandstand was 65 feet tall up to the press box. Iron columns and trusses supported the peaked roof, with the front columns set back to provide an fewer obstructed views of the field. Opera chairs were used in the grandstand and put on platforms to provide better views.
On the north and south ends of the grandstands were private boxes running 25 feet back from the front. The ballpark also had a bicycle path which encircled the park with a quarter-mile track and a one hundred yard sprinting stretch along the north side of the park. The baseball diamond was laid out by Augustus Solari and the infield contained Kentucky bluegrass, with the players locker rooms located on the first base side of the field. There was large open space at ground level with a barroom which could hold 1,600 patrons, and was the only place to sell liquor in the park.62 The cost of the wooden structure was $50,000.63 Capacity was 14,500.64 Home plate was laid with a buried time capsule of newspaper articles and mementos of the Browns’ pennant years and World Championship.65
Despite playing in a new ballpark, the large uptick in attendance that Von der Ahe hoped for didn’t occur. It was only 1.3 percent. Von der Ahe, still wanting to maintain his free-spending lifestyle, took on more financial risks. He tried using New Sportsman’s Park for other events, but they weren’t profitable. In one case, he was sued for not paying performers in a Civil War reenactment that he brought into the ballpark during the summer. He lost that suit and had the added expense of repairing the playing field torn up during the reenactment.66 He also lost money on a Wild West Show. Von der Ahe lost the suit because it was proved he had assumed all the show’s expenses when he purchased the show at auction.67
As these financial failures mounted, Von der Ahe traded or sold his better players. He also got involved in a costly, and revealing, lawsuit with his son. The suit was over who had ownership of properties the elder Von der Ahe had used to secure loans totaling $21,700.68 In the course of his testimony, the younger Von der Ahe described his father’s lifestyle as extravagant, citing $4,000 spent on a trip. He said his father used the club’s treasury for financing non-team projects and he didn’t account for the money or pay it back. His father was also in debt to Northwestern Savings Bank for $44,000 and the property to secure the loan had a value of $16,000.69 The ballpark and club were only insured for $20,000.70
Members of the Fourth Estate didn’t hide their distaste for the way Von der Ahe ran the club, saying he lost his nerve when negotiating with the National League for membership in 1892. “The career of the St. Louis Club as a member of the 12-team League has been marked by reverses during every season. It has never held a respectable position after the second month of play. St. Louisans have been loyal to the club in its adversity in the hope that the man who downed the League would show some of his former energy and liberality in building up the team.”71 In conclusion Von der Ahe had been more interested in 25-cent admissions, Sunday games and beer than in protecting the playing quality of his team.
Von der Ahe thought the criticism was unfair, but he was undeterred. He said he was staying in baseball and would not selling his best player, pitcher Theodore Breitenstein. If and when he did sell the Browns, his asking price would be $100,000.72 He continued to pursue other financial ventures. At the New Sportsman’s Park he built a race track and a “shoot the chutes” ride where flat-bottomed boats slid down a water ramp into an artificial lagoon. The race track made his fellow National League owners uneasy because of the gambling connection.73 These ventures were financed in part with $23,000 in loans to the Sportsman’s Park and Club from friend Edward C. Becker, a retired grocer, investor, venture capitalist, and Von der Ahe’s “guardian angel.”74
Sensing that he was about to be ostracized by National League owners for his operation of the Browns plus his other endeavors involving New Sportsman’s Park Von der Ahe skipped the League meeting in New York in February 1896. To avoid a volatile confrontation, he sent his lawyer Walter Hetzel instead. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported “the National League has become indignant with the way Von der Ahe has operated the team. League magnates have a growing understanding that St. Louis fans are hoping that the baseball team can be taken from Von der Ahe or it will soon become a part of St. Louis baseball history.” The paper predicted that if the League took the franchise from Von der Ahe, it would have the “hearty good will and cooperation of the better element in the city. The League owes it to itself and to St. Louis, one of the best baseball towns in the country to allow it to attend games on a proper basis and not under the conditions Von der Ahe has dictated.”75
The cartoon above from the St. Louis Post Dispatch clearly illustrated that Von der Ahe’s desire for cash at the expense of putting a competitive team on the field outweighed ostracizing by League owners, condemnation by a certain local newspaper and an angry fan base. He was not afraid to sell any player, including Breitenstein, the St. Louis-born pitcher who was arguably his best player and main gate attraction. Breitenstein went to Cincinnati for $10,000.76 The Post-Dispatch said the trade not only dimmed the hopes for 1897, but reduced the value of the club if Von der Ahe decided to sell. The paper estimated Von der Ahe could get no more than $50,000 for the team.77 It reported rumors he had approached the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co. to take the Browns off his hands for $65,000, but had been turned down.78
Despite the cash influx, Von der Ahe was facing further debt woes. On February 21, 1897, the New Sportsman’s Park’s roof caught fire and spread to the stables, where 150 horses were kept. None of the horses perished. The fire also damaged the boarding houses and Von der Ahe’s “Shoot the Chutes.” Von der Ahe had let the insurance on the buildings and track expire. He had only recently sent in the renewal but hadn’t received a reply from the insurance company that there was a policy in force. As a result he feared there would be trouble collecting insurance for the fire damage. Von der Ahe’s secretary, B.S. Muckenfuss, told a St. Louis Post Dispatch reporter, that the cost of the damage would be $2,500.79
Creditors were taking action against Von der Ahe and the Sportsman’s Park Club and Association. In one instance, Aetna Iron Works, a company that manufactured architectural, ornamental and structural iron, won a court judgment.80 The sheriff set an auction for some of the Sportsman’s Park and Club property.81
Von der Ahe knew creditors would get virtually all the assets if he sold the club, so he decided to restructure the Sportsman’s Park Club and Association (SPCA), making himself a preferred creditor.82 On January 12, 1898, through a deed of trust, Muckenfuss was named president and J.W. Peckington secretary of SPCA.83 Von der Ahe’s claims against the organization totaled $108,962.There were 28 other creditors with unsecured claims between $125 and $3,925 and an additional dozen with unsecured claims between $7 and $90.84
But the deed of trust did not supersede mortgages held on the ballpark, other judgements held against the association, Edward Becker’s note for $23,000 and $20,000 in bonds. Under terms of the lien for Aetna Iron Works judgment, Von der Ahe had to sell the Browns and the organization’s property within six months.85
Just three months after the deed of trust reorganization, another fire struck New Sportsman’s Park. The fire started as flames from the restaurant kitchen set several large awnings stored under the pavilion ablaze. It took only 28 minutes for the grandstand, pavilion, and the 300-foot bleachers.86 The losses were $60,000 but the ballpark was insured for only $34,600.87 Von der Ahe lost valuables and personal papers totaling about $30,000. Fans entering the ballpark for the next day’s game saw crews working around the clock to get temporary seating finished.88 Von der Ahe said a new grandstand with easy access in and out was going to replace the burned one, but because of the high cost of iron, it would be made of wood.89
In July, Von der Ahe finally thought he had a buyer for the Browns when Edward C. Becker, friend and “guardian angel” agreed to pay $50,000 for it. There had been no takers for the team other than Becker, who was Von der Ahe’s last hope as he pressed against the deadline of the Sheriff’s auction. Immediately there were rumors flying about what players Becker would obtain for the Browns.90
However, after buying the Browns, Edward Becker changed his mind and called off the purchase. This was despite the creditors being satisfied and the transfer papers agreed upon plus other issues being resolved. It was rumored that Cleveland owner Frank De Hass Robison wanted to buy the St. Louis franchise and move it to Cleveland while placing the more successful Cleveland club in St. Louis, where Robison thought the St. Louis fan base would be more supportive.91 John D. Johnson, the broker of the sale with Becker, was angry Becker had left Von der Ahe hanging. He said it had been Von der Ahe’s last chance to sell the club through private channels rather than the sheriff’s auction. He also surmised that Becker changed his mind because he felt that he would have gotten a better deal at a public sale. Johnson said he was going to head East to round up capital to purchase the club. This possibility allowed Von der Ahe to win an additional six-month delay in the sheriff’s sale.92
The axe fell on Chris Von der Ahe on January 5, 1899 when the Mississippi Valley Trust Company foreclosed on Von der Ahe and the Sportsman’s Park and Club Association’s mortgage.93 Von der Ahe tried to argue that the Browns franchise was not secured by the mortgage.94 On January 23, the judge ruled against Von der Ahe and reinstated the Sheriff’s auction.95 An appeal was overruled on February 6.96
Before the auction, the National League owners took steps to give Frank De Hass Robison clear title to the Browns National League membership. They voided the Browns’ league membership because of its failure to pay League dues plus unpaid player-transaction fees. The League then allowed Robison to pay the Browns’ league dues and debts to reestablish the Browns’ membership.97
The machinations didn’t work, at least at first. When the March 14 auction ended, the club had been bought by G.A. Gruner, treasurer of the Phil Gruner & Bros. Lumber Company, for $33,000. Gruner was representing the creditors group and said the team would be run in their interest.98 Three days later, Gruner changed his mind. The latest buyer was Von der Ahe’s old and erratic supporter, Edward Becker, who paid $35,000 for the team and the ballpark.99 A week later, the worst kept secret in St. Louis was confirmed. Robison paid Becker $40,000 for the Browns, the lease, the ballpark and other property and proceeded with his plan to move the Cleveland players to St. Louis.100 Later, it would become clear that the deal only brought Robison 400 shares in the team, while Becker retained the other 600.101
For St. Louis fans, the Cleveland players coming to St. Louis would give them a chance to watch the kind of competitive winning team they had been pining for since the days of Comiskey and the American Association.102
The Robison Brothers
St. Louis Perfectos (National League), 1899
St. Louis Cardinals (National League), 1900-1911
Frank De Hass Robison was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1852, the son of Martin Stanford Robison and Mariah (Allison). He spent his boyhood in Dubuque, Iowa. He married Sarah P. Hathaway, of Philadelphia in 1875 and they had a daughter with the given name Helene Hathaway. He attended Delaware University for a short time.
Robison and his father-in-law, Charles Hathaway, started Hathaway & Robison to build and operate streetcar systems. The business was headquartered in Cleveland, but built systems around the United States and Canada. In 1889, Robison personally undertook the formation of the Cleveland Railway Co. and constructed 26 miles of lines. Four years later, Robison merged his company with Marcus A. Hanna’s Woodland and West Side Railway to form Cleveland City Railway.103 However Robison lost one million dollars in the merger when his broker fraudulently sold the stock to Hanna and kept the proceeds. Robison sued Hanna but it would take ten years before he won a financial judgement and was awarded a fraction of his losses.104
Robison entered professional baseball in 1887 when he organized the Cleveland Blues of the American Association. Two years later, the team moved to the National League and was renamed the Cleveland Spiders. Robison built League Park on his cable car line which allowed both increased ridership on the trolleys and greater attendance at the ball games.105 Despite success on the field with a team that included Cy Young, Bobby Wallace, and Jesse Burkett, finishing in the first division of the National League from 1892 through 1898, and beating the Baltimore Orioles in the 1895 Temple Cup series, attendance was sporadic.
Frank Robison left the Spiders in the hands of his younger brother. Martin Stanford Robison, and named after his father, was born March 30, 1854 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was generally known as Stanley. He never married.106
For his first season of ownership in St. Louis, Robison had contractors get the ballpark ready for the “new” St. Louis Browns. The field was manicured to look better than it had been under Von der Ahe’s ownership. There was a complete makeover of the grandstand and new bleachers replaced the old.107 The capacity of the ballpark at Vandeventer and Natural Bridge Avenues increased to 15,200.108 In another change from the Von der Ahe regime, New Sportsman’s Park was renamed League Park.109
On April 15, 1899, when Robison’s St. Louis team took the field for Opening Day, they were not wearing brown but a different primary color. “The Clevelands … had on their white stockings and gray trousers, A Dingy Effect Contrasted With The New White Suits and Cardinal Stockings And Caps For The New St. Louis Team,” the Post-Dispatch reported.110
Robison didn’t give his team a nickname but the sports writers of the day did. On May 13, 1899 the Post-Dispatch called Robison’s team the “Perfectos.”111 The nickname “Cardinals” appeared nearly a year later in the April 3, 1900 edition of the St. Louis Republic.112 But other nicknames, such as the “Red Caps,” continued to appear.113
Official credit for coining the “Cardinals” nickname was awarded to the Republic’ s reporter, Willie McHale. According to a John Wray column in the October 5, 1931, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Willie’s brother, P.J., told the following story: “A Chicago girl named them during the middle of the season….when the St. Louis team came out on the field, road gray uniforms, bright red trim walking across the field was a pretty picture. Nor did the picture escape the eyes of the Chicago Miss who clapped her hands enthusiastically and exclaimed to her companion, ‘Oh, isn’t that a lovely shade of cardinal.’ McHale caught the explanation and a moment later had flashed over the telegraph wires to St. Louis in his introduction of the game that “The Cardinals” were confident of victory.”114
Regardless of the nickname Robison’s 1899 team had a successful season at the gate — 373,909 fans — setting a franchise record. When the National League got rid of the joint ownership rule in 1900, it folded the Cleveland team and Stanley joined his brother in St. Louis. The brothers Robison eyed adding players from Cleveland and the three other teams the National League had axed after the season.
Robison was not shy in his interest in obtaining John McGraw to add to his “stable of stars” which included Cy Young, Bobby Wallace, Jesse Burkett and Emmet Heidrick. Since Baltimore was no longer a member of the National League, McGraw and his teammates Wilbert Robinson and Bill Keister had been assigned to Ned Hanlon’s Brooklyn Superbas. Brooklyn and Baltimore had had a joint ownership arrangement like the Cleveland-St. Louis combination.
After the League meetings Robison approached Hanlon about obtaining McGraw and Robinson. During the course of negotiations, it was revealed that McGraw was trying to get Baltimore into a revived American Association as he had the lease rights to the Baltimore playing field. He said he would only to return to the National League for a $5,000 salary. His buddy Robinson would have to be signed as well and paid $3,500. McGraw also demanded $3,500 of the purchase price if Brooklyn sold his rights and Robinson $500 if his rights were sold.115 On March 10, 1900, Robison obtained the rights to McGraw, Robinson and Keister by paying Brooklyn $19,000.
Negotiations between Robison and McGraw were contentious. McGraw said he didn’t want to play in St. Louis and said Robison would blacklist him if he didn’t. However, Robison saw McGraw as someone to build the St. Louis team around and wanted him to manage it.116 Robison and McGraw agreed to a $100 per game salary with free agency at the end of the season. Wilbert Robinson received a salary of $3,500 and a $2,500 bonus and also would not be reserved. In addition, Robison had to pay $500 to the bartender who ran McGraw and Robinson’s establishment in Baltimore while they were away playing for St. Louis.117
McGraw and Robinson did not see any game action until May 12, 1900, the Cardinals’ seventeenth game, citing personal business in Baltimore.118 By the time they did play, the Robisons were feeling the pain of a street car strike that had started May 8. The violent nature of the protesters and workers was making fans leery of going to League Park.119
Robison didn’t get a great return from McGraw and Robinson. Although there were other factors that resulted in the Cardinals’ falling far short of the pennant, it was the contentious dealings with McGraw that stuck in Robison’s craw. Insult was added to injury when McGraw refused to take over as manager when Patsy Tebeau resigned in August, saying it was unfair to him to take over with the team in seventh place. McGraw also disagreed with Tebeau’s replacement, Louis Heilbrunner, who wanted McGraw to be the player-manager, making roster moves during games and levying fines as needed. McGraw wouldn’t do that, saying it wasn’t his responsibility.120 Robison found out it was McGraw’s way or no way and realized he had paid a heavy financial price shelling out $35,300 to obtain him.
After the season, it was reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Robison had failed to pay some of the players their remaining salaries by the deadline of October 19, five days after the season ended. As a result, the players who had been reserved on September 30 — Heidrick, Mike Donlin, Burkett, Cowboy Jones, Jack Powell, and Wallace — were now free agents.121 They could sign with any National League team or a team in the new American League.122
In addition to McGraw and Robinson, who were free agents because of their 1900 contract terms, Robison lost Cy Young and Mike Donlin to the American League. Robison was able to re-sign three of his best players — Jesse Burkett, Bobby Wallace and Emmet Heidrick. He purchased Patsy Donovan to manage and play outfield.
To get the money to sign these players, Frank Robison borrowed $18,500 from his brother Stanley to be paid back in 60 days.123 The loan was secured with 185 shares of Cardinals stock.
Robison failed to pay back the loan and Stanley announced the 185 shares had been transferred to him.124 That started a rumor in Chicago that foreclosure on the Cardinals was imminent and potential suitors were coming forward to make offers for the franchise.125
Despite the rumors, the Robison brothers still held on to the Cardinals. “Everything was lovely” between Becker (600 shares), Frank (215 shares) and himself (185 shares), said Stanley Robison. He also downplayed the foreclosure and sale rumors by saying, “it was merely a business transaction and the stockholders of the club are the only parties interested in it.126
On May 4, 1901, League Park caught on fire and caused more financial headaches for Robison. Despite the panic from 3,000 fans in attendance, there were no injuries as Cincinnati and St. Louis players responded by calmly directing fans away from the flames. The cause of the fire was a lighted cigarette carelessly dropped from one of the private boxes onto the wooden grandstand. Once the blaze was extinguished — after a futile attempt with a non-working fire hose — the damage was $30,000. The Robisons did not have full insurance coverage.127
Robison’s insurance claim took almost two years to settle as it required a court judgment. The $20,000 that was received did not cover the damage.128 The last game of the homestand was played the next day at Athletic Park, despite having a bicycle course and not being suited for baseball.129
Since the ballpark at Vandeventer and Natural Bridge had suffered three fires in five years, the City of St. Louis building commissioner wanted it rebuilt with concrete and steel and denied the Robisons a building permit to use wood. But a steel and concrete facility needed more time to be constructed and wouldn’t be finished before the Cardinals returned home in three weeks.130 Robison circumvented the building commissioner by taking the plans for a wood structure to the St. Louis mayor and then to the city’s board of appeals. He got his building permit. The new wooden grandstand was to be built with the fans closer to the ground and more exits than before.131
The financial losses in 1900 and the out of pocket expenses to rebuild League Park put Robison behind the eight ball in trying to keep his best players from jumping to the Cardinals new cross-town rivals, the American League Browns. American League president Ban Johnson wanted to compete directly with National League reams and moved his Milwaukee team to St. Louis for the 1902 season. Robert Hedges of the Browns was wooing Burkett, Wallace, Heidrick, Powell, Harper, and Padden.132 Veteran pitcher Willie Sudhoff said he was dissatisfied with Robison’s salary offer and would jump the Cardinals for a better one.133 Rumors were circulating that Hedges was willing to pay Wallace $6,000, Burkett $5,000 and Heidrick $4,000 and that those amounts were too rich for Robison to pay.134 When the 1902 season opened, the Cardinals had lost all seven players to the Browns. In addition, first baseman Dan McGann jumped to Baltimore.
Robison sought an injunction to keep the players from jumping to the Browns. He argued the jumpers were still under contract to the Cardinals. He said Wallace and Heidrick were in the second year multi-year contracts, and Harper had signed a contract for 1902 in August of 1901.135 On May 6, 1902, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge John Talty rendered a permanent denial of Robison’s injunction request against Harper and Wallace saying that Robison failed to prove that Harper had a set of unique talents versus other ballplayers, and that Harper’s and Wallace’s contracts were written to favor Robison, restricted their personal liberty and violated the current anti-trust laws. In a separate action, Circuit Judge Daniel Fisher dismissed Robison’s injunction request against Heidrick in an oral decision.136
The Browns outperformed the Cardinals in both the standings and attendance in 1902. Hedges challenged Robison to a postseason “City Series,” with the winner receiving a trophy worth $2,500. Robison, still smarting over the losses in court, standings and attendance, didn’t accept the challenge.137 Robison changed his mind during the off-season and came to an agreement with Hedges to hold “City Series” games starting before the 1903 regular season started.138
In early 1903, Robison finally received his damage settlement from Mark Hanna and Little Consolidated Railway Co. of Cleveland after years of negotiations and court appeals. The award of $175,000 was a fraction of the $1 million embezzled from Robison ten years ago.139
Robison used part of the settlement to buy Edward C. Becker’s 600 shares in the Cardinals. With the purchase, Frank Robison had controlling interest in the Cardinals with 815 shares. Stanley Robison still held 185 shares.140
Despite his majority of the shares, Frank Robison became less and less involved with the management of the Cardinals. He was in Cleveland to take care of his ill wife. The reduced settlement with Mark Hanna, losses suffered in operating the Cardinals and the League Park fire left him in financial straits. To regain financial solvency, Robison quietly, and over the next few years, sold shares in the Cardinals to his brother, ending up the minority shareholder. In public, he told everyone that he still was the largest shareholder of the Cardinals and the decision maker. Eventually, that got Stanley’s goat and their relationship suffered. On August 27, 1906, Stanley announced he was the president of the Cardinals with total control.141
Stanley Robison had worn many hats for the Cardinals — treasurer, vice-president and even field manager. So he knew his way around a clubhouse and offices. He knew what it took to make the fans come to the ballpark. On July 7, 1901, when he was the Cardinal treasurer, he wrote an opinion piece that allowing men to watch the game in their shirtsleeves would boost game attendance. He gave the example that 21,000 men who attended the July 4 morning and afternoon doubleheader, were not wearing their coats because of the oppressive heat and were seen in shirts and shirt waists. Stanley said he would prefer men go coatless and unbutton their collars and shirtwaists on hot days rather than to risk the loss of attendance by 25 to 50 percent.142
Attendance was an abiding concern for Stanley Robison but he knew trailing the Browns in attendance was caused by on-the-field performance. Before the 1909 season, Stanley sent an SOS to John McGraw knowing the Giants’ manager was looking to improve his pitching staff.143 Pitcher “Bugs” Raymond, outfielder Red Murray and catcher Admiral Schlei were sent to McGraw for Hall of Famer Roger Bresnahan.
The catcher was made the player-manager and centerpiece of the team as Stanley signed him to a three year $25,000 contract.144 Eventually, he insured him for $50,000.145 With Stanley’s declining health, Bresnahan was given total responsibility for the operation of the Cardinals.146 One of Bresnahan’s first decisions was to cancel the “City Series” to better prepare his players for the full season. Despite the potential revenue loss of $15,000, the Cardinals owner agreed. “It isn’t that I am trying to get back at Mr. Hedges for calling off the fall series. Mr. Bresnahan thinks it’s best to give all the time in preparing the team for the opening of the regular season. He doesn’t want to have anyone in bad shape and as we are starting a new era. … I think it best to give Mr. Bresnahan all the chance in the world to have the club ready at the start.”147
Expecting more fans to come through the turnstiles, Robison upgraded League Park with a larger grandstand, opera chairs, and “monster” bleachers in right field. The seating capacity of the park was increased to over 20,000.”148 In his first two years, Bresnahan helped Robison and the Cardinals make money. The franchise made $40,000, in 1909 and $60,000 in 1910 despite not winning the pennant.149
Things took a tragic turn for the Cardinals’ franchise when on March 24, 1911, at his sister-in-law’s house in Cleveland, Stanley Robison passed away. The cause of death was reported as a stroke. Robison had been ill for two years.150
In his will, Stanley Robison left the Cardinals to Frank Robison’s wife and daughter. Garry Herrmann, chairman of the National Commission, baseball’s ruling body, quickly made the announcement that despite the will, the team would not be owned or controlled by a woman. He assumed the Robison women would sell the team. Respecting the grieving process, Herrmann stated that the decision would not be made immediately.151 Herrmann would be proven wrong on several counts, mostly because the niece, Helene Robison Britton, wanted to be involved.
Helene Hathaway Robison Britton
St. Louis Cardinals (National League), 1911-1916
Helene Hathaway Robison Britton was born January 30, 1879 to Frank De Hass Robison and Sarah Carter Hathaway Robison in Cleveland Ohio. Helene at an early age became immersed in baseball. She traveled with her father’s team on road trips and was their mascot at the games.
Baseball dictated her life so much that she scheduled her wedding to Schuyler Britton, a member of Cleveland’s upper crust, after the 1901 season to ensure her father could escort her down the aisle. The Brittons made their residence in Cleveland. They had two children, Frank De Hass (1903) and Marie (1907).152
On the day her uncle died, Helene Britton sent a telegram to Garry Herrmann telling him that “Uncle Stanley had passed” and asking him “Will You Please Be A Pall Bearer?”153 Four days after the funeral, the New York Times ran a story about Herrmann’s change of heart towards Britton’s owning the Cardinals. Herrmann said that Britton would not be prevented from owning the team, but that it would be up to Britton to have a male be her proxy at League meetings.154
The will provided that the stock in the American Baseball and Athletic Exhibition Company of St. Louis, Missouri (the Cardinals corporate name) be divided between Helene Britton and her mother, Sarah Carver Hathaway Robison. Helene Britton would get three quarters of the shares. It also provided that Helen’s children would inherit ownership of the Cardinals upon the death of their mother and grandmother.155
The same day President Herrmann made his announcement, Charles Weeghman, a Chicago restaurateur, offered her $350,000 for the ball club, League Park and the surrounding grounds.156 Three days later another offer was received from James McGill, president of the Denver Club in the Western League.157
But Helene Britton had no intention of selling the Cardinals and she made that crystal clear in a joint statement with her husband Schuyler on April 6, 1911. Speaking for his wife, Schuyler said, “The St. Louis National League Ball Club is not for sale. Britton has decided to retain the ball club. … She has received numerous offers for the property but all were turned down. The baseball property is not for sale at least for the time being.” As her husband read the statement, Britton nodded her head in agreement, and the Cardinals remained the family business.158
Like her father and uncle, Helene Britton would not move to St. Louis.159 She maintained her residence in Cleveland with her mother and traveled to St. Louis as necessary for meetings and ball games such as Opening Day.160
During her first week as an absentee owner, she delegated the off-the-field operations of the Cardinals to Herman D. Seekamp. He served as temporary club president overseeing the operation of the Cardinals and being their liaison with the National League until the Cardinals; board of directors could convene.161
At that meeting of April 6, 1911, chaired by Britton, she announced that Ed A. Steininger, whom she knew through his friendship with her uncle, would be the president of the Cardinals. Steininger had a contracting business that did most of the work at League Park. He announced that he was a fan only and all baseball-related transactions on and off the field would be the responsibility of manager Roger Bresnahan. He also announced that building new stands at League Park would be dealt with at a later date as other matters took priority.162
Being the first woman owner in baseball, Helene Britton made news not only in the sports pages. Two weeks after becoming the owner and confirming she would not sell, St. Louis Post-Dispatch society page columnist and sketch artist Marguerite Martyn published an interview with Britton. “The interest in baseball among women is growing steadily. Why shouldn’t the superiority of our national game over the sports peculiar to other nations be recognized and encouraged by women? They owe it to the men, their sons and husbands, to encourage them in a diversion so healthy, so clean, so stimulating to the heroic in their natures. It won’t do women any harm, either, to cultivate in their own ideas of masculinity, all those really manly qualities … which are brought to the fore in baseball. On the other hand, women’s presence at the game, as elsewhere, will have the desired civilizing effort,” Britton said.
She noted her uncle had removed the park bar, a money-maker, “to make the grandstand more pleasant and attractive to women fans.”163
After meeting with president Steininger and manager Bresnahan, Britton did two things to increase the attendance of women at League Park. The first was to sell tickets at a drug store located in the city’s business district. She felt that it would be a safer venue to buy tickets instead of venturing into a saloon.164 The second was instituting “Ladies” Day on April 15, 1912. All ladies with a male escort would be admitted to the grandstand free. Under her uncle’s ownership, tickets for women had been 25 cents less than the regular admission fee.165
Britton’s first year as owner was an eventful one, on and off the field. The Cardinals had their best record since 1901 when her father was president, drew a franchise high in attendance as a National League team, and made a profit of $127,000.166 Just as her father had endured a near tragedy with the League Park fire in 1901, she had to endure a near tragedy when the team survived a horrific train wreck on the morning of July 11. The train had been delayed a couple of times by Bresnahan’s demand that the Cardinals sleeper cars be moved from behind the engine. That decision saved their lives as the cars that replaced them endured the brunt of the wreck, which killed 12, including the engineer, and injured 47. The Cardinal players assisted in finding the injured and those that died. They were hailed as heroes but to a man they didn’t feel like heroes.167
League Park was renamed Robison Field for her father and uncle that same year. In appreciation for the team’s finish and optimistic prospects for the future, Britton gave Roger Bresnahan a five-year contract extension which also gave the Cardinal manager a percentage of the profits.168
On December 12, 1911, at the Waldorf Hotel in New York, Britton became the first woman to attend a National League meeting.169 She was accompanied by Steininger, who was her proxy. She witnessed Steininger cast her vote which reelected incumbent National League president Thomas Lynch.170
She wasn’t intimidated in the owners’ presence and she brought order and manners to the meeting, something that had never occurred, the New York Times reported. The League owners deferred to her and refrained from smoking cigars during the meeting. She said she wasn’t bothered by it as her father and uncle smoked, so she told the other owners they could smoke if they wished, and they didn’t waste the opportunity to smoke, puffing away as usual.171
She took her place with the rest of National League magnates when a group photo was taken December 12, 1911 at the Waldorf Hotel.
But things still didn’t go smoothly with her male colleagues in St. Louis. In April 1912, Britton and her mother obtained an injunction to stop Steininger from using his proxy at the board of directors meeting. They said he wouldn’t vote according to their wishes and she felt Steininger had shown a lack of transparency.172 There was inadequate information regarding the expenditures, revenues and dividend payments of the Cardinals and the financial information was locked in a safe to which she had no access.173 The court ruled in favor of the women.174
St. Louis Cardinals owner Helene Britton, top center, poses with other National League team owners at the winter meetings in 1913. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)
Steininger wasn’t the only Cardinal official to feel Britton’s ire. The good feelings between Bresnahan and Britton began evaporating in 1912. It started when the Cardinals’ manager didn’t notify her about the change in training camp from Jackson, Tennessee, where it was raining and made field conditions unplayable to Jackson, Mississippi. When Britton asked Bresnahan why he had switched camps, he was so disgusted with her demands for an explanation that he didn’t tell her it was for the players’ benefit.175
Things got worse when Britton told Bresnahan that any trade had to be cleared first with the new president James C. Jones, an insurance attorney who replaced Steininger. Jones was very tight-lipped about giving information about his role in the front office.176 As a result, no major trade occurred during the season. The breaking point for Bresnahan came August 15 when the Post-Dispatch reported Britton had revoked a trade that would have sent Miller Huggins and George Ellis to Cincinnati for outfielder Mike Mitchell and outfielder Charles (“Tex”) McDonald. Bresnahan felt that Huggins had slowed down and with Lee Magee playing well at second he could get Mitchell, a top outfielder who he liked. Britton nixed the deal because she liked Huggins and thought he had the makeup of a good on-the-field leader. Bresnahan said he would not make any more deals to improve the club, since they wouldn’t get approved anyway.177
Bresnahan’s profit-sharing clause hamstrung Britton’s operation of the Cardinals office staff. The clause stipulated a cap of $10,000 total in salaries for the president, secretary, treasurer, groundskeeper, press agent and attorneys. Britton could not spend more until Bresnahan got his 10 percent of the net profits. But attornies’ fees alone exceeded $10,000.178 Knowing that Bresnahan’s contract was hurting the team, Britton fired Bresnahan and hired Huggins.179 The move was expected to save Britton $8,000 a season with Huggins getting paid $6,000.180 The remaining years of Bresnahan’s contract were settled for $11,500 each, and the Cardinals paid that in January 1913.181
Britton had a somewhat troubled marriage but reconciled with her husband in August 1911.182 A year and a half later she felt that it was necessary to get Schuyler involved in running the Cardinals, and in February 1913 she announced that Schuyler was the new Cardinals’ president. replacing Jones.183 The Post-Dispatch reported Schuyler had learned how to run a baseball franchise in a story headlined “He Has Been Groomed to Head the Cardinals.”184
The big question the Brittons faced was when wooden Robison Field would be replaced with a concrete and steel park. Schuyler made an announcement in July 1913 that construction on a new concrete grandstand would start in two months. The October home series against Cincinnati would be moved to the Reds park and the fall City Series games versus the Browns would all be played at Sportsman’s Park. Plans called for a single-deck grandstand to be constructed first with a second deck added when the Cardinals won a pennant.185 With the season’s average game attendance falling to 2,750, those plans were shelved and the Cardinals continued to play their games at Robison Field. It was estimated a new ballpark would cost the Cardinals $150,000. The idea was broached that a lease to play at Sportsman’s Park would cost less and it was available for half the season when the Browns were on the road, but for the moment that idea went nowhere.186
The inability to draw fans to a substandard Robison Field grew worse when the upstart Federal League started play in 1914 with a team in St. Louis. A brand new stadium was built for the Terriers, called Handlan’s Park, located at Grand and Laclede Avenues.187 Curiosity was so high that when the City Series game was rained out, St. Louis fans flocked to the new ballpark for an open house.188
The Terriers opened their season on April 16, 1914 in front of 20,000 fans at Handlan’s Park. The Cardinals had opened two days before only 3,000 fans at Robison Field.189 Handlan’s advantages were its downtown location with good access for residents on the south side of the city.190
Trying to keep the Cardinals competitive in a city that now had three major league teams, the Brittons opened up the purse strings for 1914. The team’s three best players, Magee, Pol Perritt and Ivey Wingo, collectively doubled their salaries to prevent them from jumping.
It didn’t work. It was the Cardinals’ best finish as a National League team, but didn’t come close to what they had drawn with Bresnahan as player manager in 1911. With lower revenues, higher salaries and its two competitors in more attractive ballparks, the Brittons began to discuss selling the team.191
The Brittons’ Robison Field problems kept getting worse. A March 1915 citation from the St. Louis City Building Commissioner in March 1915 specified that the bleachers at Robison Field were unsafe and must be repaired before games could be played there.192 As a result, all the games spring City Series with the Browns were played at Sportsman’s Park. The Cardinals were racing the clock to complete the repairs but Schuyler Britton said he wasn’t worried because the club had sold only two tickets in advance and the bleachers would be ready for the home opener April 22.193
The Brittons had been discussing a move to Sportsman’s Park, but Schuyler Britton announced on April 9, 1915 that the Cardinals would play their entire 1915 home season at Robison Field. The lease to rent Sportsman’s Park from Robert Hedges, the Browns owner, would cost $12,000. But, according to Schuyler, it wasn’t about the rent, “I have made arrangements to rush the work on the stands, and we will have the ballpark looking fit by the time the club returns from the opening road trip. We received lengthy petitions from fans and the neighbors asking us to stay. I’m afraid our team would lose identity by going to the Browns’ park.”194
The Federal League situation in St. Louis was getting more complicated. Phil Ball, owner of the Federal League Terriers, met with American League President Ban Johnson to discuss buying the Browns, because Robert Hedges wanted to get out.195 Ball’s original plan to buy the Cardinals had been stymied by the Brittons’ insistence on keeping the team.196 Johnson sounded positive regarding his discussions with Ball.197
Schuyler Britton was adamant that he would sell the Cardinals for a profit and would not be pressured to sell. At the end of the 1915 season, executives from the three leagues got together to hammer out a plan for peace. The reports were that Ball would buy the Browns and the Cardinals would lease Sportsman’s Park from him for the 1916 season.198
On December 23, 1915, peace was achieved. Ball bought the Browns from Hedges, leaving the Cardinals in Helene Britton’s hands and still playing at Robison Field. Most Federal League players could be purchased at auction.199 Huggins wanted to purchase some Federal players to strengthen his talent-challenged club but Schuyler Britton refused to add payroll. He also considered the Federal League players jumpers or scabs.200 Schuyler’s obstinance would hamper the current team and future plans to sell the franchise.
Britton had two suitors for the Cardinals and Robison Field. The first was Henry Ford (Harry) Sinclair, Tulsa oil tycoon and one of the financial backers of the now defunct Federal League. Sinclair felt that the St Louis National League franchise played in an outdated ballpark and lacked talent. He offered $325,000 and walked away when Britton insisted on $425,000.201 The second was a syndicate from St. Louis represented by Henry Weisels, head of Weisels Gerhart Realty Co.202 The Weisels’ syndicate didn’t want to go any higher than $375,000.203 Schuyler Britton said he stopped negotiating with Weisels when he found out the real estate mogul only wanted to Robison Field to divide the property into lots to build bungalows.204 Weisels planned to play at Sportsman’s Park.205
A mystery buyer surfaced and quietly disappeard, discouraged by Schuyler’s take-it-or-leave-it pricing and inflated view of what the team was worth.206 Fans were getting frustrated with the uncertainty. Reporter J.V. Linck summed up that frustration with a rhyme in the February 15, 1916 St. Louis Globe-Democrat:
“We’d like to see the Cardinals change hands or else an end
Of stories of these pending deals which nothing do but pend;
If Britton’s going to sell we hope he will not long delay.
If not, we hope he’ll get a team which winning ball can play.207
The 1916 season came with the Cardinals still in Britton’s hands and went with no winning ballclub on the field and at the gate.
In November 1916 Helene Britton filed for divorce from Schuyler after five years of trying to keep the marriage intact. Her petition alleged that her husband was an alcoholic and when drunk would verbally abuse her, that he promoted a toxic environment at the house inviting friends that she considered uncivilized who were loud and vulgar and that he provided no financial support for the family, and instead wasted her family fortune.208 Her divorce from Schuyler was settled, February 12, 1917.209
On that day, Britton was elected president of the Cardinals, quashing the rumor that Browns’ executive Branch Rickey would be the next president and business manager of the club.210 She disparaged Schuyler Britton’s operation of the Cardinals, saying he prevented progress of the club, but didn’t elaborate.211 For her part, she said she would be taking “a very active interest” in running the ball club. Huggins would continue as manager but the roster would be upgraded. The club was not for sale.212
A week later, she returned to her theme. “There is no chance for Mr. Weeghman to buy Hornsby or Meadows or anybody else that will be of any assistance to Mr. Huggins in building up the Cardinals. I have been annoyed by such reports before, but I wish to take this occasion to deny for all time that we intend to dispose of any available assets for cash. We are ready, willing and eager to make a trade. … But no more sales, no more cash transactions.”213
That winter, the rundown Robison Field was the subject of a letter written by N. Hollander Hall, St. Louis’ 21st Ward alderman, to National League President John Tener. Hall asked Tener to work for a new ballpark whether or not Britton remained. He said Stanley Robison had new plans for a ballpark in 1906, but those plans had never been acted on. Robison Field, he said, was in as bad a shape as it had been under Von der Ahe and the residents of the ward deserved a facility that complimented the improvements made to their neighborhood. He implored Tener to act as the league had done when they removed Von der Ahe from ownership of the franchise.214
In a retort, Britton said that no improvements would be made to Robison Field as the club had finished last in attendance in the National League in 1916.215 As 1916 came to a close it became apparent that, contrary to her vow in November, Britton was listening to offers to sell the franchise. A team that was considered to be a “woodpile” and a ball park better suited for kindling, was still getting interested buyers as impending sale rumors ran rampant.216
Britton said her asking price for the Cardinals would be $500,000. This was despite Phil Ball paying $75,000 less for a better ball club and a ballpark with a concrete grandstand.217
Helene’s Britton’s efforts to sell the club were hampered by the threat of a strike by players belonging to the “Fraternity of Baseball Players.”218 The strike ultimately was canceled and the union broken by the National Commission.219 Finally with the United States heading into the World War and military conscription on the horizon, Britton would be hard pressed to get her asking price.220
On February 27, 1917, James C. Jones, former president of the Cardinals announced that he represented a group called “the Cardinal Idea” that had an option to purchase the team from Britton for $350,000.221
The “Cardinal Idea” Ownership
The St. Louis Cardinals (National League) 1917-1919 and Branch Rickey
The “Cardinal Idea” was fan ownership through the purchase of subscriptions. Each subscription would purchase a share of stock at $50.00 per share. Jones’s goal was to raise $500,000 through the sale of ten thousand shares. That money would be put towards the $350,000 purchase price of the ballclub and provide working capital to operate the Cardinals.222
Interested parties could solicit information from Jones by filling out a form that ran in the newspaper. The form said each share purchased also would entitle the subscriber to a free season pass for a young male to attend games at Robison Field during the 1917 season.223 The program was called the “Knot-Hole Gang” and its objective was to create a new generation of Cardinal fans. It would be an annual program.224
On March 5, 1917, Jones gave Britton a check for $25,000 which triggered a 60-day option period. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported one hundred ten members of the business community contributed an average of $227.27 each to raise that money. The next payment of $150,000 was to be funded by additional subscriptions. If that payment was not made, the group would forfeit the $25,000 and the team would revert to Britton.225
Jones launched a campaign of luncheons to entice attendees into buying shares. Britton helped by paying for the luncheons, including the cost of clerical staff to sell the share subscriptions and miscellaneous items. Britton’s gesture saved Jones and the syndicate close to $17,000. At a banquet held at the Mercantile Club in St. Louis on March 30, three hundred attendees were informed that $178,850 in stock was purchased — enough to make the first payment of $150,000 to Britton, during the first week of April.226
When he wasn’t pitching the idea of owning stock in the Cardinals to St. Louis business executives, Jones was looking for someone with a baseball background who could handle the daily off-field operations of the team. His search led him to Branch Rickey, business manager of the Browns. Jones was attracted to Rickey because he had a reputation for having a good baseball acumen and a keen nose for talent.227
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch had praised Rickey for his success during the 1914 season and called him “Dr. Branch Rickey, Professor of Baseball.”228 Rickey had gained accolades for his new training methods.229 The newspaper noted the teetotaling Rickey was so praised for his efforts that a non-alcoholic beverage called the “Branch Rickey” was sold at a local drugstore. The concoction was a squirt of orange syrup with shaved ice and carbonated water in a glass.230
Rickey was in demand as a speaker at functions around the St. Louis area.231 Jones was also attracted to Rickey because he knew of Rickey’s dissatisfaction with his contract under Phil Ball. Ball had taken away Rickey’s field manager’s duties and made him the business manager while taking away his profits clause.232 Rickey negotiated an out clause that Ball would agree to let him go if Rickey found a better career opportunity.233
Rickey and Jones came together, and on March 21, 1917 at the Mercantile Club, Branch Rickey was introduced as the new president of the Cardinals and implementer of the “Cardinal Idea.”234 His contract was for three years at $15,000 per year.235 But Ball obtained an injunction to prevent Rickey from going to the Cardinals.236 To avoid a court battle that would reveal the bitter disagreements between Ball and Rickey, attorneys representing the two reached an out of court settlement.237 Rickey finally got to work for the Cardinals, on April 7, 1917.238
The financial situation that Rickey inherited was a shoestring at best. The subscription campaign had fallen far short of Jones’ $500,000 goal.239 When the Articles of Association were filed by the new legal entity for the Cardinals, the “St. Louis National Baseball Club,” they listed 7,500 shares were held outstanding with a value of $187,500.240 Purchasers had not been bullish on paying $50.00 a share, and even a $25.00 per share price couldn’t change enough minds to buy up the remaining preferred shares.241 The majority of shares were held by Jones, with 3,276 common shares, and Fred N. Chaney manager of the St. Louis office of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, with 2,450 preferred shares.242 These two shareholders held 76.3 percent of shares outstanding.
Herman D. Seekamp, secretary and treasurer under Stanley Robison and treasurer under Helene Britton, held 284 shares or 3.8 percent. S.R. Ward, St. Louis businessman, held 280 shares or 3.7 percent. Branch Rickey and three others held 200 shares each or 10.7 percent of shares outstanding. Nineteen other shareholders held only 410 shares outstanding or an average of 22 shares each.243 The inability of all the shareholders to step up to the plate led the Board of Directors to issue notes for the remainder of the $175,000 owed to Britton.244 The final payment was due in May 1920.245
The first season for “The Cardinal Idea” owners and Rickey as president, resulted in the best season since 1914. But Rickey was unable to sign Miller Huggins to an extension. Huggins turned down a $10,000 (plus a percentage of the profits) offer for 1918 to go to the Yankees, who bettered Rickey’s offer with an extra year.246
Rickey made the decision to raise revenue for the 1918 season by limiting the bleacher seats to 1,000 and increasing that seat’s ticket price to 30 cents.247 In wartime, that didn’t work. Bleacher fans stayed away instead of paying the higher price. A war tax also cut into revenue. Showing his patriotism, Rickey also wanted to have the Cardinals support the war effort by raising money for the third Liberty Loan Fund drive and put the solicitation for additional subscriptions on the back burner.248
Finding the money to retire the debt to Britton was proving problematic.. Rickey said that when money came in from the sale of stock subscriptions, it should be used to pay Britton rather than build up the team.249 Cash flow was so bad that in May when the second note payment was due only $10,000 was paid, $40,000 short. Britton allowed a 60-day extension to July.250 During that time, the shareholders were sent a letter stating they had four days to increase their holdings by one-third to raise $60,000 or the club would be sold at auction.251 Only one unnamed shareholder came forward.252 On July 1, Ben G. Brinkman, board chairman of the Cardinals said that the team had received another extension from Britton.253
Three possibilities loomed for the Cardinals: First, the “Cardinal Idea” people would somehow raise $60,000, with $40,000 paid to Britton; Second, a buyer for the club could come forward. Rumors were that James C. McGill, president of the Indianapolis Club of the American Association, and St. Louis capitalist Russell E. Gardner were prospective buyers; Third, the $60,000 would not be raised. The club would revert to Britton. She could at her discretion foreclose on the team and sell it to the highest bidder. 254
On July 14, the Cardinals announced that another subscription drive had only netted $16,000 in new pledges. Since the subscription goal was not met, those pledges were returned. Two days later, a new strategy was developed at a meeting with board members Rickey, Jones, Ben G. Brinkman, and George H. Williams. These attendees, representing the largest stake holders in the club, agreed to make pledges in exchange for notes against the club.255 By becoming creditors, $75,000 was raised. The principal and interest on these notes would come due January 5, 1919. Britton received the $40,000 remaining on the second payment.256
The Cardinals limped to the 1918 season finish line in last place. Only Boston and Brooklyn kept them out of the National League attendance cellar in a season shortened by World War I. Player losses to military service or in essential industries hurt a team already thin on talent.257 The last day of the season, Brinkman announced that in addition to discussing the club’s financial situation, the board was going to consider adding field manager’s duties to Rickey’s plate, saving a salary. However, Rickey was getting ready to take a leave of absence to serve as a Major in the Chemical Warfare Division.258
Jones said with a net loss between $25,000 and $30,000 for the season any hopes of building a new Cardinal Field were shelved, but the club would not be playing in Sportsman’s Park, and not moving to Kansas City.259 Heading into 1919, the Cardinals were in debt for $90,000 to its noteholders due January 25 plus $125,000 owed to the newly re-married Helene Britton Bigsby.260 If they couldn’t come up with a plan to raise $215,000 they would end the first month of 1919 in foreclosure.
Going into the board of directors meeting in January 1919, the Cardinals faced foreclosure. Club secretary W. G. Schofield said the common stock in the Cardinals had no market value and the one asset with value was the land under the stadium. Schofield also said that if foreclosure was enacted players would probably be distributed in a dispersal draft. Those shareholders not holding notes against the Cardinals were at risk of losing their money. There were 634 shareholders who had bought blocks of shares with values between $25-$500. Since they didn’t participate in the note issue, their claims to proceeds from the foreclosure would be third after Bigsby and the shareholders who had extended credit by issuing notes.261 Branch Rickey, back from France, felt the club would not be sold.262 He said he was handling baseball matters and to save money on 1919 spring training expenses the Cardinals would train in town at Washington University’s Francis Field.263
At the meeting held on January 28, 1919, the Board of Directors agreed to satisfy the shareholders holding the $90,000 in notes, but terms of the settlement were not announced. The team would not be sold, with the present owners would remain in charge. Rickey stated that he would perform the presidential and managerial duties under the terms of his old contract or he would take what he thought the owners felt he was worth at the end of the season.264
The star power of Rogers Hornsby helped the Cardinals turn a profit in 1919 with strong road attendance despite finishing last in the league in home attendance.265 The owners made the May 1 deadline for the $50,000 payment owed on the note to Helene Bigsby.266 The Knot-Hole Gang program had its largest participation since the program began in 1917. A total of 37,178 members attended games sitting in right field. Season ticket books issued by stockholders increased to 1,550 after a drop of 25 percent from 2,000 due to the war.267
On January 13. 1920, the Cardinals announced that Branch Rickey would step down as president of the Cardinals but remain field manager and assume new duties of business manager and vice president of the club. The board chose auto dealer and shareholder Sam Breadon as the Cardinals new president. Breadon had bought shares in the Cardinals because he felt the franchise was a civic asset, but he was also a creditor. The majority of his $20,000 investment was in notes totalling $18,000.268 Breadon also named the 21 members of the board of directors. Branch Rickey who was an initial board member and shareholder retained his seat on the board.269
It didn’t take Breadon long to assert his influence as president of the Cardinals. In May, he announced $100,000 in team stock had been exchanged to retire the debt owed to the noteholders. In addition, shareholders were required to accept additional stock in exchange for any notes they held on the Cardinals. Breadon said there would be no cash redemption of the notes but he offered to buy back their shares, increasing his ownership in the Cardinals. Proceeds from that sale were directed by the shareholders and board of directors to make the final payment to Helene Bigsby. The payment of $115,000, included $40,000 in accrued interest on notes she held and was delivered to her on May 13, 1920. The total purchase price paid to Bigsby was $390,000. The team now had no outstanding long-term debt.270
Breadon, through his buyout plan, became the largest individual shareholder of the Cardinals holding, 4,211 shares (36.4%) out of the 11,580 outstanding. James C. Jones was the second largest shareholder with 3,595 shares or 31.0 percent.271 Breadon streamlined the Cardinals board of directors reducing the number of seats on the board from 21 to 7.272 Breadon’s said he wanted to expedite decision-making as he felt too many opinions slowed down the process.
Breadon continued buying out shareholders, purchasing the holdings of Jones and board member John A. Leschen, totaling 4,155 shares. On May 8, 1922, Breadon announced he owned 8,366 shares, 72.2 percent of the total.273
St. Louis Cardinals (National League), 1920-1947
When Sam Breadon became primary owner of the Cardinals it was a match of ragtag ballclub with a man who had a rags to riches story. Breadon was born in New York City on July 26, 1876.. His father William was Irish and mother Janet (Wilson) Breadon, Scots. He was one of eight children and grew up along the docks near Greenwich Village. His father delivered beer for a brewery.
When Sam was still a boy, William died. Sam finished grammar school at the Old Ninth Ward grade school and then went to work to help support his family.274 He had a melodious tenor voice and as a youngster he sang in the choir at New York Episcopal Church. He would continue to sing in barbershop quartets and got tagged with the nickname “Singing Sam.”275
Not satisfied with his life working in a $125 a month white-collar job, he headed west to St. Louis in 1900, and worked as a mechanic for $75 a month.276 Breadon had three characteristics to succeed — confidence in himself, knowing when to take risks, and the ability to make tough decisions, which were needed after he lost his job working on cars.277 With his source of income gone, he had only 15 cents a day.278 He took a chance by renting a popcorn stand during the 1904 World’s Fair. The stand made a total profit of $35.00.279
Using his experience as an auto mechanic, Breadon opened his own garage. Pioneer automobile dealer Gus Halsey used the garage, was impressed with Breadon’s work and honesty, and offered him a job with the dealership.280 Breadon worked his way up and eventually bought the dealership. In the late aughts and early teens, he established his Western Automobile Company as the prime distributor of the Pierce Arrow automobile in the area.281 He served as treasurer of the St. Louis Auto Dealers Association.282
Being an auto dealer made him a rich man and a notable fixture in St. Louis.283 He married twice. His first wife, Frances Josephine (Christian) Breadon gave birth to a daughter. Frances was granted a divorce from Breadon on January 30, 1912. She cited her husband’s lifestyle and the company he kept.284 Later that same year, Breadon married Rachel (Ray) Wilson. They adopted a daughter, Janet, during the marriage.285
Within his first year as Cardinals’ owner, Breadon had to figure out how move the Cardinals from bottom feeders to the top of the National League food chain. His first objective was finding a home for the Cardinals to play. Looking to increase paid attendance and continue the Knot-Hole Gang program, Breadon knew that the park at Natural Bridge and Vandeventer Avenues, now called Cardinal Field, was not suitable. It was the last wooden stadium in major league baseball and replacing rotten boards in the grandstand was never-ending.
Building a new ballpark was going to take time and money. City building codes required concrete to be used as the main material and the cost to build a new ballpark was estimated at $400,000, more than Helene Britton Bigsbee had received for both the franchise and the Cardinal Field real estate. For the Cardinals, recently out of debt, a new stadium would add costs and inhibit Rickey’s ability to put a competitive ballclub on the field.286
Unlike Schuyler Britton and James C. Jones, Breadon wanted the Cardinals to play at Sportsman’s Park. He started talking with Phil Ball, owner of the Browns and Dodier Realty Company, which operated the park. On June 24, 1920, Breadon announced an agreement for the Cardinals to play their home games at Sportsman’s Park, saying that the lease would provide cost certainty and give Rickey’s team the ability to play in an up-to-date facility.287 Breadon signed a lease for 10 years at $20,000 per year.288 On July 1, 1920, the Cardinals returned to the site they had called home for the first 11 seasons of their existence.
The Cardinals maintained their administrative offices at Cardinal Field, but didn’t announce any long-term plans for the venue.289 The park was still used for amateur soccer matches and baseball tryouts.290 In 1922, the St. Louis Board of Education, which wanted the site for a high school, began negotiations with Breadon and eventually bought the land for $212,000.291
The Cardinals began showing improvement on the field and at the gate under Branch Rickey. The 87 wins in 1921 were a the most wins for the franchise since they were the Perfectos in 1899. The team’s home attendance of 536,998 in 1922 (when the team spent nineteen days in first place) surpassed the attendance record set in 1911 when Roger Bresnahan was player-manager.
Relations between the Cardinals and the Browns soon turned sour. The Browns wanted to increase seating capacity at Sportsman’s Park after a successful 1922 Browns’ squad drew 712,918 fans and Ball had to turn away customers.292 The Browns’ owner felt adding 10,000 grandstand seats and 500 box seats would remedy that dilemma. However, he needed the financial support of Breadon and the Cardinals.293 The Cardinals turned down Ball after that 1922 season because there was no stipulation in the 1920 lease that the Cardinals had to share in any expenses to upgrade Sportsman’s Park.294 Ball tried to convince Breadon that the Cardinals’ growing success would increas attendance and would justify the cost.295 Breadon’s refusal led Ball to revoke the lease agreement early in 1924, citing a late payment and insufficient liability insurance.296 He hoped Breadon would want to renegotiate.
Instead, Breadon filed an injunction to keep Ball from enforcing the eviction notice while the Cardinals played their 1924 home schedule.297 Ball and the Browns filed their own injunction to keep the Cardinal employees from trespassing on Sportsman’s Park.298 The court quickly gave Breadon the injunction he sought.299 Four months later, the court ruled the Browns’ contention that the Cardinals violated the lease was a ploy to raise the rent and force them to pay a share of increasing capacity at Sportsman’s Park. It granted the Cardinals permanent access to Sportsman’s Park through the remainder of the lease.300 A year later, Phil Ball went ahead with plans to expand the seating capacity to 34,000 seats.301 His decision was aided when Breadon decided to assume an additional $10,000 a year in rent through 1930, to help pay for the renovations.302 Breadon had also increased his leverage on the Browns by purchasing land at Spring and Chouteau Avenues for a proposed ballpark to begin construction in 1929.303
Construction completed for the 1926 Spring City Series and included new concrete ramps and a screen extending to the top of the second deck of the grandstand that limited the number of baseballs being lost as souvenirs.304
When negotiations for the lease extension started at the end of the 1929 season, things were amicable between Breadon and Ball. In fact, Breadon exercised the renewal option a year early and signed another ten-year lease with the Browns. The Cardinals would pay $35,000 per year, a $5,000 increase. Breadon said signing the lease extension would put to rest rumors the Cardinals would move to Kansas City or other cities. With financial markets plummeting and banks beginning to fail, Breadon said he felt plans to build the 40,000 seat “Breadon Bowl” at Spring and Chouteau, were unfeasible at best. 305
Rickey had returned from World War I with the conviction the Cardinals couldn’t compete with the big-market New York Giants and Chicago Cubs who bought promising players from independent minor league operators. Instead, the Cardinals would have to grow their own. He began in 1919 with a working agreement with the Houston Buffaloes.306 Rickey continued the plan after Breadon took over ownership of the Cardinals. The team purchased a half interest in the Syracuse Stars of the Class AA International League in 1921.307 The following year they purchased a controlling interest, sixty percent, in the Ft. Smith Twins of the Western Association.308 Using the additional capital from the sale of Cardinal Field, Rickey kept acquiring more teams or affiliates.309
Rickey had scout Charley Barrett sign collegiate and high school players who had flown under the radar and then assign them to teams in what became known as the farm system. The first fruits from the farm, harvested from 1922-24, included Jim Bottomley, Ray Blades, Les Bell, and Flint Rhem. With the continuous bumper crop of players brought to the majors Dizzy Dean, Joe Medwick, Terry Moore, Enos Slaughter, Mort and Walker Cooper, Red Schoendienst and the “Greatest Cardinal of Them All,” Stan “The Man” Musial. The backbone of nine pennant-winning teams and six World Series titles was assembled during Breadon’s ownership elevating the Cardinals to the penthouse after years in the outhouse.
Before all that happened, Breadon, had to turn down a megadeal for the Cardinals’ drawing card Rogers Hornsby after the 1920 season. The deal proposed by Giants’ manager John McGraw would have sent four players plus $200,000 for the Cardinals star. But when Breadon asked for McGraw favorite, third baseman Frank Frisch, McGraw, calling from Cuba, was so stunned he hung up the phone. The deal offered by McGraw was considered the richest offered for one player at the time.310
When the 1922 season started the Cardinal players were wearing a new logo — two cardinal birds on a bat over the team nickname. It was to change the perception of the nickname, from the color to the birds.311 The logo came from an idea Rickey got from table decorations at a monthly dinner held by the Fellowship Club of the Presbyterian Church in Ferguson, Missouri, where he was keynote speaker.312 What greeted him at the table was a decoration of cardboard cardinals on a twig and he noticed that all the tables had the same decoration. They were created by Allie May Schmidt, a member of the church. She got the “Ah ha” moment for the centerpieces when she saw cardinal birds on snow covered tree branches outside her window. The decoration gave inspiration to Rickey, who thought a Cardinal “Birds on the Bat” logo would be a striking addition to the team’s uniform and provide a distinctive image.313 Rickey’s idea was to have two pugnacious cardinals looking at each other on a bat.314 Allie May’s father, Edward, a commercial artist with Woodward and Tiernan Printing Co., worked up some sketches incorporating Rickey’s idea and it didn’t take long for the two of them to create the logo with the design shown below.
As the 1920s proceeded, the novelty of playing in a new ballpark wore off as the Cardinals slid backwards into their old losing ways. Attendance fell in 1923 and1924. Breadon relieved Rickey of his on-field duties on May 30, 1925 with the club in last place and a record of 13-25. Despite Rickey’s disappointment with the demotion, Breadon said he was on good terms with Rickey and that Rickey agreed to continue handling the business affairs of the club. Breadon installed Rogers Hornsby as player-manager.315The change did wonders on the field as the team went 64-51 the rest of the season. and attendance had a substantial increase from 1924.
1926 was the season that it all came together for Breadon, Rickey, the Cardinal players and their fans. The Cardinals took first place for good on September 17, and a week later clinched their first National League pennant and first championship in 38 years.
Breadon was joyous. “Nothing could make me happier than winning the pennant…. When I took charge of the club seven years ago, I did it with the hope of winning a championship for St. Louis. It’s been a long, hard fight but that ambition has finally been realized, he said”316
Breadon’s joy would only increase as the Cardinals won a dramatic Game 7 in New York to become world champions, the franchise’s first since 1886.
A celebration not seen since the 1918 armistice soon enveloped downtown St. Louis. Sixth and Locust was jammed with revelers numbering between 150,000 and 200,000. Traffic laws became obsolete as fans snake danced though the street in impromptu parades and rode on top of cars. Fireworks were set off all over St. Louis.317
St. Louis Cardinals owner Sam Breadon, far left, and manager Rogers Hornsby, far right, pose for a photo before Game One of the 1926 World Series at Yankee Stadium. Also pictured are, from left: Mrs. William Niekamp, Rachel Breadon, and Jeanette Hornsby. (SABR-OTTOSON PHOTO ARCHIVE)
Breadon and Cardinal fans had a little over two months to enjoy the taste of victory. Hornsby wanted a new three-year deal to take the place of the upcoming final year of his contract. Breadon first declined the offer, saying Hornsby should fulfill the remaining year on the current deal. He then counteroffered an increase to $50,000 for the last year of the current contract. He also offered additional shares in the Cardinals to Hornsby. But Hornsby didn’t take the offer because he felt he was risking enough of his money in team ownership and wanted to be compensated as he felt a player-manager should.318 Hornsby already was on the team’s board of directors and the second largest individual shareholder with 1,167 shares (10.3 percent).319 Late in December, Breadon changed his strategy, in part because McGraw finally agreed to include Frisch in the trade, and sent Hornsby to New York.320 “I realized it was a sensational trade, but it had to come,” said Breadon, “I learned at the conference with Hornsby today that a settlement was impossible… I feel very sorry that I could not come to terms with Hornsby, but there was no use further dickering and I felt the best thing I could do was to make the best trade I could get for him.”321
The fans were not happy and that unhappiness extended into the Cardinals’ board room. “The deal is an insult to the fans of St. Louis and board of directors of the club,” said Mark C. Steinberg, one of the directors. “Is there no way for this deal to be stopped?” asked Harold Bixby president Chamber of Commerce. “I think Breadon has made a mistake in his own interests,” charged John C. Pritchard director of the city’s Public Utilities. One fan had faith in Breadon and asked fans to be patient, “As one of those associated in the founding of the Cardinal baseball team, I have absolute confidence in Mr. Breadon. I am not familiar with the real merits of the controversy, but am very sure he thinks he has done the best thing for the club. Those disposed to criticize Mr. Breadon should withhold judgement for a while and see how the matter turns out. Mr. Breadon’s judgement in the matter is my judgement,” said George H. Williams, former United States Senator and a former member of the Cardinals’ board of directors in 1917-1919. 322
With Hornsby traded, he had to sell his shares as baseball rules stipulated a person couldn’t own stock in more than one team or while playing for another. Under an earlier agreement between Breadon and Hornsby, Hornsby was to receive $43.00 per share. However, with the franchise coming off a World Series title, Hornsby felt the club had increased in value and his selling price was $105 per share. Breadon thought Hornsby’s asking price was too rich.323 Over the coming weeks Breadon raised the price he was willing to pay, but the offers were not even close to what Hornsby wanted. The National League got involved in February 1927 and ruled that unless Hornsby sold his stock to back to the Cardinals, he would not be able to play for New York. If they still wanted Hornsby, the Giants would have to contribute some cash.324
They did. On April 10, the National League announced that the transaction had been completed. Hornsby dropped his selling price to $100 per share. The Cardinals paid $87 of that amount and the remaining $13 per share was paid by the Giants and the other League teams on an agreed upon ratio. Branch Rickey became the second largest shareholder in the team holding 1,133 shares or 11.2 percent. With Hornsby’s shares becoming treasury stock, Breadon’s controlling ownership share increased to 81 percent holding 8,231 shares.325
Sam Breadon was hopeful his new second baseman would be able to fill Hornsby’s shoes. Over the next eight seasons Frisch did more than that. St. Louis sportswriter Bob Broeg dubbed him the “Pilot Light” as the Cardinals won pennants in 1928, 1930 and a World Championship in 1931.326 Frisch was player-manager of the 1934 World Series winning team. Hornsby remained a great hitter, playing for three teams in three years from 1927-1929 and helping the Cubs to the World Series in 1929.
Breadon and the Cardinals reaped more benefit than the Browns out of the additional capacity at Sportsman’s Park. The tenant outdrew the landlord from 1926-1943. It wasn’t until 1944, when the Browns stood at the top of the mountain overlooking all the other American League teams, that they could claim the St. Louis home attendance crown in their own ballpark.
But Breadon also wanted to have the St. Louis Cardinals brand reach farther than the Knot Hole Gang and area fans. He focused on the growing medium of radio. It started when fans bombarded KMOX with letters requesting broadcasts of Cardinal games. Breadon approved the idea for the 1926 season and Thomas Patrick Convey gave his first game reports and scores on May 11, 1926.327 But, the broadcasts were dropped because KMOX and Breadon concluded the cost of the phone line from the stadium to the radio station was too high.328
Fans’ thirst for baseball broadcasts increased after hearing Graham McNamee’s calls of the Cardinals-Yankees World Series that year, and Breadon put the game accounts back on KMOX for 1927. 329 With Garnett Marks (aka Rhino Bill), the games were on radio for good except in 1934 when Breadon forbade broadcasts because of the perceived negative effect on attendance in 1932 and 1933.330 KMOX wasn’t the only station showcasing the Cardinals. From 1926-1940, the others were WIL and KXOK, with the latter as the flagship station. 331
To keep the games on the air plus pay for broadcast rights, the radio stations developed sponsorships. In 1940, Hyde Park Brewery was a Cardinals’ sponsor with games on the Hyde Park Brewery Network. The network’s flagship station was KXOK (1250 AM ) in St. Louis with broadcasters Ray Schmidt, Alex Buchan and former manager Gabby Street.
Other stations in the network were WTAX (1240 AM) in Springfield IL; WSOY (1340 AM), Decatur IL; KFRU (1400 AM) Columbia, MO; KFVS (1210 AM) Cape Girardeau, MO; and KWOC (930 AM) Poplar Bluff, MO.332 This network was in addition to KMOX and KWK broadcasting games in St. Louis.333 By the end of the 1947 season, the broadcast territory of the Cardinals had grown to 27 stations in seven states, the largest of any team in the Major Leagues.334
Breadon also used the new medium of television in 1947. The Cardinals premiered on KSD-TV, which aired the City Series game between the Browns and Cardinals on April 12, 1947.335 The first regular season game was aired on Friday afternoon April 18, 1947 when the Cardinals played the Cubs at Wrigley Field. It had a pre-game show with Harry Caray and Street.336
The Cardinals were able to dodge the financial woes of the first two years of the Great Depression with on-field success driving attendance in 1930 and 1931. But poor performance and the worsening depression led attendance to fall to 279,219 in 1932 and 256,171 in 1933. A tight pennant race in 1934, and a favorable schedule which had the Cardinals home for most of the last week of the season brought attendance up to 325,056.
Wearied of struggling financially, Breadon lost his zest for owning the Cardinals.337 A month after the Cardinals’ 1934 World Series win, the Daily News in New York published a story that Oklahoma oil tycoon Lew H. Wentz had received a two-week option to buy the team. Breadon’s asking price was at least $1 million for the franchise plus farm clubs. Wentz was familiar with the Cardinals’ Pepper Martin, who hailed from Oklahoma, and had gotten to know Dizzy and Paul Dean on train trips he took with the club during the 1934 World Series.338
On December 2, 1934, Wentz announced he would not buy the Cardinals because of the franchise’s inability to draw well at home.339 Three days later, Breadon explained that the option had expired, and he had regained his desire to own the Cardinals. It would take a substantial offer by Wentz for him to sell the franchise.340
Three weeks later it was reported Rickey sold his 1,133 shares in the Cardinals to Clarence Howard Jr., a venture capitalist, for between $66,000 and $86,000. Howard, became the second largest shareholder in the club with 1,195 shares (11.8 percent). His purchase caused rumors that he would buy out Breadon, but he, too, decided the $1 million price tag was too high.341
Branch Rickey’s baseball acumen and his ability to make deals netted him the top spot in compensation paid to baseball executives and players in 1934, according to Congressional reports. Rickey’s compensation was $49,470. It exceeded the salaries paid to New York Giants’ owner Charles Stoneham ($45,000) and Detroit Tigers’ owner Frank Navin ($40,000). Sam Breadon paid himself $18,000.342 When asked about their compensation for 1934, both Breadon and Rickey gave no comment as was their custom regarding financial dealings about the Cardinals.343
Sam Breadon didn’t have the deep pockets of Philip K. Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, nor did he have the New York City population that the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers enjoyed. However, he did have the farm system. If Breadon felt the Cardinals weren’t looking successful financially for a particular year, or to make a good year financially better, they sold their stars with the confidence that the farm system had replacements. From 1932-1940, Breadon and Rickey engineered 36 transactions that involved cash considerations coming back to the Cardinals worth at least $490,000.
The Cardinals’ success on the field helped create a financial windfall for Cardinal shareholders, especially Sam Breadon. The firsr dividend declared by the Cardinals board of directors was for the 1922 season and $35,000 was distributed to the shareholders.344 Breadon having 72 percent of the shares received $26,250. As his percentage of shares increased, Breadon got bigger slices of the dividend melon. The dividend payments of the Breadon years ranged from a low of $20,304 to a high of $121,920, with Breadon reaping the majority each time.345
Breadon and Rickey became caught in Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis’s crosshairs when the farm system came under investigation during 1938 spring training. Landis felt teams were hoarding players to keep them from other major league teams and denying those players a path to the big leagues.346
At the crux of Landis’s investigation was that Rickey and Breadon allegedly controlled multiple teams in at least four minor leagues. Landis fined the Cardinals more than $2,000 and released 100 players under the team’s control, none of whom could re-sign with the St. Louis organization for three years.347 It wasn’t a fatal blow to the franchise. Only four of the released players made it to the majors and only one, Pete Reiser, became a star.
During his first 16 years of Cardinal ownership Breadon was able to pull double duty as he still ran his auto dealership. In 1936, as he was about to turn 60, he sold the company.348 “I’ve just got too much to do,” he said, “and I am definitely out of the automobile game for the rest of my life.” The ballclub will be my only business venture, he added, and “it looks as if it will be enough to keep me occupied.”349
The first objective Breadon pursued was night baseball. He saw the attendance at night games in Cincinnati was larger than the weekday games.350 However with major league owners slow to approve the concept, Breadon had trouble persuading the Browns, now controlled by the estate of Phil Ball, that installing lights at Sportsman’s Park was a worthwhile expense. His break came when Donald Barnes bought the Browns in 1936, making it a condition that he be allowed to stage night games.351 When American League president Will Harridge announced that teams could play one night game against each of the other seven teams, Breadon had an ally.352
Wrangling over the costs and how they should be shared occupied Breadon and Barnes for almost four years. The negotiations were tangled by talks over extending the Cardinals’ lease on Sportsman’s Park. Eventually, they settled on extending the lease through 1950 at $35,000 annually.353
The Browns played the Cleveland Indians on May 24, 1940 in the first night game played at Sportsman’s Park. Breadon’s dream of night baseball became a reality as the Cardinals played their first night game at home on June 4, drawing 23,500 fans. The seven night games that season at Sportsman’s Park drew a total of 91,666 and an average of 13,095. For the seventy day games, the Cardinals drew 232,412 with an average of 3,320.
In early 1941, St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports editor J. Roy Stockton reported talk of a divorce between Breadon and Rickey. When Stockton asked around in the Cardinals’ offices, all he got were denials.354 Further details came out in June and put teeth in the rumor. At the February shareholders meeting, Breadon announced that he was skeptical that anyone in the organization including Rickey would be signed to a long-term contract.355 Rickey’s 1942 contract, the last year of a five-year deal, was for $50,000, with bonuses increasing it to $80,000.356 Breadon was concerned the impending World War II would cause baseball to be suspended and a long-term contract with Rickey would hamstring the team. Rickey, seeing there was no chance to get another five-year deal with the Cardinals, started talking with other clubs, including the Browns. The talks hit a snag when Rickey asked for contract language that said he would get paid even if baseball was shut down by the war.357
As the 1942 season ended, the Brooklyn Dodgers approached Breadon for permission to talk to Rickey. He agreed. On October 29, the news broke in St. Louis. “I wish Branch Rickey all the good luck in the world and I congratulate the Brooklyn Club upon obtaining Rickey’s services,” Breadon said, “Branch is possibly the best baseball executive in the business.”358
William Walsingham Jr., Breadon’s nephew and an assistant vice-president under Rickey, was next in line to assume running the Cardinals farm system. But he enlisted in the Navy in December 1942.359 Walsingham would assume the duties when he returned from the war. In the interim, Breadon said, he would act as the team’s general manager.360
In October 1943, Clarence Howard, the Cardinals’ second largest shareholder died in a freak accident.361 His stock was purchased by minority shareholders Mark C. Steinberg and Adolph M. Diez.
During 1943 and 1944, Breadon oversaw two pennants and a World Series win over the Browns in 1944 in the only all St. Louis World Series. Breadon interrupted his chorus of Irish songs to exclaim that this World Championship was the greatest of the previous five because it was for local bragging rights, and if the Cardinals had lost they would have had to leave town.362
In November 1944, Breadon announced plans to build a 40,000-seat ballpark at Spring and Chouteau. He said the rent level and length of the remaining lease on Sportsman’s Park had caused him to make this decision. Despite expected delays getting construction materials due to the war, he was confident that it would be ready for the 1951 season.363 However, once the war ended, the estimated cost of construction rose to more than the $1,250,000, or $31.25 per seat Breadon had earmarked.364
Despite the pennants of 1942, 1943 and 1944, attendance fell during the war years. But, because of the team’s success, Breadon had to deal with salary increases. At the start of the 1945 season, the government imposed a Wage Stabilization Act. It said a player could not make more than his 1942 salary. Breadon kept his total payroll in compliance by giving increases to certain players at the expense of others. This generated unhappiness, especially among the Cooper brothers.365 Breadon responded by trading Mort Cooper in 1945 and Walker Cooper before the 1946 season.
Breadon was counting on his farm system to turn out players just as talented. Fans and sportswriters did not share Breadon’s optimism. The 1945 salary issues also played a role when, in 1946, Breadon was faced with competition for players from Alphonso and Jorge Pasquel’s Mexican League.366 Despite the threat of a mandatory five-year ban by Commissioner A.B. (Happy) Chandler, the brothers used their considerable resources to lure major league stars south of the border. The Cardinals’ Max Lanier, Lou Klein and Fred Martin accepted the Pasquels’ money and were banned from the Major Leagues.367 They later sued and won reinstatement.368 Breadon’s best player Stan Musial was heavily courted by the Pasquels. Three times Musial turned down offers.369 The last was a five-year contract for $130,000.370 Breadon wanted to find out for himself why Major League players would jump to the Mexican League. He flew down and met with the Pasquels. He said he was representing only himself and did not come as a peace representative from Chandler.371 The Pasquels told him they were retaliating against the Major Leagues for signing their players and, knowing that the Major League players were better, their raids would hurt the teams north of Mexico.372 Breadon said he was able to persuade the Pasquels not to raid the Cardinals, but they would continue to raid the other teams.373 Breadon, who hadn’t cleared his visit with Chandler or National League president Ford Frick, was fined $5,000, but Chandler later rescinded the fine.374
In 1947, Jackie Robinson’s first year in the majors, Breadon and the Cardinals were caught up in accusations of racism. Cardinal players with Southern roots were not shy in saying they didn’t want to play against Robinson.375 Breadon went to New York to find out what his players’ intentions were and why the Cardinals had been playing poorly since the start of the season.376 News of Breadon’s visit and the Cardinals’ discontent led Stanley Woodward, the sports editor of the New York Herald-Tribune, to print a story that Breadon and National League President Ford Frick had averted a strike by Cardinal players.377 In a counterpoint story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bob Broeg provided detailed information from players Terry Moore, manager Eddie Dyer and Breadon that disputed Woodward’s story. Moore, the Cardinals’ player representative, team captain and Alabama native, acknowledged some of the Southern players were uncomfortable playing on the same field as Robinson, but said the players’ focus was on winning games, not striking because of Robinson. Dyer, from Louisiana, said his players never gave any impression they were going to strike and complimented the Dodgers for obtaining Robinson to help them win.378 After talking to his players, Breadon was assured that they were not planning to strike against Robinson and stated that he didn’t talk the Cardinals out of striking.379 Frick said he hadn’t talked to the players but relied on information he received from Breadon.380 Breadon claimed the Cardinal players treated Robinson with more respect and good sportsmanship than any National League team.381
As Breadon approached his seventy-first birthday in 1947, he was feeling his age. The lasting effect of injuries suffered after being dragged by a horse while out for a ride in August 1939 were growing worse.382 Rumors of his desire to sell the Cardinals and get out of baseball intensified after he scrapped plans to build his ballpark at Spring and Chouteau in June.383 In an attempt to keep the team’s eyes on winning the 1947 pennant, Breadon canceled all tentative sale negotiations telling the players that there was no deal to sell the team.384
However, soon after the season ended, on November 25, 1947, Sam Breadon announced that he had sold the Cardinals and the team’s sixteen farm clubs to the just-retired Postmaster General of the United States, Robert Hannegan, and attorney and real estate broker Fred Saigh.385 The sale also included $2.1 million in cash and the property at Chouteau and Spring that he had not used for a new ballpark.386 Hannegan and Saigh bought the 10,152 shares of outstanding Cardinal stock for $400 per share for a total price of $4.061 million.387
Breadon said he sold the Cardinals at this time because he thought his wife and daughters would receive more money than if they had to sell the team after Breadon’s death. Breadon noted former Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert’s heirs took a discounted price of $3.1 million in 1945.388 At the time of his death in 1939, the Yankees had been valued at $4.7 million.389 But buyers assumed Ruppert’s heirs would want to sell and discounted the price accordingly. Breadon also announced that due to the sale there would be no dividend prior to the team going to Hannegan and Saigh.390
The breakdown of the sales proceeds between shareholders was as follows: Breadon, with 81% of the shares, received $3,289,248; Mark Steinberg, if his holding of “about” 10% was accurate, received $406,080; Adolph M. Diez, with 4.1%, received $166,492.80 and 225 small shareholders with a cumulative 4.9% of the stock, received $198,979.20.391
Fred Saigh Jr.
St. Louis Cardinals (National League), 1948-1952
Co-owner with Robert Hannegan, 1948
Robert Emmet Hannegan was born on June 30, 1903 in St. Louis. His father was John P. Hannegan and mother was Anna T. (Holden) Hannegan.392 John Hannegan was a captain in the St. Louis Police Department and later Chief of Detectives.393 Robert attended St. Louis University, playing varsity football and baseball. He graduated from St. Louis University Law School in 1925, and then took a fling at professional baseball, attending spring training with the Tulsa Oilers (Western League) as an outfielder for the 1926 season.394 Failing to make the roster, he resumed his career as a lawyer.395 He joined the Democratic Party and became involved in Democratic Party politics during the New Deal. He helped Harry Truman to a primary win for the United States Senate in 1940 and to the nomination for vice president in 1944. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Hannegan Commissioner of Internal Revenue where he served from 1943-45. In 1945, after Roosevelt’s death, Truman appointed Hannegan the 52nd Postmaster General of the United States, and he served until November 25, 1947.396 Hannegan married Irma P. Protzmann in 1929 and they had four children. As a youth Hannegan was consumed in watching the Cardinals play at Robison Field. He sold peanuts in the left field bleachers during Cardinal games, ran marathons on the Annual Tuberculosis Day and joined the Knot-Hole Gang as ways to get into Robison Field.397
Frederick Michael Saigh Jr. was born June 27, 1905.398 His parents immigrated from Lebanon to the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Saigh grew up in Kewanee, Illinois, where his parents operated a grocery store. Growing up he followed baseball and the Chicago Cubs as a casual fan. During the 1920s he moved with his parents to St. Louis where his uncle lived. He attended Bradley and Northwestern universities and received a law degree. Saigh returned to St. Louis in 1926 and began to practice law. Over time he brokered several large real estate deals, most famously purchasing the Railway Exchange Building in downtown St. Louis on June 29, 1946 with the assistance of Sidney Salomon Jr. Arranging that deal gave Saigh a national reputation as an astute businessman having the vision to make wise deals.399 Saigh was married to Elizabeth Lewis of St. Louis and they lived at the Sheraton-Coronado Hotel.400
The Hannegan and Saigh partnership came together because Hannegan had an ambition to be president of the Cardinals and Saigh had developed business connections with Breadon. Those connections began when Saigh represented Texas businessmen in an unsuccessful bid to buy the Cardinals. Saigh later had another client who wanted the land Breadon had bought for his ballpark at Chouteau and Spring.
Breadon declined both offers, but asked Saigh if he could find someone to buy the Cardinals from him. Saigh shared the information with Hannegan and they formed a partnership, counting on Saigh’s knowledge of finance and Hannegan’s experience in Washington.401 At the press conference announcing the purchase, Hannegan, who took the role of team president, gave his thoughts on what the Cardinals meant to St. Louis and the responsibility that came with buying the franchise:
“From my boyhood I have held fast to my belief that Sam Breadon and the Cardinals were champions not only of a clean sport but in the eyes of the nation. They have become like our churches, schools, hospitals, parks and press, one of St. Louis ‘s finest civic assets. In taking over … the Cardinal organization I am mindful of the great responsibility to uphold the tradition of the team’s integrity and winning spirit and to strive at all times to advance and strengthen the Cardinals …”402
Hannegan announced that Breadon would stay on as an advisor to Saigh and himself to provide expertise in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the club as the new owners had no experience in running a baseball franchise. When asked if the partnership would be moving the Cardinals to the West Coast, Hannegan made it clear that “the Cardinals will definitely remain in St. Louis.”403
The partnership, National Sports Inc., financed the deal with a $3 million loan from First National Bank of St. Louis, $410,800 in deferred notes issued to principal shareholders, and $650,000 in cash assets.404 Saigh was registered agent for the incorporated partnership and in anticipation of the sale going through it was created a month prior to the sale’s completion.405
Four days after the announcement, Hannegan and Saigh’s financing was coming under scrutiny. The St. Louis Globe-Democrat reported the partners had used over $2 million of the Cardinals’ funds to pay Breadon for the purchase, reducing the cash available for salaries and improvements in the team. Without disclosing details of the purchase Saigh vehemently denied the report. He said the money was still in the Cardinals’ treasury and if it had been withdrawn to finance the sale it would have incurred higher taxes for Breadon. The IRS would have classified the money as undistributed profits or dividends which, at that time, had a higher rate than capital gains which was the IRS classification when National Sports Inc. paid Breadon with outside funds.406 Hannegan and Saigh had to declare a dividend of $700,000 because of the profits earned by the Cardinals during the 1947 season, Breadon’s last year of ownership. The partners said the majority of the dividend went the holding company for operation of the Cardinals.407
On January 8, 1948, Saigh submitted Articles of Merger, which were approved by the boards of directors of the holding company, National Sports Inc. and the Cardinals, to the State of Missouri by combining the two companies creating a new entity called the St. Louis National Baseball Club Inc. The articles laid out in detail the conversion of shares from the two entities into one. It resulted with 3,410 shares being authorized for ownership with a par value of 25 dollars per share.408
After the merger was completed, at least 1,698 shares were outstanding and owned by the Hannegan/ Saigh syndicate with Hannegan as principal owner and Saigh as minority owner, vice president and treasurer. Five other executives joined the two of them to form the new Cardinals board of directors. They were David R. Calhoun Jr., president of St. Louis Union Trust; William C. Connett, vice president of First National Bank; Gwynne Evans, former president of Evans Coffee Co.; Sidney Salomon Jr., insurance executive and former executive with Hannegan in the Post Office Department; and George W. Simpkins, attorney who represented Hannegan in purchasing the Cardinals.409
The merger became a point of contention when the lease of Sportsman’s Park came up a year later.
The Cardinals opened their 1948 season at home against Cincinnati on April 20, with Breadon, Hannegan, and Saigh in attendance. Hannegan put his touch on the opening day festivities by having the Cardinals and Cincinnati players introduced individually and lining up on the foul line in front of their respective dugouts, standing at attention during the National Anthem with a Marine color guard from St. Louis and 528th Air Service Group Band on the field.410 Hannegan had the home crowd serenaded to “Auld Lang Syne” after the last home game on October 3, 1948, as the Cardinals finished second for the year.411 And the following day he witnessed Stan Musial sign a two-year contract /worth $50,000 a season.412
Those events were highlights of the only season Robert Hannegan saw as majority owner and president of the Cardinals. He had been under a doctor’s care for hypertension and the stress of running the franchise was keeping him from maintaining his health. He decided to obey his doctor’s orders and step down as Cardinal president. On January 27, 1949, Hannegan sold his portion of the team to Fred Saigh his partner. Although Saigh and Hannegan would not divulge the price Saigh paid, it was learned that Hannegan received a minimum of $1 million for his shares. The original deal in 1947 had been a 50-50 division between the two of them.413
With the purchase of Hannegan’s portion, Saigh now owned 90 percent (1,557.9) of the 1,731 shares outstanding in the Cardinals. Sidney Salomon Jr. held a minority shareholder position of 166.1 shares.414 Three other shareholders split the remaining seven shares because of sentimental ties to Breadon. With the exception of the Boston Red Sox, the Cardinals were the most tightly held ownership in the Major Leagues.415
A day after becoming controlling owner Saigh put together his brain trust. He would not make any baseball-related decisions without input from William Walsingham, the team’s vice president and Breadon’s nephew, field manager Eddie Dyer and Joe Mathes, the minor-league director.416
Almost a month into his ownership Saigh was faced with his first challenge. Just as Sam Breadon had to deal with an eviction threat in 1924 from the Dodier Realty Company, 25 years later Saigh’s ownership was served with an eviction notice from new Browns’ owners Bill DeWitt Sr. and Charley DeWitt. Their objective was to raise the Cardinals’ rent. Their position was that since the Cardinals drew the most fans to Sportsman’s Park (almost 77 percent of combined attendance), their tenants should pay that percentage of maintenance expenses. Under the existing lease maintenance costs were split 50-50.417
The Cardinals balked as their share in maintenance costs would increase by at least $58,520 418 If that increase was implemented the total lease and maintenance to be paid by the National League club would be a minimum of $93,520.419 Saigh wanted the DeWitts to abide by the current lease which had two years to run. With Saigh and DeWitt Sr. not liking each other, their disagreement went to a hearing with Commissioner Happy Chandler on March 9, 1949. Chandler took the stance that this matter had to be resolved by the two clubs.420 Feeling that he was in the right, DeWitt Sr. sued the Cardinals on April 18, 1949. His suit argued the Cardinals had violated the lease by failing to notify the Dodier Realty Co. of the Cardinals’ legal name change after the merger. The Browns were asking $222,500 in damages.421
On May 2, 1950 St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Robert L. Aronson ruled that the Browns had no basis. When Breadon and the Browns signed the lease in 1937, no statute existed in Missouri regarding the type of merger that Hannegan and Saigh had engineered. It was the Browns fault that they had not specified there could be no consolidations or mergers. In his written comment, the judge did not describe the suit as an extortion attempt by the Browns even though there had been testimony which established it. The DeWitts and the Browns, Aronson ruled, were not entitled to $222,500 in damages and they had to honor the current lease through 1951 as well as the Cardinals’ option for another 10 years.422
As with Breadon, Saigh expressed his desire for a new ballpark. His plans were for a 47,000-seat stadium costing $4 million but not at the Spring and Chouteau site that had been bought from Breadon.423 According to Saigh, it was not large enough for the stadium and parking he envisioned.424 He said he had purchased 18 acres of land with nine more still to be purchased. Saigh would not reveal the location for his new park.425
Saigh cut ties with the Spring and Chouteau acreage when he sold the 11.5-acre site in two parcels on Christmas Eve 1950. Yellow Transit Company of Oklahoma City and St. Louis paid $200,000. for the west parcel and planned to build a truck terminal on it. The east parcel was bought by an unnamed investor, for an undisclosed amount.426
When Hannegan and Saigh’s first season of ownership did not bring home a championship, they were called out in the newspapers for failure to put a winning product on the field. Reporters and columnists laid the blame on a faltering farm system. Stars such as Terry Moore, Enos Slaughter and Marty Marion were getting older. More and more, the team was riding the coat tails of Stan Musial, with help from Red Schoendienst and Harry Brecheen, but little support from the minors. The papers suggest Saigh should find better players through other means.427 This charge fell to Saigh when he became controlling owner and he and his brain trust missed opportunities to sign players from the Negro Leagues as the Dodgers, Indians, Giants and even the Browns did.428
Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, later known as Busch Stadium, served as home of the Cardinals from 1920 to 1966. (NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY)
Fred Saigh was not a fan of Commissioner A.B. (Happy) Chandler. He was irritated Chandler had refused to step in during Saigh’s lease dispute with the Browns and for investigating Saigh for being arrested 52 times for unpaid parking tickets. According to the Cardinals’ owner, Chandler’s accusations damaged his reputation and made him look like a criminal.429 All of this came into play when Chandler, at the 1949 winter meetings, asked major league owners for a new seven-year contract even though his current contract would not be up until April 30, 1952. The owners resented the tone of his demands and Chandler did not get the 12 votes needed.430
The next year brought no resolution of Chandler’s request for a new deal. A majority of the owners supported Chandler, but not the necessary 12 and Saigh remained a vocal opponent.431
Still full of bravado Chandler asked the owners to vote again on a new contract. That vote was taken on March 12, 1951, at a meeting in Miami Beach. The owners remained split and Chandler finally conceded defeat.432 He negotiated a severance package which gave him a year’s salary and legal immunity from being a defendant in suits against baseball. His final day as Commissioner of Baseball was July 15, 1951.433
In an interview a day after Chandler’s contract was not renewed, Saigh admitted that he played an active role to get Chandler removed and said “it was my last campaign …. as an active hunter or campaigner.”434
On January 28, 1953, Fred Saigh pleaded no contest to charges of tax evasion.435 He said he did not fight the charges because he did not want his wife and ill mother to endure a jury trial. Plus, he thought he could get leniency.436 Saigh admitted guilt to two counts of fraud and negligence for not reporting all his income on tax returns from 1944-1950, which totaled $413,179, and business revenue for the Cardinals for the 1948 and 1949 seasons, totaling $330.978.437
Saigh was fined $15,000 and sentenced to fifteen months in prison for income tax evasion.438As part of his restitution to the Federal government, Saigh was to pay taxes and penalties of $399,359, plus taxes and penalties on the Cardinals business returns of $159,542.439 Saigh was given until May 4, 1953 to get his affairs in order which included selling the Cardinals as required by the National League and the Commissioner’s Office.440 On January 30, 1953 he met with National League president Warren Giles and Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick and got his transition plan approved.441
Frick and Giles chose Walsingham to head up a committee to oversee sale of the team. Saigh stipulated whoever bought the Cardinals would have to keep the team in St. Louis, but that did not stop offers from around the country.442 Bids came from former Washington Senators shareholder J.J. Jachym of Los Altos CA., attorney Harold J. Klein of New York representing a trucking company, Charles J. Margiotti, a Pittsburgh attorney representing a group that had lost out on buying the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Harry Wismer, a Detroit sportscaster who wanted to move the Cardinals to the Motor City. At least six other groups talked.443
Within a month, on Friday, February 20, 1953, Fred Saigh sold the Cardinals to St. Louis brewer Anheuser-Busch and its president August A. (Gussie) Busch, Jr., for $3.75 million. Part of the purchase price was the assumption of $1.25 million in Cardinal debt. The remaining $2.5 million, was the amount Saigh wanted to have free and clear from the sale.444 Part of that money he used to buy Anheuser-Busch shares. By 1960, Saigh held 27,545 shares, and was the largest non-family shareholder in the brewery.445
Said Saigh, “They told me that Anheuser-Busch might be interested in acquiring the club if necessary to keep it in St. Louis. When it became apparent that an out-of-town group was ready to purchase the Cardinals … at a fair value … I informed Mr. Busch. … They again expressed serious interest in having the club remain here. For the past several days, we have been working out the details.”446
Days later, Saigh revealed that Houston had offered $4.225 million then sweetened it to $4.25 million, the same as the final bid from Milwaukee. And, Saigh said, the Houston group were sore losers. “The Houston representative said I was making a ‘big mistake’ … and indicated the group could offer a considerably better bid than Anheuser-Busch price.”447
Saigh received kudos. A joint statement from the president of the St. Louis Union Trust Co., David R. Calhoun, and executive vice-president of First National Bank in St. Louis, James P. Hickok, said: “Mr. Saigh could have sold the Cardinals to outside interests, (and he) made several important concessions to keep them here and deserves sincere appreciation.”448
Over time that appreciation was forgotten primarily due to the publicity machine of Anheuser-Busch, which Saigh felt regularly proclaimed Gussie (August A. Busch Jr.) as “the savior” of the franchise. Saigh said he had always sought to keep the team in St. Louis and Busch had agreed as the sale went through. In a St. Louis Post-Dispatch interview, Saigh commented that he never received an invitation from Anheuser-Busch or Gussie to see a game at Busch Stadium I or II. To see the team he formerly owned, he went to other cities where the Cardinals were playing. He said it hurt that his involvement in keeping the team in town had been swept under the rug. Saigh became bitter and vowed not to go to a Cardinal game at Busch Stadium II until Anheuser-Busch sold the franchise.449
St. Louis Cardinals (National League), 1953-1995
Although the Cardinals had been purchased by Anheuser-Busch brewery, the face of the company was its president, August A. “Gussie” Busch Jr., and he would be at the forefront as he ran the Cardinals.450 He was born on March 28, 1899, to August A. Busch Sr. and Alice Edna (Zisemann) Busch. August Jr., dubbed Gussie from an early age, was one of five children, with a brother Adolphus III and sisters Marie, Clara, and Alice Edna.451 His father had continued in the footsteps of Gussie’s grandfather, Adolphus, building a growing brewery and becoming a fixture as a civic leader.452
Gussie didn’t finish high school. He registered for the draft to fight in World War I in 1918.but was not called to fight since the armistice was signed shortly after his registration. After working at a St. Louis County bank, he started learning the ropes of the family business in 1921, literally starting at the bottom by cleaning beer tanks on the 142-acre and 110-building brewery complex.453 When he entered the Army for World War II on June 12, 1942, Gussie had risen to first vice-president and general manager of Anheuser-Busch Inc. He entered the Army as a Major in the Ordnance Department. 454 When the war ended and left the Army, he had achieved the rank of Colonel.455
In 1946, after his brother Adolphus III died, Gussie took over as president of Anheuser-Busch Inc. and was in that position when the brewery bought the Cardinals. 456
In 1952, Gussie married Gertrude (Trudy) Buholzer, who he had met in Switzerland.457 It was his third marriage. His previous wife had been Elizabeth Overton Dozier. They had been married for nineteen years, producing two children, Elizabeth and August A. III. His first wife had been Marie Christy Church, whom he had married in 1918. The couple had two daughters, Lily and Carlota.458 Marie died after a bout with pneumonia in 1930.459
Gussie and the brewery had been pursued as a possible suitor for the Cardinals and keep them in St. Louis by James P. Hickock, executive vice-president of First National Bank in St. Louis, and the president of St. Louis Union Trust Co, David R. Calhoun. Both did business with Anheuser-Busch and Gussie.460 They generally dealt with the brewery’s financial officer who would give them Gussie’s answer. When asked if the brewery was interested in buying the Cardinals, a favorite expression of Gussie’s was used “you bet your sweet life.”461
After the purchase was completed, Gussie received telegraphs of congratulations and appreciation from St. Louis mayor Joseph M. Darst and the Governor of Missouri, Phil M. Donnelly, thanking him for keeping the Cardinals in St. Louis.462 During the press conference announcing the purchase, Gussie, who was an expert horseman and hunter who kept big-game animals at his suburban manse, Grant’s Farm, said he had been a baseball fan all his life but his business and other pursuits kept him from getting to the ballpark, which he said was unfortunate. The brewery had a box at Sportsman’s Park each season.463
But Gussie, had another objective in mind. Never willing to settle on being second in anything, he wanted to wrestle away the top spot in beer sales from Schlitz Brewing. In 1952 Anheuser-Busch shipped a record for the brewery of 6,000,000 barrels but still second to Schlitz’s 6,347,295 barrels.464 Gussie felt that with Cardinals games being broadcast on a network of radio and TV stations and Budweiser as the sponsor, beer shipments would increase and Anheuser-Busch would surpass Schlitz. It was too late to cancel the contract with Greisedieck Brothers Brewery for the sponsorship rights for 1953, but he implemented the Budweiser sponsorship the following year.465
When Gussie was chided for commercializing the Cardinal ball games with his company’s beer ads, his comeback was that Yankee games had been sponsored by their owner’s brewery (Ruppert Brewery ) for 30 years when Jacob Ruppert owned the Yankees and a number of other Major League teams were sponsored by breweries.466 So by keeping the team in St. Louis, Gussie wanted to create a connection of when you thought of the Cardinals you thought of Budweiser.
Anheuser-Busch was a publicly traded company with 4,475,000 shares outstanding. Their shareholders had to ratify the brewery’s purchase of the Cardinals. On March 10, 1953, in a large conference room at the brewery’s offices at 721 Pestalozzi Street, 77% of the shares were represented by proxy or in person and voted 3,488,048 to 4,250 to approve the purchase. Being owned by a publicly traded company was unchartered waters for major league baseball. Until then, baseball franchises were privately held entities.
Commissioner Ford Frick told Gussie to set up an “intermediate” corporation to keep the Cardinals operations separate from the brewery.467 That entity, modestly titled August A. Busch Inc., was created to own the “St. Louis National Baseball Club” the legal name for the Cardinals.468 Anheuser-Busch was to be the parent company of this new subsidiary.
Officers of the St. Louis National Baseball Club were: Gussie as president; John L. Wilson , executive vice-president; Walsingham, vice-president and operating director; Reid McCrum was treasurer; Edwin Kalbfleish, was comptroller; and Richard A. Meyer, secretary. Meyer was Busch’s representative on the ballclub. They would be responsible to the August A. Busch Inc.’s board of directors: Eberhard Anheuser, Gussie, Wilson, Walsingham, Morris Love, David R. Calhoun, Anthony A. Buford, Anheuser-Busch’s legal counsel, and former Washington University and Chicago Cardinals football coach Jimmy Conzelman, now an advertising executive.
Upon creation, the new entity was capitalized by Anheuser-Busch when it issued $1 million of its stock, $900,000 in common stock and $100,000 in preferred stock to be purchased and held by individuals. Gussie said the public would not be able to purchase stock in the Cardinals. To avoid heavy tax penalties, $60,000 worth of shares had to be held by individuals with no connections to the brewery, and that could be William Walsingham Jr., and/or Conzelman.469 Meyer would be the franchise’s first general manager.470
According to the Secretary of the State of Missouri’s website, Anheuser-Busch voluntarily dissolved August A. Busch Inc. in 1956, after William Walsingham left and Frank Lane became general manager. The Cardinals remained a subsidiary of the brewery using a new/old name, the “’St. Louis National Baseball Club Inc.”
Gussie hit the ground running with a personal tour and audit of Sportsman’s Park. He found that the ballpark, which had been in use since 1881, with major renovations in 1909 and the last in 1925, was in dire need of repair as recommended by the engineering firm Sverdrup & Parcel.471 The landlord, the American League Browns and owner Bill Veeck, were on a financial shoestring and could not incur the expenses. Since Gussie wanted the park to be a top-flight venue, he was willing to spend $400,000 on the first step of many renovations, but not as a tenant.
With the Browns’ poor attendance and financial struggles, Veeck was willing to sell and the brewery bought Sportsman’s Park for $800,000 on April 9, 1953. Veeck and the Browns signed a five-year lease for $175,000 per year.472 After the 1953 season, after giving up his attempts to win American League owners’ permission to move the Browns, Veeck sold to Baltimore interests, leaving the Cardinals as the only major league baseball team in town.
Gussie was ahead of his time when he wanted to rename the ballpark Budweiser Stadium.473 The National League refused his request, saying naming the ballpark after his flagship beer would be an enticement for minors to use alcohol.474 Gussie instead named the ballpark in honor of his grandfather (Adolphus Busch), father August A. Busch Sr. and his brother Adolphus Busch III calling it Busch Stadium.475 In 1955, Anheuser-Busch rolled out a new beer called Busch Bavarian in honor of his family heritage.476
He also did not give up the beer-baseball connection at the ballpark that other teams and their brewery sponsors enjoyed. Gussie installed an electronic scoreboard with the name Budweiser, and an electronic Redbird batter topped by the brewery’s A & Eagle.477 When a Cardinal player hit a home run the eagle would flap its wings.478 He would also choose the Budweiser jingle music and a parade of the brewery’s Clydesdale horses over other seventh-inning-stretch entertainment, such as “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
To show Gussie’s commitment towards the Cardinals winning a pennant by 1955, Anheuser-Busch loaned the team $4.5 million.479 Almost $400,000 was spent to procure players recommended by the Cardinals’ scouting staff; $100,000 went to obtain Tom Alston, who would be the Cardinals’ first Black player, appearing April 13, 1954. The remaining money was spent to purchase minor leaguers Memo Luna and Alex Grammas, veteran Vic Raschi and bonus baby Dick Schofield. Right-handed pitcher Brooks Lawrence was obtained through the 1953 minor league draft and he would be the third Black player and second pitcher (after Bill Greason) to appear for the Cardinals.480
The money spent on these players was an expensive lesson for Gussie because the Cardinals were in the red for the first two years of the brewery’s ownership with losses totalling $1.2 million and no pennants.481 The acquisitions flamed out, developed injuries, underperformed or had reached the end of their careers.
By the end of the 1955 season, Meyer convinced Gussie that the Cardinals needed a full-time baseball executive to run the ballclub and the farm teams.482 Meyer had been splitting his time between his duties at the brewery and the Cardinals for the 1954-55 seasons, calling himself “a week-end baseball executive.”483 In October, Gussie named Meyer as executive vice-president of the club, hired Frank “Trader” Lane to be the second general manager in Cardinals’ history and its full-time baseball executive. It was rumored Lane had agreed to a three-year contract for $45,000 a year plus an attendance bonus clause. In his remarks to the press, Lane alluded to Musial, Ken Boyer, Schoendienst, Harvey Haddix, Wilmer Mizell, Bill Virdon and a couple of others “being a splendid nucleus, and it was my intention to add to it, not weaken it.”484
Frank Lane did not waste any time putting his touch on the Cardinals. Five days after his acceptance of the general manager’s job, he hired 36-year-old Fred Hutchinson, former Detroit pitcher, who had led Seattle to the Pacific Coast League pennant in 1955, as the team’s manager.485
On February 25, 1956, he unveiled a new uniform design. Asked why, he said, “We have striven for a lighter, roomier uniform, that will allow for more comfort, greater speed, and greater ability for the players. We hope it will be reflected favorably in the percentages.”486
The new 1956 uniform model had “the Birds on the Bat” replaced with the script “Cardinals” which was red with an underline coming from the S going to the left. Other changes were a single “Slugger Bird” on the left sleeve , a solid blue cap, with a red button on top and an interlocking STL in red on the front. Lane said the “Birds on the Bat” had been taken off because the amount of embroidery made the uniform heavier.487
The new look only lasted one year. Lane was flooded with complaints demanding the logo’s return. Fans were up in arms that the ”Birds on the Bat” were removed after being “an association by the fans with the “long history of colorful Cardinal players and teams.”488 He announced that the “Birds on the Bat” would again adorn the Cardinal uniform for 1957.
Through 1956 and 1957, Lane lived up to his reputation of many trades, but no pennants, which put Gussie Busch in a sour mood. He let everyone know how impatient he was for a winner at the Knights of the Cauliflower Ear dinner at the Park Plaza Hotel on February 12, 1957. “I expect the Cardinals to come damn close to winning a pennant in 1957, and 1958 is going to be a sure thing or Frank Lane will be out on his rump.”489 At the time, Lane claimed the boss was joking, but despite a second-place finish that season, and an $815,000 profit for the brewery, Lane left for the Cleveland Indians after 1957.
Busch promoted Lane’s assistant, Vaughn P. (Bing) Devine, as his third general manager since 1954 with the charge of winning a pennant and World Series.490 During his first season as general manager Devine was rebuilding the young talent in the organization, giving out high bonuses to sign Mike Shannon, Ray Sadecki, Charlie James and Bob Burda. The impact was that red ink flowed from the Cardinals to the brewery’s bottom line in the amount of $21,891. Devine was not disappointed though, because the Cardinals sold their Texas League affiliate Houston Buffaloes, a property which had lost money.491 The buyers were former Cardinal shortstop Marty Marion and St. Louis businessman Milton Fischmann paying $100,000 for the team and an estimated $1 million for the ballpark and other property.492
Gussie was turning his attention to another baseball issue. The Cardinals, he left, needed a new stadium. In an op-ed piece that appeared in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat on October 6, 1959, he wrote, “Plans for a new downtown stadium have been unfolded. … It seems to me this project is a must for a greater St. Louis area. We need to attract more people. We need to supplement the Jefferson Expansion Memorial (Arch project.) … Anything we do to beautify the city, improve downtown, and develop our neighborhoods results in St. Louis being a better place to live … a better place to raise our families, a better place to do business.”493
The Stadium Project was to encompass 31 blocks, the stadium, four parking garages, and a hotel. The project had an estimated price tag $51 million.494 Financing obtained by the Civic Center Redevelopment Corporation (CCRC), a private entity which would oversee and own the project, was $20 million in equity raised through corporate pledges and a 6 percent, 30-year loan of $31 million from Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States.495
The project would be built through a cooperative effort involving the St. Louis City Redevelopment and Land Clearance Committee (STLCRLCC) and CCRC. The Clearance Committee would be responsible for designating properties for purchase using eminent domain and designing the configuration of streets, sewers and water supply around the stadium area. CCRC would purchase the land, communicate with the City committees, and oversee construction.496 The construction of the streets, sewer and water systems was funded by a $6 million bond issue voted on and passed by city residents on March 6, 1962.497 The 50,000- to 55,000-thousand seat multi use stadium, with movable seats, would be bordered by Broadway, Walnut, Seventh, and Spruce.498
Gussie wielded his influence and power over the brewery’s board of directors to get a pledge of $5 million towards $20 million in equity needed to build the stadium.499 That pledge was 25 percent of the total amount needed to fund the new stadium and was contingent on approval from the brewery’s shareholders and on the remaining $15 million being raised.500 The brewery’s shareholders approved Gussie’s pledge on April 13, 1960.501 Including Anheuser-Busch , there were 298 entities that made pledges.502 None of the others were larger than $2.5 million.503 All pledges were received by February 1964.504 With $36 million available from the loan and the first round of pledges, CCRC got the project underway in June 1962.
Gussie said he could find no buyers for the park at Grand and Dodier as the city authorities and St. Louis Board of Education did not want it.505 Not finding a buyer to use the property would cost the brewery real estate taxes, utilities, maintenance and security expenses for vacant property. Its other tenant, the National Football League Cardinals, would also be using the downtown stadium. The loss that the brewery would absorb due to abandoning the stadium was estimated to be $2.5 million.506 After the first game in the new stadium, Gussie turned over the deed to the ballpark at Grand and Dodier to the Metropolitan St. Louis Boys’ Club. It was a donation made by Anheuser-Busch to facilitate the club’s goal of a new building.507
Gussie was so determined to make the stadium project work that the brewery signed the football team to a 30-year lease at the new stadium and turned over their share of the concessions estimated at a minimum of $400,000 per season to CCRC to be used for the loan payment to Equitable Life Assurance.508
The Cardinals’ new home was named Busch Memorial Stadium because of Gussie’s efforts to get the $5 million pledge made by the brewery.509 The Cardinals were scheduled to open the new stadium for the first home game April 13, 1966 against the Phillies. However a strike at Stupp Brothers Iron and Steel Works delayed the production of steel needed for the tracks to move the seats when football was played. As a result, the opening game was delayed. Busch Stadium I (Sportsman’s Park) was used for the season’s first 11 home games.510
The final game at Busch Stadium I was on May 8, 1966. A crowd of 17,803 paid a final farewell to the old Sportsman’s Park.511 At the game, home plate was removed by retired groundskeeper Bill Stocksick, who had laid it at Sportsman’s Park in 1909. It was taken by helicopter to the new downtown stadium.512
The Cardinals’ first game at Busch Memorial Stadium was on Thursday, May 12, when the Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves 4-3 in 12 innings in walk-off fashion.513 It was televised by KSD TV (Channel 5) in St. Louis.514 The First Night crowd at the new downtown ballpark, which cost $26 million, was 46,048.515
The Cardinals opened play at Busch Memorial Stadium in 1966 and called the ballpark home through the 2005 season. (MISSOURI STATE ARCHIVES)
Two months later, the All-Star Game was held on July 12, 1966, and the downtown stadium was like an oven, as the temperature in St. Louis reached 102 degrees and was close to 110 degrees on the field during the afternoon game.516 Former Yankee manager Casey Stengel had this to say about it: “This place sure holds the heat well. It took the press out of my pants.”517 The game itself lasted 10 innings but took only 2 hours and 19 minutes. The National League won 2-1.518
Since Bing Devine took over as General Manager, a concerted effort had been made to acquire the best players based on ability rather than race. He made trades to obtain Bill White and Curt Flood. The Cardinals also signed Bob Gibson as an amateur free agent. As Johnny Keane took over for Solly Hemus during the 1961 season, these three players were blossoming into stars. However, they could not stay at the segregated Vinoy Park Hotel in St. Petersburg, Fl during spring training.519 Black sportswriter Wendell Smith, said that Black players were tired of having to stay in flophouses and eat at second-rate restaurants while training in Florida. Teams that trained in Arizona were able to have their minority players stay in the same hotel.520
Dr. Ralph Wimbish, a Black physician and activist in St. Petersburg, Florida talked to both the Yankees and Cardinals about finding hotels that would allow Black players to stay with their teammates.521 With that objective in mind, Gussie Busch made arrangements to move the entire team to a motel colony outside of the city.522 The Skyway and Outrigger motels were located on the southern tip of the St. Petersburg peninsula. Bob Broeg wrote that not only did the new facilities solve the vexing problem of segregation but it gave the players a chance to bring their families down to Florida, enjoy scheduled activities and relax and bond with their teammates. The Cardinals roster had a mix of White, Black, and Hispanic players.523
After 12 years of brewery ownership, Gussie finally got the pennant he had demanded from Frank Lane in 1957. But it was not without drama on and off the field. Despite Las Vegas odds being 5-1 on winning the 1964 pennant, Cardinal players were confident they could win based on their second place finish the prior season.524 But the team got off to a slow start, and at the trade deadline June 15, the Cardinals were in seventh place tie with a 28-30 record, six and one-half games behind. That day, Devine engineered a trade with the Chicago Cubs that was to prove a catalyst for Cardinal success over the next few years. He sent veteran pitcher Ernie Broglio to the Cubs for outfielder Lou Brock. Keane gave Brock the green light to steal and Brock blossomed.
But all was still not well. Rumors were rampant that Gussie was going to replace Keane with Leo Durocher.525 Branch Rickey, who had been named an advisor to Devine, had gained Gussie’s favor. As a result, Devine was on thin ice and Busch fired him on August 17.526 But the Cardinals caught fire in September and the teams ahead of them started losing. On October 4, as the Cardinals beat the Mets and the Reds lost to the Phillies, giving Gussie his pennant.
In the victorious clubhouse, Gussie said “I am the happiest guy in the world and we’re going to win the World Series for our loyal fans, in four games. I was really worried about that one inning. My heart is still pattering.”527
Gussie did get his wish but it took seven games for the Cardinals to win the World Series against the Yankees.528 After the last out was recorded, Gussie, who was too nervous to even light a cigarette, was escorted by ushers down to the clubhouse from his box next to the Cardinals dugout.529
However, Gussie’s celebration of the World Series win was short-lived. The dysfunction introduced by Rickey’s influence had already cost the Cardinals Bing Devine. Now, it cost manager Johnny Keane as well. A day after winning the World Series, instead of Gussie announcing a contract extension for Keane, he had to announce that Keane had submitted his resignation. Keane cited interference by Rickey regarding roster decisions, the rumors that Busch had been talking to Leo Durocher to replace him, and Gussie’s firing of Keane’s friend Devine.530
Gussie fired Rickey four days later. Despite the championship, Gussie had to do damage control to get the fans back on his side. When he hired the fan’s choice, former Cardinal second baseman Red Schoendienst as the new Cardinal manager, he did just that.531
All was not settled in the front office, however. Bob Howsam, who had replaced Bing Devine, was creating friction between the players and the front office through 1965 and 1966. Gussie never gave him a contract extension and Howsam got the message.532 In January 1967, Howsam accepted a three-year offer from Cincinnati. Gussie turned to Cardinals vice-president Stan Musial as general manager, who worked well with Schoendienst, his former teammate.533 The club captured the 1967 pennant by ten and one-half games.
Despite being busy with plans for new breweries, Gussie was in Philadelphia to celebrate with Cardinal players after they clinched the second pennant under the Anheuser-Busch ownership.534 Almost two months after celebrating a World Series win over the Boston Red Sox, Musial stepped down as general manager.535 A winner in his only season, Musial said, “I was looking out for my own interests, as well as the club’s and to look out for my health.”536 Musial stated he was putting in a lot of hours in running his personal business as well as the Cardinals. To replace Musial, the Cardinals’ “first and only choice,” said Gussie, was Bing Devine.
The Cardinal players reaped the benefits of their successful season as Gussie Busch made the club’s payroll the highest in the Major Leagues for the 1968 season. Sports Illustrated recognized this putting the starting eight, Gibson and Schoendienst on its October 7, 1968 cover. Roger Maris received an Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship covering the Gainesville FL area plus his salary in exchange for Maris playing right field in 1968.537
The Cardinals’ payroll approached $950,000 at the start of the 1969 season according to Devine.538
The next season would prove to be a new era for the Cardinals, who would not see the World Series for 14 years, and for baseball. The 1969 season was the one hundredth anniversary of the Major League Baseball’s first professional team (the Cincinnati Red Stockings).539 For the second time in a decade, the Major Leagues expanded, growing from 20 teams to 24.540 With 12 teams in each league, the owners decided to split the teams into two divisions East and West.541 The Cardinals, although west of the Mississippi, were put in the East Division to maintain their rivalry with the Chicago Cubs.542
Baseball had a new commissioner, Bowie Kuhn, who took over for William Eckert who had been forced out by the owners.543 When Kuhn became commissioner, the owners and players were at loggerheads over funding of the players pension plan.544 The players had hired Marvin Miller, a former economist for the Steel Workers Union, three years earlier.545 In January 1969, Miller announced that the players had rejected the owners’ offer of an additional $1 million to the players pension fund.546
That touched off Gussie Busch. He was getting negative fan mail regarding his players’ push for greater pay and better treatment. This was not part of Gussie’s world view, as he expected his players to be grateful and dutiful after he had made them the highest paid team in the game. On March 22, 1969, he boiled over during a spring training talk to his players. The gist of the address was that with all the strike talk over pension benefits and salary negotiations, the players’ focus had been taken off the game on the field. If their attitudes resulted in poor performance, the fans would know it and would not pay to see them play, he said. Gussie implied there would be repercussions from the club as well as the fans. He cited examples such as players not stopping to sign autographs, pushing fans out of the way when taking pictures and not honoring scheduled appearances. When fans stopped asking for autographs and pictures the players should worry, he said.547
At the same meeting, Cardinals executive vice-president, Dick Meyer echoed owners’ conviction that Miller was a puppeteer manipulating naïve athletes. “You undertook a new obligation when you took on …..Marvin Miller. You have to make yourself heard. He works for you. You do not work for him.”548 Meyer continued by saying that if you entrust your and your family’s future to someone else (Miller), you are in trouble. He complimented Cardinals player representative Tim McCarver, urging direct discussion between the players and the owner, emphasizing they should not leave their responsibilities to someone else.549
Following Busch’s address, Cardinal players did not add fuel to the fire, but the sarcasm was obvious. Smiling, Curt Flood said, “Comment? I have no comment. Not when the big boss has spoken.”550 Bob Gibson said, “I have nothing to say about it. This management has no problems. Some club managements get criticized unfairly, but some players do, too.”551 McCarver was politic, “It was well said – and I do think an annual get-together like this would be good for the club and players.”552
Getting lambasted by Gussie took the wind out of his players’ sails. The team favored to win their third straight pennant, finished fourth in the East Division.553 The 1969 season saw home attendance fall under 2 million fans after two season over that mark. As a result, the Cardinals announced that box seats and reserved seats prices would increase by 50 cents for the 1970 season. The new prices would be $4.00 and $3.00 respectively. General admission tickets would still be $1.50 and bleachers $1.00. The club said the increase was needed due to lower concession profits. It was the franchise’s first ticket price increase at the new downtown stadium.554 Also the Cardinals would be playing on artificial turf starting in 1970 to save wear and tear on the field. Busch Memorial Stadium, along with Candlestick Park, were the two multi-sport stadiums where Monsanto, the manufacturer of AstroTurf, was installing the artificial grass.555
In 1972 Gussie Busch made the announcement that all Anheuser-Busch subsidiaries would adhere to the Federal government’s Economic Stabilization Program, which limited wage and price increases to a maximum of 5.5 percent. Anheuser-Busch “has pledged to the President (Nixon) its whole-hearted support of the anti-inflation program and in good faith has been keeping that pledge because we believe the success of the program is essential to a healthy economy.”556
Miller disagreed with the beer baron, giving this vindictive response: “He (Busch) is wrapping himself up in the American flag, posing as a super patriot, by using the wage freeze to keep salaries down, so that he, a multimillionaire, can pile up more money.”557 Miller then put the knife into Gussie and twisted it when he said: “It is not only an act of bad faith by Busch but highly presumptuous. Nobody knows how the wage freeze applies to baseball because it is a complicated thing. But the great Busch decides what all this means. In his case, it’s strictly spoiled child syndrome.”558
Covering the exchange, Bob Broeg cited examples where other clubs did not hold fast to the five and a half percent cap because ball players have a distinct skill set and a limited period of time to be successful using it. Cubs general manager John Holland said: ”Baseball does not fit the normal business structure. Players are based on performance. Holding them to a salary increase of five and one-half percent is ridiculous.”559 Holland did just that as he gave Ferguson Jenkins a two-year contract worth $125,000 per year. after earning $90,000 in 1971.560 Charles Finley, the tight-fisted Oakland A’s owner, gave Vida Blue, who had won the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player award in 1971, a raise from $14,750 to $50,000 plus a $5,000 bonus and $8,000 towards college.561
But Gussie did not budge as he held the line on the Cardinals’ 1972 payroll giving no increase to Bob Gibson, and little or no increases to Lou Brock and Dal Maxvill in order to give Joe Torre an increase to $130,000 from $110,000 for his National League batting title and National League MVP season in 1971.562 Sticking tight to his pennywise approach turned out to be pound foolish. Lefthanded pitchers Steve Carlton and Jerry Reuss did not agree to his terms before the 1972 season. This infuriated Gussie and both were traded and proved successful for their new teams.563
Trying to control the Cardinals’ payroll was not the only challenge Gussie was facing. Despite its success in increasing shipments to wholesalers under his leadership, Anheuser-Busch had reported lower profits in 1972, due to rising costs for raw material and labor. Despite shutting down an obsolete malt-producing plant and eliminating executive perks such as the health club, Gussie wanted to further reduce costs by eliminating close to 300 of the 1,700 non-union salaried employee positions.564 Brewery president Dick Meyer disagreed, saying it was wrong to do. On February 27, 1974, Gussie fired Meyer, who was also president of the Cardinals. He installed his son August III as president of the brewery to proceed with the non-union salaried terminations.565
Over the next year August III brought on board six vice-presidents who would help him stem the tide of falling profits. and stay ahead of Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. and Miller Brewing Co. in the competition to be the U.S. market share leader, which was heating up.566
On May 9, 1975, Gussie himself was forced out after 50 years as the brewery’s head. The board of directors voted to have August Busch III take over as chief executive officer from his father.567 Taking the high road at the press conference and not airing his disgust of his forced exit in public, Gussie had these comments: “After more than 50 years of active association in the only job I ever had and the only company I have associated with, I am stepping down as chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch. This is more than a company or business to me. It was not an easy decision.”568 Among the many achievements that he was proud of Gussie highlighted the purchase of the Cardinals to keep it in St. Louis for the area’s fans.569
Gussie remained head of the Cardinals, but now he had to go through his son for budget approval and major expenditures by the ballclub. It was well known at the brewery and in St. Louis that August III did not have the passionate interest in baseball that his father did.570
In October 1975, Gussie put together a group of investors and approached the brewery about buying the Cardinals. Anheuser-Busch was looking to build more breweries around the country and money from the sale of the team would make financing the expansion easier. In the 22 years it had owned the Cardinals, the team had made about $3.9 million for the brewery and the profit for 1974 was $490,000. According to Fred Kuhlmann, senior vice-president of the Anheuser-Busch, the deal envisioned television and broadcast rights would still be owned by the brewery, and they would choose the broadcasters. Gussie’s interest in being the owner was to stay in the public eye. Fred Saigh, the largest non-family shareholder of Anheuser-Busch stock, said that the sale price should be based on an arms-length transaction. He said a fair market price would be between $11 million and $13 million based on recent sales of the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees.571
Chase Bank of Manhattan, securities broker Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith, and Willam O. DeWitt Sr., former owner of the Browns, submitted their appraisals, which agreed with the range suggested by Saigh. On January 27, 1976, Gussie pulled his offer to buy the team citing the high purchase price, operating costs which were too expensive for one individual to assume and uncertainty of the sport.572 That uncertainty was caused by conflict between the owners and the Players Association, which had culminated in the December 1975 arbitration decision allowing free agency for players. Gussie had been among the most militant of the owners fighting the players.
Pulling his offer to buy the Cardinals did not have repercussions for Gussie. August III said Anheuser-Busch would still own the Cardinals and that his father was still chairman of the board of the brewery, president of the Cardinals, and active in the management of the ballclub. Bing Devine remained as executive vice president and general manager.573
After finishing fifth in 1976, with no pennants on the horizon, Gussie fired Red Schoendienst, who at the time had the longest stretch as a Cardinal manager. Publicly, his reason was a change needed to be made.574 Behind the scenes it was that Schoendienst was not strict enough with the players. In what became a “be careful what you wish for hiring,” Gussie brought in Vern Rapp from the Cincinnati organization who had the reputation as a disciplinarian.575
It did not take long for Rapp to cause turmoil in the clubhouse when he instituted a no facial hair or long hair edict.576 But Gussie stuck by him during a confrontation with Al Hrabosky over the pitcher’s mustache and haircut.577 But, in early 1977, when Gussie found out Rapp had conflicts with Buddy Schultz and Ted Simmons and lost the clubhouse, he fired Rapp.578 By 1980, still frustrated with not having another pennant winner since 1968, Gussie made a decision that was uncharacteristic for him turning complete operation of the Cardinals over to Dorrell (Whitey) Herzog as both manager and general manager. 579
Using that authority Herzog did a makeover of the Cardinals roster beginning in December 1980.580 At the winter meetings in Dallas, Herzog acquired ten players in exchange for thirteen, achieving his goals of getting a defensive catcher, Darrell Porter, and a closer, Bruce Sutter.581 The Cardinals and Herzog finished first with the best record in the National League East in 1981.582 However because of an in-season players strike, the owners had voted 21-3 (Gussie representing the Cardinals voted against it) to institute a split season with winners of each half meeting in the playoffs. Although the Cardinals had the best overall record in their division, they had been edged out in each half.583
The brewery paid a heavy price for the lack of pennants from 1969-1980. The team was not drawing two million fans during those years while player salaries were increasing. The ballclub lost $2.9 million in 1980, almost wiping away the profits accumulated in the brewery’s first 22 years.584 August III and the brewery’s board of directors were weighing a possible sale of the team if it continued to lose money.
The brewery’s commitment to the team was increased in August 1981 when it concluded a difficult campaign to acquire the remainder of the shares of the Civic Center Redevelopment Corporation. The brewery, dating back to its pledges two decades earlier, already owned a quarter of CCRC’s shares. CCRC owned Busch Stadium, four parking garages, the Stouffers Riverfront Towers Hotel, two parcels of land that the Marriott Pavilion Hotel was built on, a drive-in bank and interest agreements in the construction of two downtown buildings.585 Anheuser-Busch’s primary target was the concession and parking revenues of the stadium.586 The properties were appraised at between $75-90 million with tax abatement privileges reducing the assessed value to $48.5 million.587 The brewery’s first two offers, for $35.3 million and $40.3 million respectively, were turned down.
Meanwhile, CCRC hired the investment bank Goldman-Sachs to set up a bidding war. They found Apex Oil Co., a privately held oil firm with headquarters in Clayton, Missouri, to buy two-thirds of the Cardinals and Busch Stadium for $52.3 million. As a result of this competitive offer, Busch Jr. had a private meeting with Morton D. May, retired chairman of Famous-Barr, whose May Department Stores Foundation, held 37.5 percent of CCRC securities and persuaded him to sell to the brewery. The offer matched Apex’s and gave the brewery 62.5 percent of CCRC’s shares. After buying additional blocs of shares to own CCRC outright, the total price tag for August III and ABC was $62 million, which included $8 million in interest payments.588
Herzog put on his general manager’s cap again during the 1981-82 offseason and acquired three players: Lonnie Smith, Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee. These three additions helped create an exciting brand of baseball that became known as “Whitey Ball.”589 Built for speed and defense, playing in spacious Busch Stadium on AstroTurf, Herzog’s team brought Cardinal fans back to Busch Stadium, winning the 1982 pennant and World Series.
Gussie, however, was now in his eighties and showing the infirmities of old age. His desire to keep Herzog in charge was usurped. Decisions were now being made by a committee made up of himself, his attorney Lou Susman, and Fred Kuhlmann, the club’s chief executive officer and executive vice-president. On January 3, 1985, the committee decided to fire general manager Joe McDonald. McDonald was Herzog’s handpicked general manager and Herzog would give him suggestions on player personnel decisions. A statement regarding McDonald’s dismissal was attributed to Gussie.590 For the remainder of his managerial tenure Herzog dealt wirh new general manager Dal Maxvill who reported to the three-man committee, resulting in more opinions in the decision making process.
The impact of Herzog’s loss of total control steadily became apparent. The Cardinals won two more pennants in 1985 and 1987 as Herzog turned over the roster to get his kind of players. After the 1987 season, Jack Clark was one player that Whitey had at the top of the priority list to re-sign. Management waited too long to offer Clark what he wanted and they lost him to the New York Yankees.591 Herzog’s prediction of his team not playing .500 ball in 1988 without Clark came true as the Cardinals finished 10 games under.592
An era ended in the Cardinal franchise on September 29, 1989, when their chairman and president August A. (Gussie) Busch Jr. passed at 12:25 PM. He had been ill for months with pneumonia.593
On October 31, 1989, August A. Busch III was named to succeed his father as the Cardinals’ chairman of the board. Fred Kuhlmann was named as president and chief executive officer. Mark Sauer took over Kuhlmann’s responsibilities as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the ballclub. These duties for Kuhlmann and Sauer were in addition to their executive positions at the brewery’s stadium subsidiary CCRC.594
Two days before, Anheuser-Busch had announced it had signed a three-year deal with St. Louis television station KPLR. The deal, which would net the ball club $20 million over the life of the contract, was to start in 1991. In prior years, Anheuser-Busch had been reluctant to broadcast games over free television because of the perceived negative impact it would have on fans going to games. But free broadcasts proved to have minimal effect on attendance, with the Cardinals still drawing fans vacationing in St. Louis and the young urban professionals attending games.595 Earlier in the 1980s, the brewery had tried to increase the Cardinals television broadcast revenues through paid-cable providers. They created their own cable network called Sports Time and then the Cardinal Cable Network but subscription fees and minimal programming turned off viewers.596
Cardinal fans began to realize that the Cardinals were just another subsidiary in August A. Busch III’s eyes. He put the team’s payroll on a tight budget. Trades were made to save money.597 Letters to the editor featured fans’ venting their frustration about the Cardinals’ and brewery’s inaction to improve the team.598 In addition, there were no indications that free agents to be Vince Coleman, Terry Pendleton, and Willie McGee would remain Cardinals after their contracts for the 1990 season expired. Herzog, sensing the direction that August III was taking the team was one he did not like, and with his advocate Gussie Busch gone, resigned.599 It was the end of an era that had reenergized the Cardinal franchise and its fan base.
Money that August III did spend went to upgrade the brewery’s stadium. He installed new seats, a state of the art sound system and a closed-circuit television system so fans could watch the game while standing line at concession stands. There were new concession stands and upgrades of existing stands, a new lighting system and additional deluxe suites.600 The number of deluxe suites in the stadium totaled 67 and brought in $50,000 a year each.601 The crown jewel of the renovations, was the bigger better replay screen called Diamond Vision costing $5 million.602
In addition to these renovations, the playing area saw changes also. The AstroTurf field was replaced, the outfield walls brought in and padded. Shrubbery and flowers were added in front of the bleachers to make it more aesthetically pleasing. CCRC, which ran the stadium, did not disclose the cost of the renovations other than the replay screen. The Cardinals announced that ticket prices and concession prices would increase.603 The Cardinals Fan Cost Index, which measured on average the cost of a family of four going to see a ballgame had the Cardinals at the sixth best-value in the majors at $78.54 for 1992 versus $69.26 the previous year, which had been the best.604
Money also went to a year-long celebration of the Cardinals’ 100th anniversary as a member of the National League, with its pinnacle event, the Centennial Celebration, on June 11, 1992. On that day, past and present Cardinal players gathered at Busch Stadium to reminisce about playing for the team when they wore the Birds on the Bat.605 The brewery also supplied money for a new Cardinals Hall of Fame whose opening coincided with the beginning of the 1992 season. Fans could see a replica of the Cardinals locker room with uniforms from different eras and memorabilia from Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst.606 However fan amenities, comfy accommodations, a bigger brighter scoreboard and trips down memory lane did not produce what Cardinal fans really wanted, a pennant.
The diversification plan undertaken by Anheuser-Busch for the purpose of shielding shareholder value if there would be a downturn in the beer market had not yielded the expected results by summer 1995. The baseball team was one subsidiary still losing money, incurring losses in 1994 with the strike-shortened season and $12 million in 1995 as the season started using replacement players. With Anheuser-Busch’s International beer company (ABII) making $50 million in 1994, August III saw this as a perfect time to shed the low and non-profit makers and return the company’s business focus to being the World’s Largest Producer of Beer, while holding on to their theme parks, (Busch Gardens and Sea World) which were profitable and a vehicle to market their beers at family-friendly venues.607
On October 26, 1995, after 43 seasons of ownership, Anheuser-Busch announced that the St. Louis National Baseball Club Inc. was for sale. August III said the desire of the company was to concentrate its resources on the beer business, saying it was the best interests of the brewery, the ballclub and Cardinal fans to find a new owner. Brewery spokesman John Jacob said the brewery would do all it can to find an owner that would keep the team in St. Louis but would offer no guarantee. The brewery was confident that a new owner would be found by June 1996. Fans were shocked but not surprised at the news and they hoped that the team would not leave.608
The sale would include the ballclub, the stadium, garages next to the stadium, two garages in downtown St. Louis, and land owned by CCRC. The Cardinals franchise was valued at $110 million, Busch Stadium at $15.2 million, and the garages at $21.85 million. The values of the two garages in downtown St. Louis at Seventh and Pine were not available according to the City’s Assessor.609
On December 22, 1995, Anheuser-Busch Cos. Communications Director John Jacob addressed the media regarding the brewery’s status with the Cardinals. He had given the bad news two months earlier that the brewery was selling the team, but on this day with a broad smile, he had this announcement: “On this holiday weekend, we think we have a great Christmas present for St. Louis.”610 That present was a deal to sell the Cardinals to a group led by William O. DeWitt Jr. as principal owner. The purchase price for the team, downtown stadium and parking garages was $150 million. DeWitt’s group made the commitment to keep the team in St. Louis.
Bill DeWitt Jr.
St. Louis Cardinals (National League), 1995-present
William DeWitt Jr. was born in St. Louis on August 31, 1941. His mother was Margaret H. DeWitt and his father William O. DeWitt Sr.611 He attended Country Day School (now Mary Institute Country Day School) in Creve Couer, Missouri. After graduating from high school, he earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University in 1963. Two years later, he received his MBA from Harvard Business School.612
Baseball was the family business. His father, William Sr., started out as a vendor at Robison Field. In 1916, William Sr. joined Branch Rickey and the Browns working as Rickey’s assistant. In the years that followed, William Sr. held various positions in baseball, working for the Cardinals, Browns, Yankees and Tigers. William Sr. owned the Browns with his brother Charley from 1949-51 and later the Cincinnati Reds from 1961-66 and was a minority owner of the White Sox with Bill Veeck from 1975-81.613
It was as the Browns’ batboy that William Jr., whom everyone called Bill, got his feet wet. His uniform was used by Eddie Gaedel when the midget appeared in a game in 1951.614 In 1966 Bill was one of the investors that bought the Cincinnati Reds from his father. Establishing roots in Ohio, Bill became involved in an investment company, Reynolds, DeWitt and Company in Cincinnati. When he bought the Cardinals, he was the firm’s president. In addition to having financial interests in the Reds, he had stakes at various times with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He served as a board member of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and the World Hockey Association ‘s (WHA) Cincinnati Stingers.615
Bill is married and his wife Katherine (Cramer) DeWitt also of St. Louis have four grown children, Katie, Bill III, Andrew and Margot.616
On the day that the purchase of the Cardinals by his group was announced, DeWitt Jr. was joined by other investors Frederick O. Hanser and Andrew N. Baur. All three were alumni of St. Louis Country Day School and involved in business together. Hanser was an attorney for Baur’s Mississippi Valley Bancshares company, the holding company for Southwest Bank of St. Louis and DeWitt Jr. was an investor in Baur’s company. The 1996 Cardinal Media Guide listed Hanser as overseeing the daily baseball operations of the Cardinals.617 His great-grandfather was Adolph M. Diez, who had been a Cardinal shareholder during the franchise’s ownership under Sam Breadon.618
Hanser and Baur were the principal organizers of the DeWitt Jr.’s group in its negotiations with Anheuser-Busch. DeWitt said he first approached August Busch III about selling the Cardinals as early as 1991 but was turned down. Negotiations began again in September 1995, a month before the for-sale sign on the Cardinals was officially put up.619
On January 23, 1996 DeWitt’s ownership group filed a Certificate of Limited Partnership with the State of Missouri, with the legal name of St. Louis Cardinals L.P. William O. DeWitt Jr. was listed as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Fred Hanser as Registered Agent.620 Cardinals president Mark Lamping would report to Hanser.621 DeWitt would continue to live in Cincinnati and commute to St. Louis as necessary.622
On August 28, 2003, Fred Hanser converted the Cardinal ownership partners to a limited liability company, St. Louis Cardinals LLC, as a separate legal entity from the ownership group, which is how it operates at present.623 DeWitt’s ownership group that purchased the Cardinals — in addition to DeWitt Jr., Baur, and Hanser — was made up of Stephen F. Brauer, president of Hunter Engineering Co.; Robert Castellini, owner of Castellini Produce Co. and director of Future Now Inc. a computer company in Cincinnati; John K. Wallace Jr., head of investment company Regency Group; DeWitt’s sister, Donna ”De De” DeWitt Lambert, on the board of directors of Mississippi Valley Bancshares; Mercer Reynolds, partner with DeWitt Jr. in the investment firm of Reynolds, DeWitt and Co.; Pulitzer Sports II, a subsidiary of the Pulitzer Publishing Co., which published the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and was owned by Michael Pulitzer; Richard H. Sutphin, an executive at Reynolds, DeWitt and Co.; G. Watts Humphrey Jr., Pittsburgh, owner of investment firm G.W.H. Holdings Inc and board member and investor in Churchill Downs Inc; Nick D. Kladis, Chicago, a board member of the Chicago White Sox under Bill Veeck; Michael McDonnell, Memphis, head of Rock Island Corp. a privately held company for hardware and building products distributors; David C. Pratt, founder of United Industries Inc. of St. Louis; Dudley S. Taft, Cincinnati, who had sold his Taft Broadcasting Company for $1.5 billion in 1987; brothers W. Joseph and Thomas Williams of Cincinnati, whose father had served as Vice-President and part owner of the Cincinnati Reds with DeWitt Jr. 624
This group of investors has stayed relatively stable through the 2021 season. But there have been departures and additions. Lee Enterprises sold its 2.7 percent of Cardinal shares to majority owner Bill DeWitt in 2006 after buying the stake from Pulitzer Sports II the previous year. Robert Castellini, Joseph and Thomas Williams sold their shares to other investors when they bought the Cincinnati Reds.625 The widow of Richard Sutphin (Caroline) and families of Nick Kladis and Andrew Baur inherited shares in the Cardinals after the deaths of original investors in 2005, 2009 and 2011 respectively.626
In 2009, Craig R. Stapleton , who co-owned the Texas Rangers with DeWitt Jr. bought an investment stake in the Cardinals.627 James C. Davis of Allegis Group bought a minority stake and is mentioned in the 2019 Cardinals Media Guide.628 Other than the members who sold their shares to DeWitt Jr. and Robert Castellini’s (10 percent) to the other investors, no information is available regarding the percentages of ownership in the Cardinals held by investors. They signed confidentially agreements with city officials.629
A year after the sale the DeWitt ownership group got some of their investment back, selling the four garages for $91 million and land for $9.7 million.630
After two seasons of strife between owners and players, St. Louis Cardinal baseball fans wanted to return their attention to balls and strikes not work stoppages. The DeWitt ownership group did its part by making Busch Stadium more conducive to the game of baseball, replacing the AstroTurf with real grass, and making other upgrades to the stadium. Its ticket sales campaign was “Baseball Like It Oughta Be.”
Combining the marketing campaign with intriguing player acquisitions and bringing back fan favorite Willie McGee, the new ownership received wide support from Cardinal fans. By mid-March, Cardinal fans had already purchased 1.8 million tickets which surpassed 1995’s total attendance. Season ticket sales increased from 16,036 to 16,750.631 Shortstop Ozzie Smith announcing that 1996 would be his last season, plus a dogfight with the Houston Astros for the Central Division crown, led the Cardinals to draw 2,654,718 fans, and make the playoffs for the first time since 1987.
The following season, the DeWitt ownership put a manual scoreboard into operation to bring back the feel of old ballparks. The team said it sacrificed some 5,000 potential revenue-producing seats.632 Scores were updated every half-inning by seven Manual Scoreboard Guys (MSGs). Fourteen MSGs rotated working games over the nine years it was operating. As a perk, all of them got to be there for playoff baseball.633
In February 1997, the Cardinal ownership put their footprint in the community, holding an event at the downtown America’s Center which became a staple of their offseason marketing campaign. Fans could obtain player autographs by paying different prices depending on the player, and attend clinics held by manager Tony La Russa and Cardinals’ coaches. The event was to benefit the St. Louis area through the St. Louis Cardinals Community Fund, or Cardinals Care, which was conceived by the owners, players and La Russa. Beneficiaries were designated youth programs. Seed money came from Cardinal owners ($100,000) and other sponsors ($70,000).
In addition to Cardinals Care, the owners designated part of the proceeds to La Russa’s charity, the Animal Rescue Foundation. The Winter Warm Up — as the Cardinals named the event — has continued to benefit the programs sponsored by Cardinal Care and for many fans is the opening of the baseball season.634 Since that first event, the charitable arm of the Cardinals has given back $23 million to the St. Louis community through its Redbird Rookies program, the building of ballfields in areas with little or no resources and the distribution of cash grants to nonprofits whose mission is working with children.635
If ever the stars aligned for the DeWitt Jr. ownership group, it was with the Cardinals’ acquisition of Mark McGwire by Walt Jocketty on July 31, 1997. With McGwire approaching free agency, the Athletics wanted to gain some return and agreed to a trade for three lesser players. McGwire hit 24 homers for the Cardinals for the rest of the season to give him 58. Before the season ended, he signed a three-year contract with a mutual option for 2001.636 By the time spring training got under way in 1998, the buzz was going around baseball and its fans that this was going to be the year Roger Maris’s single-season home run total of 61 would be broken.637
The DeWitt ownership opened the gates for Cardinals’ batting practice for fans who came early to watch Big Mac hit some pre-game bombs.638 The fans were rewarded with an epic home-run record duel between McGwire and the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa. By the end of 1998, both had broken Roger Maris’s season home record of 61, with McGwire hitting 70 and Sosa 66. The real winners were the Cardinals’ owners as attendance rebounded over the three million level for the first time since 1989. It was a Cardinals’ season attendance record that would be surpassed in each of the next two seasons.
With Busch Stadium II finished with its 34th baseball season and showing its age structurally amid all the new fans, the DeWitt ownership felt the time was right to plant the idea of a new ballpark, a ballpark with new revenue stream possibilities. In a radio interview, Cardinals’ president Mark Lamping said that even with the attendance records the Cardinals incurred a 1998 loss of around $3 million for the season as taxes, interest on debt, revenue sharing payments and officers’ salaries turned an operating profit into a loss.
Lamping said that the Cardinals would look at all available options including outside of St. Louis city to build a new ballpark. Ownership would pick the location that would yield the necessary revenues to keep the franchise operating and be profitable, although downtown was the easiest place to put the stadium because of highway access for out-of-town fans and for its central location. Lampling explained the DeWitt ownership group was bullish on getting a new ballpark because of a study on the feasibility of putting the new stadium in the parking lot just south of the existing ballpark. Lamping did not present a specific financing plan but said they would consider private money, public money or a combination of both.
Then, the new proposal ran into the aftermath of the deal the city, county and state had signed in 1995 to attract the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League. At the TWA Dome, the state was responsible for paying $12 million per year on the retirement of construction bonds, while the Rams received all concessions profits, 90 percent of advertising profits and most of the profits from parking garages. The lease also required the public agencies keep updating stadium amenities to keep it within the top quarter of NFL stadiums. The city additionally had agreed to a tax on sports ticket sales to fund a practice facility for the Rams.
This time, the embarrassed state legislators wanted to drive a harder bargain.639 The legislators wanted assurances taxpayers would get their money back. Some legislators wanted a requirement that the Cardinals give part of the profits back to the state if they sold the team. Others supported the idea that the state, rather than the team, would control naming rights and pocket some of that income.640 In March 2001, Lamping, Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck and Hall of Famer Lou Brock went to Jefferson City, Missouri, to woo support for two bills providing state monies to finance their new open-air, retro-style ballpark in downtown St. Louis.
At that hearing, Lamping and his group were met with resistance by the legislators. They noted that despite the Cardinals’ promise to put up $100 million, the land for the new ballpark, and cover construction overruns and upkeep, the team wanted the estimated $370 million ballpark to be publicly owned and subsidized. The Cardinals also wanted a $250 million bond issue from the state through the Stadium Sports Authority. Dangling the prospect that the new ballpark would spark a downtown construction boom and protect the schools did not persuade the state legislators to sign off on a financing package. They feared the state would be on the hook if the owners, the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County were unable to pay their support. In the end the funding bills were quashed.641 Lamping and the Cardinal owners were back to Square One.
On December 23, 2003, the DeWitt ownership group unveiled plans for their new open-air, retro-style ballpark to be built on the south bus parking lot adjacent to Busch Stadium II. Lamping said the owners wanted to open the ballpark in April 2006. Preliminary clearing of the construction site started in November 2003.642
The project was financed mostly privately and the DeWitt ownership group owned the stadium, instead of leasing it. The cost of the new ballpark was announced as $387.5 million. The money was divided among $90.1 million from Cardinal ownership; a $45.0 million loan from St. Louis County; $30.4 million from State of Missouri to be used as tax credits for site improvement; $9.2 million through planned delays of interest payments on loans; $12.3 million from the Missouri Department of Transportation for Highway 40 ramp construction near the stadium; and $200.5 million from a private bond issue. Bond interest payments would cost another $15.9 million annually for 22 years. 643
The Cardinals ownership decided they could afford a private financing strategy because of available revenue streams. They had lease commitments on a majority of the 63 suites located in designated private areas of the new ballpark, and long-term contract extensions with cable TV network Fox Sports Midwest and the ballpark’s concessionaire, Sportsservice Corp. They also had naming rights. They planned on additional revenue from selling personal seat licenses to 10,300 seats before potential ticket holders could buy tickets.644 In commenting about the financing switch from public to private money, Lamping said, “For the Cardinals to be able to privately finance the new ballpark is a real tribute to Cardinal fans and testament to the strength of St. Louis as a Major League Baseball market.”645
Fans clicking on the Cardinals website could look at an artist’s rendering of the new park, a red brick, glass and steel structure with an estimated capacity of 46,681 (in 2006). The architect was HOK Sport (now Populous) and it was built by Hunt Construction Company.646 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on Saturday January 17, 2004.647
The naming rights negotiations were held during the financing process to maximize the value. On August 4, 2004, at a sun-drenched Busch Stadium II, Bill DeWitt Jr. announced that an agreement had been reached with Anheuser-Busch Companies to name the new ballpark Busch Stadium. The agreement which was an extension of the current marketing agreement and included the naming rights was for 20 years. DeWitt Jr. said, “From the day we began planning for the new ballpark, we wanted to keep the name Busch Stadium.” 648
The last game ever played at Busch Stadium II was on October 19, 2005, for Game Six of the National League Championship Series. It lasted 2 hours, 53 minutes, and was attended by 52,438 fans. The next morning, construction workers started getting the stadium ready for demolition by tearing down the bullpens, outfield walls and removing stadium seats.649 Fans could buy a piece of the stadium or memorabilia that the Cardinals put up for auction on Lelands.com. 650
Busch Stadium III opened play in the 2006 season, when the St. Louis Cardinals won their 10th World Series championship. (COURTESY OF STEVE AMES)
The new Busch Stadium — aka Busch Stadium III — had its curtain raiser on April 4, 2006. Two Cardinals minor league teams, the Memphis Redbirds and Springfield Cardinals, played the first baseball game in the new park. 32,255 attended.
Just like its predecessor, Busch Stadium III has hosted many non-baseball events. Its first concert was in 2008 with the Dave Matthews Band.651 International soccer matches are also held at Busch III, with the inaugural match being English powerhouses Chelsea versus Manchester City. The match drew 48,263 as Man City won 4-3.652
Bill DeWitt Jr. was not afraid to risk alienation by Cardinal fans if it meant he could maximize radio broadcast revenues. During the 2005 season the “buzz” was that the DeWitt ownership group was going to move the radio broadcast rights from KMOX to KTRS, ending a relationship that had started in 1954.653 Lamping had been negotiating with both stations looking to raise revenues without raising ticket prices. KMOX wanted to lower fees to the Cardinals from $6.7 million to $4.7 million with the difference made up by revenue sharing. Lamping and the Cardinals wanted the broadcast rights guaranteed.654
Fans angered by the rumors voiced their displeasure in letters to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. KTRS’ weaker signal, especially at night, would make it hard for fans in Illinois, Kansas, Texas, Pennsylvania and Indiana who were used to KMOX’s 50,000-watt, clear-channel signal. One fan made that argument from San Diego, over 1,500 miles away.655 But, negotiations between DeWitt Jr. and KTRS led to the Cardinals buying a controlling interest in the station for $2 million. The Cardinal broadcasts were moved there with an eight-year contract starting in 2006. The Cardinals calculated ownership would allow the team to tailor the station’s programing around the Cardinals. DeWitt and Lamping felt by selling their own advertising they would maximize revenues. Lamping said an agreement with Litchfield (IL) radio station WSMI would provide the broadcast reach for those Cardinal fans in outlying Illinois. All Cardinal fans everywhere could get the games on XM Satellite Radio, which would offer subscripition discounts exclusively to Cardinal fans.656
The KTRS venture did not work. The revenues DeWitt Jr. and the Cardinals hoped to realize from selling their own advertising did not happen due to the 2008 recession and changes in the business of sports broadcasting.657 In 2010, still dealing with unhappy fans, De Witt Jr., used the opt-out clause in the KTRS agreement to renegotiate with KMOX. The station agreed to a small rights fee, opportunities for the Cardinals to do cross-promotion with CBS’s other radio stations and allowing the Cardinals to continue selling their own advertising. The agreement was for five seasons starting in 2011. KMOX is still the flagship station of the St. Louis Cardinal Radio Network located in eight states with a total of 110 affiliate stations plus broadcasts in Spanish.658 DeWitt and the Cardinals still hold a stake in KTRS with CH Radio Holdings and actor St. Louisan John Goodman but percentages of ownership were unavailable.659
Fox Sports Midwest (FSM) which started televising Cardinal baseball in 1994, became the exclusive television network for the franchise in 2011. That relationship was extended in July 2015 for the seasons from 2018 through 2032 with a value to the franchise of $1 billion. The first payment in 2018 was $55 million up from $30 million in 2017. The annual value increases each year, with a final payment of $86 million. According to Forbes magazine, this deal was made because 76% of Cardinal fans either attended, listened to or watched a Cardinal game during the 2014 season. DeWitt Jr., optimistic with these numbers, bought a 30 percent stake in FSM.660 He commented “This (deal) does give us a great deal of stability (after it starts) for the next 15 years and does so in a market that has been shifting.”661
Having a stable front office was a staple of the success the Cardinals had under DeWitt Jr.’s ownership from 1996 through 2019. But there were changes which impacted that culture. After the 2007 season, Walt Jocketty, the Cardinal general manager hired by Anheuser-Busch after the 1994 strike-shortened season, was fired because he did not embrace the analytics bent that Jeff Luhnow brought to the organization.662
After Luhnow left the Cardinals in 2012 to be the general manager of the Houston Astros, one of his former employees, Chris Correa, illegally gained access to Houston’s database under the pretense that Luhnow and the Astros had accessed the Cardinals’ information. MLB and FBI security agents found that Correa acted alone, but the price the Cardinals and DeWitt Jr. paid was severe. They lost their first two picks in the 2017 draft. The $1.8 million associated with those draft picks and a $2 million fine were sent to Houston. At the time, it was the highest penalty imposed by Major League Baseball. Correa was fired, then banned from baseball for life, along with serving a prison sentence of 46 months. The Cardinals’ reputation took a hit even though the investigation said that general manager John Mozeliak, who replaced Jocketty, was not involved nor were other Cardinal employees or officials.663
The on-field image of the team was affected when Tony La Russa retired and Albert Pujols left via free agency after winning the 2011 World Series. Pujols known as “The Machine” put together arguably the best 10-year stretch of a player in the major leagues. During his Cardinals tenure, he won three MVP awards, hit 445 home runs, and produced a 1.037 OPS, a .328 batting average and 86.6 WAR. Most importantly, he was a fixture in the community with the Pujols Family Foundation and the face of the franchise during his time in St. Louis. After becoming a free agent, he signed a 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels for $254 million.664
Ballpark Village was developed to put the DeWitt ownership corporate footprint into downtown St. Louis and tie in with the Cardinal baseball franchise. The project was announced in 2001 in conjunction with the construction of what became Busch Stadium III, but due to obstacles to financing, caused by the 2008 economic meltdown and loss of anchor tenant (Centene Corporation), the project did not start until 2013. It was completed in 2020.665 It is made up of three entertainment venues and office space named the PwC Pennant building and residential space called One Cardinal Way. During the pause in play due to the Covid19 pandemic and while negotiations were occurring on the financial aspects of restarting the season, DeWitt did not paint a rosy picture for the short-term profitability of Ballpark Village even though the entertainment venues have been open for six years and One Cardinal Way was 60 percent leased as of May 11, 2020.666 DeWitt Jr. said the ownership group was looking at the entire project as a long term investment that would benefit the Cardinals’ franchise and St. Louis area.667
MARK STANGL is a past president of the Bob Broeg St. Louis SABR Chapter and a current St. Louis Cardinal employee. He hosts a sports talk show, The Sports Angl, for MindsEye Radio.
Last revised: October 14, 2021
1 J. Thomas Hetrick, Chris Von der Ahe and the St. Louis Browns (Lanham, The Scarecrow Press Inc. 1999), 4.
2 “The Primaries: An Address to the Anti-Overstoltz Voters,” St.Louis Post-Dispatch, March 26, 1881.
3 Joan M. Thomas, “Red Stockings Park (St. Louis),” SABR BioProject, https://sabr.org/bioproj/park/red-stockings-park-st-louis/.
4 “J.B.C. Lucas of Pioneer Family Taken by Death,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 17, 1908.
5 “Sporting News: Chicago Nine Punish the St. Louis Reds to the Tune of 15-0,” Chicago Tribune, May 28, 1875.
6 “Nutmeg Graters: An Appropriate Cognomen for the St. Louis Browns. Their Unparalleled Record Against the Hartfords. For Whom Our Goose Laid Twenty-Seven Eggs,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 16, 1876.
7 Frederick J. Lieb, “A Charter Member Der Poss Bresident,” The St. Louis Baseball Reader, edited by Richard Peterson (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2006), 56.”
8 “Von der Ahe’s Good Fortune. A Mere Chance Investment Put Him in Base Ball,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 1, 1896.
9 “Sporting News: Base Ball,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 9, 1880.
10 Hetrick, Chris Von der Ahe. 4
11 “The Reds Revenged: Another Brilliant Base Ball Game Between the Local Champions,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 23,1881.
12 “Amusements: Base Ball: St. Louis Browns vs. Eclipse of Louisville, at Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 23,1881.
13 “The Base Ball Muddle: Why There Are Two Brown Stocking Clubs in the Field,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 8, 1881; Robert L. Tiemann, Cardinal Classics: Outstanding Games From Each of The St. Louis Baseball Club’s 100 Seasons 1882-1981 (St. Louis: Baseball History Inc. 1982),7.
14 “A Baseball Divorce,” Missouri Republican, October 3, 1881.
15 The $1,800 Von der Ahe paid was 49 percent of $ 3,673.
16 Hetrick, Chris Von der Ahe, 8.
17 “Base Ball Convention,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 3, 1881.
18 Philip J. Lowry, Green Cathedrals (Reading: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc 1992), 226-227 .
19 “City News,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 7, 1882.
20 “Sporting Notes: LaCrosse Game To-Morrow,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 7, 1883.
21 “Base Ball: The Race for American Association Championship Commenced Yesterday,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 3, 1882.
22 “Sporting Sundries: Consumption in Its Early Stages Is Readily Cured,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 21, 1882.
23 “Sporting Sundries: Notes,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 26, 1882.
24 “Mauled the Manager.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 15, 1883.
25 “A Brilliant Game,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 31, 1883.
26 “The St. Louis Nine In 1884,” New York Times, October 16, 1883.
27 “Ballplayers On a Bum,”.St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 2, 1884.
28 “Diamond Chips,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 7, 1884.
29 “Bracing Up,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 5, 1884.
30 “Von der Ahe’s Historic Bar In Hands Of Wreckers,” St. Louis Star-Times, August 1, 1933.
31 “No Game, No Money,” St. Louis-Post-Dispatch, June 21, 1883.
32 “Sporting News: The Athletics Still in Hard Luck,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 21, 1883.
33 “No Game, No Money, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 21, 1883.
34 Robert Burnes,.”A Century With the Globe-Democrat. Heyday of Chris Von der Ahe and Comiskey,” St.Louis Globe-Democrat, October 12, 1952.
35 “St. Louis’ Great Victory,” The Daily Inter-Ocean (Chicago, Illinois), October 24, 1886.
36 “Von der Ahe’s Historic Bar In Hands Of Wreckers,” St. Louis Star-Times, August 1, 1933.
37 “Dividing the Receipts,” St. Louis-Post-Dispatch, October 25, 1886; “The Chicago Defeat,” Decatur Weekly Republican, October 28, 1886.
38 “The Browns Victory,” St. Louis-Post-Dispatch, October 28, 1886.
39 “Von der Ahe’s Historic Bar in Hands of Wreckers,” St. Louis Star-Times, August 1, 1933.
40 “Sporting Sundries,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 30, 1883
41 “Ball Players Strike,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 3, 1889
42 Burnes,”A Century With the Globe-Democrat,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 12, 1952.
43 “Ball Players Strike,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 3, 1889.
44 “The ‘Quitters’ Return,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 7, 1889.
45 “Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players,” SABR/Baseball-Reference Encyclopedia, https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Brotherhood_of_Professional_Baseball_Players, accessed October 11, 2021.
46 “Comiskey Is No Good,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 29, 1890.
47 “Sporting Notes,” The Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago,Illinois), November 29, 1890.
48 “President Von der Ahe Very Much Pleased with His Club and the Association,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 22, 1891.
49 “The League Trap,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 20, 1891.
50 “New Plan of the League,” Milwaukee Journal, November 5, 1891.
51 “Twelve Clubs It Is,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 20, 1891.
52 “The League Trap,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 20, 1891.
53 “Twelve Clubs It Is,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 20, 1891.
54 “Comiskey Is Lost,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 4, 1891.
55 “The Men Compared.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 5, 1892.
56 “No Tail-Enders,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 7, 1892.
57 “Der Poss President,” St. Louis Star-Times, August 1, 1933.
58 “Says He Will Cut,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 6, 1892.
59 “Comiskey On Chris,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 18,1892.
60 “Base Ball,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 28, 1893.
61 “New Park Leased,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 6, 1892.
62 “Fans’ Paradise,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 23, 1893.
63 “New Park Leased,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 6, 1892.
64 Lowry, Green Cathedrals, 227.
65 “Fans’ Paradise,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 23, 1893
66 “Want Their Salary,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 18, 1893.
67 “Chris’ Scalp,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 12, 1894; “Red Men Win,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 24, 1895.
68 “Chris to Eddie,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 8, 1894.
69 “Are at Outs,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 12, 1894.
70 “News in the World of Sports,” The North American (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), August 14, 1894.
71 “Chris Von der Ahe: The Important Part He Played in Base Ball,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 13, 1894.
72 “Will Sell at His Own Price, ” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 27, 1895.
73 “Fred Foster’s New Race Track,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 1, 1895; Richard Egenriether, “Chris Von der Ahe: Baseball’s Pioneering Huckster,” NINE, Vol. 7, No. 2, Spring, 1999.
74 “Are Lucky Fellows,” St.Louis Post-Dispatch, March 15, 1899.
75 “Will Von der Ahe Be Called Down?” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 23, 1896.
76 “Chris Driven to Extremities,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 21, 1896.
77 “Will Sell at His Own Price,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 27, 1895.
78 “Chris Driven to Extremities,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 21, 1896.
79 “Race Track Stables Burned,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 21, 1897.
80 “St. Louis Industries,” St.Louis Globe-Democrat, May 1, 1897.
81 “Muckenfuss Is Boss,” St.Louis Post-Dispatch, January 1, 1898.
82 “Assigned to Von der Ahe,” St.Louis Globe-Democrat, January 13, 1898.
83 “Muckenfuss Is Boss,” St.Louis Post-Dispatch, January 1, 1898.
84 “Assigned to Von Der Ahe,” St.Louis Globe-Democrat, January 13, 1898.
85 “Muckenfuss Is Boss,” St.Louis Post-Dispatch, January 1, 1898.
86 “Fire and Panic at Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1898.
87 “Rebuilding the Park,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 18, 1898.
88 “Fire and Panic at Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1898.
89 “A New Grandstand,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 24, 1898.
90 “Browns are Finally Sold,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 13, 1898.
91 “Becker Owns the Browns,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 14, 1898.
92 “Becker Backed Out,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 24, 1898.
93 “Caught on the Fly,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 1, 1899.
94 “The National Game: Statement Showing How It was Conducted Here,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 22, 1899.
95 “The Baseball Case,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 23, 1899.
96 “Motion Overruled,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 6, 1899.
97 “Browns Suspended,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch , March 1, 1899.
98 “Gruner Buys the Browns,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 14, 1899.
99 “Becker Buys the Browns,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 17, 1899.
100 “It Is All Settled,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 23, 1899.
101 “Chattel Deed of Trust on Baseball Property,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 19, 1900; “Chattel Deed Expires,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 16, 1901.
102 “Caught on the Fly,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 19, 1899.
104 “Robisons Win $175,000 Suit,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 9, 1903.
107 “The Baseball Season Begins,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 15, 1899.
108 Lowry, Green Cathedrals, 227.
109 “An Immense Crowd,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1899.
110 “An Immense Crowd,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1899.
111 “A Very Close Shave,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 13, 1899.
112 “Good Practice for Mr. Tebeau’s Team,” The St. Louis Republic, April 3, 1900.
113 “One for the Red Caps,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 8, 1900.
114 John E. Wray, “Wray’s Column: Why ‘Cardinals?’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 5, 1931.
115 “Mr. Robison Talks,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1899.
116 “Mr. Robison Talks,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1899.
117 “Mr. Robison Talks,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1899.
118 “M’Graw and Robby,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 13, 1900.
119 Dina M. Young, “The Streetcar Strike of 1900,” Gateway Heritage Summer 1991. (Missouri History Library and Research Center), 4-17.
120 “M’Graw Not the Manager,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 20, 1900.
121 “St. Louis May Lose … Good Ball Players,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 13, 1900.
122 “Current Sporting Comments,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 16, 1900.
123 “Chattel Deed of Trust on Baseball Property,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 19, 1900.
124 “Chattel Deed Expires,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 16, 1901.
125 “Robisons May Quit St. Louis,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 28, 1900.
126 “Chattel Deed Expires,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 16, 1901.
127 “Fire During a Ball Game,” New York Times, May 5, 1901.
128 “Robisons Win $175,000 Suit,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 9, 1903.
129 “Fire Stopped a Lovely Game,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 5, 1901.
130 “Grand Stand Can’t Be Replaced,” St. Louis Republic, May 8, 1901.
131 “Current Baseball Comment,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1901
132 “’St. Louis American Team a Certainty:’- Ban Johnson.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 15, 1901.
133 “Sudhoff Is Disgruntled,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 12, 1901
134 “American May Not Have Team Here Next Season,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 5, 1901.
135 “Browns Open Season with a Legal Victory,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 23,1902.
136 “Talty and Fisher Deny Injunction,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 6, 1902.
137 J.E. Wray, “Cardinals Reject Browns’ Plans for a Post Season Game Series,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 10, 1902.
138 “Clubs’ Rivalry Is at an End,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 8, 1903.
139 “Robisons Win $175,000 Suit,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 9, 1903.
140 “Cardinals Increase Stock,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 19, 1903.
141 “Stanley Robison Chief of the Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 27, 1906.
142 “Stanley Robison, “Here Is One Difference, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 7, 1901.
143 “Dead Arms All That J. McGraw Has To Trade,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 8, 1908.
144 “Bresnahan Will Get $25,000 for 3-Year Contract,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 17, 1908.
145 “Robison Takes Out $50,000 Policy on Bresnahan,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 9, 1909.
146 “Bresnahan Will Get $25,000 for 3-Year Contract,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 17, 1908.
147 “Thinks Roger Wise In Ending Spring Series,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 28, 1908.
148 “Overall Will Face Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 21, 1909.
149 W.J. O’Connor, “Bresnahan Fired, Earned $227,000 for Team Owner,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 22, 1912.
150 “Stanley Robison, Cardinals Owner, Dies in Cleveland,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 24, 1911.
151 “Stanley Robison, Cardinals Owner, Dies in Cleveland,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 24, 1911.
152 Paula Homan, “Helene Hathaway Robison Britton,” Cardinal Insider, April 23, 2018.
153 “Telegram from Helene Britton to August Hermann 1911 March,” Baseball Hall of Fame Archives, https://baseballhall.org/discover/short-stops/a-telegram-that-changed-baseball-history. Date Accessed March 30, 2019.
154 “No Title,” New York Times, March 30, 1911.
155 “Mrs. Britton Wins Full Control of Cardinal Team, ” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 20, 1912.
156 “Chicago Caterer Says He’s Seeking to Buy Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 30, 1911.
157 “Denver Man Wants St. Louis Club,” New York Times, April 2, 1911.
158 “St. Louis Cardinals Not for Sale,” New York Times, April 7, 1911.
159 “Mrs. Britton to Direct Cardinals with Own Hand,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 29, 1911.
160 “Robison’s Niece, Mrs. Britton, Is Cardinal Owner,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 28, 1911.
161 “Seekamp to Serve as Temporary Head of St. Louis Club,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 30, 1911.
162 “Cardinals New President Who Will Represent Woman Owner,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 7, 1911.
163 Marguerite Martyn, “Mrs. Schuyler Britton, Owner of the Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 9, 1911.
164 “Mrs. Britton Catering to Women Fans,” New York Times, December 14, 1911.
165 “Robison Field Free to Women Monday,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 11, 1912.
166 W.J. O’Connor, “Bresnahan Fired; Earned $227,000 for Team Owner,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 22, 1912.
167 “12 Die in Wreck, ” New York Times, July 12, 1911; “Bresnahan Tells About the Horrors of the Wreck.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 11, 1911.
168 “Bresnahan Signs 5-Year Contract to Manage Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 13, 1911; W.J. O’Connor” Roger’s Contract Gives Him Share in Club Profits,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 4, 1912.
169 “National League Makes No Answer,” New York Times, December 14, 1911
170 W.J. O’Connor, “Cardinal Vote Saves Job for President Lynch,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 4, 1911.
171 “National League Makes No Answer,” New York Times, December 14, 1911.
172 “Trouble in St. Louis Club,” New York Times, April 21, 1912.
173 “Mrs. Britton and Husband Testify in Suit for Stock,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 29, 1912.
174 “Mrs. Britton Wins Full Control of Cardinal Team,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 20, 1912.
175 “Trouble Starts When Roger Moves Team Without Consulting Owner,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 22, 1912.
176 Ray Webster, “First Interview With New Cards’ President Published in St. Louis,” St. Louis Star and Times, June 19, 1912,
177 W. J. O’Connor, “Mrs. Britton Puts Stop to Roger’s Trade with Reds,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 15, 1912.
178 W. J. O’Connor, “Hiring Huggins May Save Cards $8,000 a Season,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 24, 1912.
179 W. J. O’Connor, “Bresnahan Fired; Earned $227,000 for Team Owner,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 22, 1912.
180 O’Connor, “Hiring Huggins,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 24, 1912.
181 W. J. O’Connor, “Bresnahan Sees $40,000 Pay for 3-Year Contract,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 24, 1912.
182 “Cardinals Owner, Mrs. Britton Ends Her Divorce Suit,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 9, 1911.
183 W.J. O’Connor, “Free Score Cards, New Score Board and a Rest for the Bleacherite’s Back Promised by Cards’ New Head,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 9, 1913,
184 Ed Bang, “Schuyler P. Britton Groomed to Head Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 1, 1913.
185 W.J. O’Connor, “Cards to Have New Stands Despite Bad Local Season,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 9, 1913.
186 O’Connor, “Cards to Have New Stands.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 9, 1913.
187 W.J. O’Connor, “Handlan’s Park is Probable Home of St. Louis Federals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 29,1913.
188 “Federal League Park Nearing Completion,Visited by Many Fans,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 30, 1914.
189 “Only 3000 on Hand for First Baseball Game,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 14, 1914.
190 W.J. O’Connor, “Is There Room in this Big City for Three Clubs?” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 23, 1914.
191 “Brittons Will Sell Cards if They Get Price,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 6, 1914.
192 “Spring Series Games Will Be at Browns Park.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 12, 1915.
193 “Baseball Today: Browns vs. Cardinals, Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 27, 1915.
194 “Cards to Remain at Robison Field This Year, Pres. Britton Announces,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 9, 1915.
195 “Is American League Flirting with Wealthy Owner of Terriers?” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 23, 1915.
196 “Brittons Will Sell Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 6, 1914.
197 “Is American League Flirting,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 23, 1915.
198 “Brittons Will Sell Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 6, 1914.
199 “Long Baseball War is Settled,” New York Times, December 23 1915.
200 W.J. O’Connor, “Hug Opposes Britton,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 10, 1916.
201 “Sinclair Refuses to Buy Cards at Britton’s Figure,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 18, 1916.
202 “Henry Weisels Makes Bid for Cardinals Club,” The St. Louis Star and Times, February 14, 1916.
203 “Britton Denies Deal Is Pending,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 14, 1916.
204 “Britton Not Seeking Purchaser,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 21, 1916.
205 “Henry Weisels Makes Bid,” The St. Louis Star and Times, February 14, 1916.
206 W.J. O’Connor, “Britton’s Price Too High for Mysterious Buyer,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 26, 1916.
207 “Sport Reels by J.V. Linck,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 15, 1916.
208 “Mrs. Britton Deposes Husband She Sues,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 18, 1916.
209 “Mrs. Britton Wins Decree of Divorce by Default,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 13, 1917.
210 “Mrs. Britton to Take Charge of New Job at Once,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 19, 1916.
211 “Mrs. Britton Deposes Husband,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 18, 1916.
212 “Mrs. Britton to Take Charge of New Job at Once,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 19, 1916.
213 “Mrs. Britton Eager to Make Trades,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 27, 1916.
214 New York Bureau of the Post-Dispatch, “Cardinals Stand a ‘Woodpile,’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 12, 1916.
215 “R.L. Hedges Makes Bid for Cardinals Ball Club,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 14, 1916.
216 W.J. O’Connor, “New Offer to Buy Cardinals Stock Today,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 19, 1916.
217 “R.L. Hedges Makes Bid for Cardinals Ball Club,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 14, 1916.
218 W.J. O’Connor, “Threat of Strike Spoils Chance to Dispose of Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 29, 1917.
219 “Wray’s Column: Player’s Power Now Nil,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 17, 1917.
220 W.J. O’Connor, “Rickey’s Bomb Throwers,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch , February 4 , 1917.
221 W.J. O’Connor, “10,000 Local Fans to Buy Cardinals: J.C. Jones’ Scheme,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 28, 1917.
222 O’Connor, “10,000 Local Fans to Buy Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 28, 1917.
223 “Help Buy the Cardinals,” The St. Louis Star and Times, March 6, 1917.
224 O’Connor, “10,000 Local Fans to Buy Cardinals: J.C. Jones’ Scheme,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 28, 1917.
225 “Mrs. Britton Is Paid $25,000 for 60 Day Option on Club;” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 5, 1917.
226 “First Payment on Cardinals Ready; Free Score Cards for Fans Today,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 31, 1917.
227 “Pinch President Rickey to Help Elevate Browns,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 3, 1913.
228 “Dr. Branch Rickey, Professor of Baseball,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 5, 1914.
229 Clarence F. Lloyd, “Rickey’s System Is Vindicated by Success of Team,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 1, 1914.
230 “Drink a Branch Rickey,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 11, 1914.
231 “Rickey Batting .300 in All-Star Oratorical Meet,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 21, 1914.
232 “Special Powers May be Granted to Scout Rickey,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 3, 1916.
233 “Pre-Contract Agreement Cited,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 20, 1917.
234 W.J. O’Connor, “Rickey Introduced as New President; Delivers Address to Cardinal Stockholders,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 21, 1917.
235 “Rickey Considers Cardinal Offer of 3-Year Contract; Salary Said to Be $15,000.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 20, 1917.
236 “Armistice Exists Between Ball and New Boss of Cards,” The St. Louis Star and Times, March 22, 1917; ” Pre-Contract Agreement Cited.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 20, 1917.
237 W.J. O’Connor, “Ball Agrees to Give Up Rickey; May Get DeFate,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 6, 1917.
238 “Rickey Takes Command Today,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 7, 1917.
239 “First Payment on Cardinals Ready,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 31, 1917.
241 “Articles of Association.”
242 “Articles of Association.”
243 “Articles of Association.”
244 “First Payment on Cardinals Ready,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 31, 1917.
245 “Cards Arrange to Pay $75,000 Note,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1920.
246 John E. Wray, “Huggins Signs to Manage Jinx Champions; Refused $10,000 Offer Made by Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 26, 1917.
247 “Cardinal Bleacher Capacity to Be Reduced; Rickey says 1,000 Seats Are Sufficient,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 17, 1918.
248 “Cardinals Make $10,000 Payment on Price of Club,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 12, 1918.
249 “$50,000 to Apply on Sale of Cards, Not Players,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 25, 1918.
250 “Cardinals Make $10,000 Payment on Price of Club,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 12, 1918.
251 “Cards’ Stockholders Asked to Subscribe $60,000 to Prevent Loss of Control,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 23, 1918.
252 “Plea for $60,000 to Pay Off Cards’ Debts Nets $2000,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 30, 1918.
253 “Cardinals Given Time Extension on $40,000 Note,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 30, 1918.
254 “Plea for $60,000,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 30, 1918.
255 “Cardinals’ Drive for $60,000 Fails; $16,000 Raised,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July14, 1918.
256 “$75,000 Pledged by Stockholders to Aid Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 16, 1918.
257 John E. Wray, “Cards Have Lost Players Worth $110,000 in Year,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 17, 1918.
258 Clarence F. Lloyd, “Cardinals Owners To Ask Rickey to Manage Team,” The St. Louis Star and Times., September 2, 1918.
259 “Cardinals Will Not be Removed to Kansas City — James C. Jones, Club Official,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 14, 1918.
260 John E. Wray, “Cards Arranging Second Mortgage to Total $90,000,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 13, 1918.
261 “634 Stockholers in Cardinals May Lose All Rights,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 19, 1919.
262 “Directors to Decide Fate of Cardinals Under $89,000 Debt,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 23, 1919.
263 “Eleven Big League Clubs Have Chosen 1919 Training Camps,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 31, 1919.
264 “Financial Backing Pledged to Aid Rickey This Season,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 28, 1919.
265 “Rickey Gives Up Job as Cardinals’ Manager in Field,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 10, 1919.
266 “Cardinals May Be Sold at Auction,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 14, 1919.
267 “Facts on Knot-Holers,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 21, 1919.
268 Bob Broeg, “His Cardinal Teams Won Nine N.L. Flags And Six World Series Titles,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1949.
269 “Rickey to Retain Management, Both of Team and Club,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 13, 1920.
270 “Cards Arrange to Pay $75,000 Note,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1920.
271 An Excel Spreadsheet was used to calculate shares and share percentages by Sam Breadon and James C. Jones. Information to calculate purchases and total shares outstanding was based on the information found in “Articles of Association”; and “Cards Arrange to Pay $75,000 Note; Club Out of Debt; Issue of $100,000 Stock to Noteholders Removes Last of Ball Club’s Obligations,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1920.
273 An Excel Spreadsheet was used to calculate Breadon’s ownership as of May 1922, using the two documents below and the newspaper article cited. “Articles of Association: The St. Louis National Baseball Club,” (charter No. 33690),” Missouri Business Filings. https://bsd.sos.mo.gov. Accessed February 23, 2019, 1-12. And “Articles of Association. The St. Louis National Baseball Club” (charter No. 33690), Missouri Business Filings. https://bsd.sos.mo.gov. Accessed February 23, 2019, 1-4. “Sam Breadon Now Has Controlling Interest in Cards. President of the Knot-Hole Organization Buys Out J.C. Jones and Others,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 8, 1922.
275 “Sam Breadon Dies at 72,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1949.
276 Bob Broeg, “His Cardinal Teams Won Nine N.L. Flags And Six World Series Titles,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1949.
277 Armour, “Sam Breadon.”
278 Broeg, “His Cardinal Teams Won Nine N.L. Flags,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1949.
279 “Death Takes Sam Breadon Card Empire Builder at 72,” St. Joseph Gazette, May 11, 1949.
280 “Sam Breadon Associated Press Sketch,” St, Louis Globe-Democrat, April 1, 1949.
281 “Pierce-Arrow Plant Draws Many Visitors,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 28, 1919.
282 “Approve New Traffic Regulation,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 26, 1909.
283 Broeg, “His Cardinal Teams Won Nine N.L. Flags,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1949.
284 “Mrs. Breadon Divorce Decree To-Day,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 30, 1912.
285 “Samuel Breadon Was Married Last June,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 8, 1912.
286 Marion F. Parker, “Transfer of Cardinals to Sportsman’s Park Is Announced by Breadon,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 25, 1920.
287 Parker, “Transfer of Cardinals to Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 25, 1920.
288 Martin J. Haley, “Birds Still Have One Season to Play Under Terms Drawn in 1920, President Breadon Says,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 1, 1929.
289 “Cards Close Deal for Browns’ Park,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 24, 1920.
290 “Capt. ‘Tate’ Brady, Star Fullback, Is Ill and Unable to Play Against Innisfails at Cardinal Field This Afternoon,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 9, 1921; Charles J. Bartley, “Bobby Byrne Will Lead Miami Club in Southwestern,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 9, 1921.
291 W.J.S. Bryan, “The High School Seventy Years Ago and Now,” The Caduceus 1922. Missouri History Library and Research Center, 19.
292 Dent McSkimming, “Little Hope That Sportsman’s Park Will Be Improved,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 26, 1923.
293 J. Roy Stockton, “Sportsman’s Park Improvements Held Up by Cardinals’ Failure to Consent to Rent Raise.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 13,1922.
294 John E. Wray, “Stand-Pat Terms in a Stand Pat Park,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 24, 1922.
295 Stockton, ” Sportsman’s Park Improvements,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 13, 1922.
296 “Browns Trying to Turn Cardinals Out Into Street,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 13, 1924.
297 “Cardinals Ask Court to Stop Ouster from Park Used by Browns; Owners Canceled Lease for Delay in Paying Rent,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 13, 1924.
298 “Browns Go to Bat In Injunction Game; Ask Court Order to Keep Cardinals From Trespassing on Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 17, 1924.
299 “Cardinals Win Over Browns in Injunction Case,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 31, 1924.
300 “Cardinals Win Suit Against Ouster from Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 13, 1924.
301 “Phil Ball Laying Plans to Remodel Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Star and Times, July 13, 1925.
302 Haley, “Birds Still Have One Season to Play,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 1, 1929.
303 “Cards to Have A New Home,” Kansas City Times, July 16, 1924.
304 “New Sportsman’s Park a Big League Layout in All Respects,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 11, 1926.
305 Haley, “Birds Still Have One Season to Play,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 1, 1929; United Press, “Cardinals to Have New Park in Course of Years,” Freeport Journal-Standard, July 16, 1924.
306 “Larmore and Doyle Ready for Action in Today’s Battle,” Houston Post, April 12, 1919.
307 “Cardinals Have Deal on for Stock in Syracuse Club,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 23, 1921.
308 “Ft. Smith Twins Sold,” Daily Arkansas Gazette, May 20, 1922.
309 Bryan, “The High School Seventy Years Ago and Now,” The Caduceus 1922. Missouri History Library and Research Center, 19.
310 “Record Offer for Hornsby Declined,” New York Times, December 10, 1920.
311 “Here’s the Cards’ New Uniform as Heine Mueller Will Appear in It,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 7, 1922.
312 “FERGUSON,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 13, 1921.
313 “When Cardinals Train in Cairo They’ll Meet Creator of Their Red Bird Emblem,” The St. Louis Star and Times, February 12, 1943.
314 John M. McGuire, “Church lady’s decorations inspired birds-on-bat logo,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 12, 1999.
315 “Rogers Hornsby to Manage Cards,” St. Joseph Gazette, May 31, 1925.
316 “’Nothing Could Have Made Me Happier’- Breadon,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 25, 1926.
317 “St. Louis in Frenzied Orgy of Joy Over Cardinal Victory,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 11, 1926.
318 “Breadon Is Not So Hopeful Over Rogers Hornsby,” The Sedalia Democrat, December 20, 1926.
319 “If Rogers Can’t Sell Stock that Will Be Our Problem-Tierney,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 1, 1927. Share holdings for Breadon and Hornsby were taken from this article. Breadon’s share position was 5,904 common stock and 2,327 preferred stock. Hornsby held 1,167 shares of common stock. The total number of shares outstanding in the Cardinals was calulated using an Excel Spreadsheet based on shareholders as of February 1, 1927.
320 “McGraw Thinks Rogers Will Help Giants,” The Standard Union, December 21, 1926.
321 “What Breadon and Hornsby Have to Say About Sensational Baseball Trade,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 21, 1926.
322 “How Fans React to Trading of Hornsby for Frisch and Ring,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 21, 1926.
323 “If Rogers Can’t Sell Stock,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 1, 1927.
324 “Stoneham, Head of Giants, Seeking Plan to Dispose of Rogers’ Cardinal Stock,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 5, 1927.
325 “Hornsby Adjusts Stock Dispute with Cardinals,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 10, 1927; “Certificate of Decrease of Capital Stock and of Amendment to Articles of Incorporation of St. Louis National Baseball Club, a Corporation” (charter No. 33690). Missouri Business Filings. https://bsd.sos.mo.gov. Accessed February 23, 2019,
326 Bob Broeg, The Pilot Light and The Gas House Gang (St. Louis: The Bethany Press,1980).
327 “KMOX to Broadcast Baseball Score of St. Louis Teams. Inning-By -Inning Account of Games to Go on Air at Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 11, 1926.
329 “Radio Trumpets Millenium to Baseball Crowd,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 11, 1926; Absher, “St. Louis Cardinal Radio History.”
330 “No Broadcasts of Ball Games to Be Sllowed Here This Year,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 3, 1934. “Radio Programs,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 18, 1934. During the game at Sportsman’s Park between the Cardinals and Pittsburgh, KMOX’s programming focused on music and talk. Baseball coverage started with a recap of the Cardinals and Browns games at 5:45 PM.
331 Absher, “St. Louis Cardinal Radio History.”
332 “Hyde Park True Lager Beer Brings You the Newest Thing in Baseball Broadcasting, Play-by-Play on KXOK, 1250 on Your Dial,” St. Louis Star and Times, October 17, 1940.
333 Absher, “St. Louis Cardinal Radio History.
334 “Cardinal 1948 Broadcast Signed But Stations Uncertain,” Gerald Journal, November 7, 1947.
335 “Television on KSD-TV,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 11, 1947.
336 “Television on KSD-TV,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 18, 1947.
337 Sid C. Keener, “Everything is O.K. He Tells Breadon in Phone Message,” St. Louis Star and Times, December 5, 1934.
338 “Oklahoma Oil Man’s Ready to Spend over a Million in Buying Breadon’s Cards,” Daily News, November 14, 1934.
339 “Poor Gate Reason Lew Wentz Is Not Owner of Cards. Lack of Home Drawing Power Scares Off Oklahoma Millionaire.” Longview News Journal, December 2, 1934.
340 Keener, “Everything is O.K.,” St. Louis Star and Times, December 5, 1934.
341 Martin J. Haley, “Browns Pass Up Action on Night Game Preparation,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 23, 1934.
342 “Wray’s Column,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 15, 1936.
343 “Breadon and Rickey Silent on Salaries,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 11, 1936.
344 “Knot-Hole Stock Holders Receive First Dividend. Secretary Mason Announces Distribution of 10 Per Cent Among 400 Shareholders,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 2, 1923.
345 An Excel Spreadsheet was used to create a table of Breadon’s percentage of ownership and his portion of the dividends declared during his ownership, using additional spreadsheets and information from the resources below: “Articles of Association. The St. Louis National Baseball Club,” (charter No. 33690). Missouri Business Filings. https://bsd.sos.mo.gov. Accessed February 23, 2019, 1-4; “Sam Breadon Now Has Controlling Interest in Cards.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 8, 1922; “Cardinals Declare Dividend,” Kansas City Times, December 11, 1942; Ray J. Gillespie, “10,160 Shares Earned $12 each, Breadon States,” St. Louis Star and Times, December 22, 1936.
346 Harry Grayson, “Major League Bosses Defend Farm Systems,” The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), March 18, 1938.
347 Martin J. Haley, “100 Rookies Ruled Free Agents,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 24, 1938.
348 “Breadon to Sell Auto Agency and Quit Business,” St. Louis Star and Times, May 7, 1936.
349 “Sam Breadon Sells Agency and Quits Auto Business,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 7, 1936.
350 Sid C. Keener, “Sid Keener’s Column,” St. Louis Star and Times, October 31, 1936.
351 Sid C. Keener, “Final Obstacle is Removed as League Okays Night Games,” St. Louis Star and Times, October 31, 1936.
352 “League President Verifies Sanction for Night Baseball in St, Louis,” St. Louis Star and Times, October 31, 1936.
353 “Outlook Dark For Night Baseball Here,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 2, 1939; “Plans for Lighting Sportsman’s Park Now Are Completed,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 31, 1940.
354 J. Roy Stockton, “Extra Innings: This and That in Sports World,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 14, 1941.
355 “Breadon Still Silent on Rickey Contract Matter,” St. Louis Star and Times, June 21, 1941.
356 Sid C. Keener, “Informs Breadon of Move to Brooklyn In 19-Word Telegram,” St. Louis Star and Times, October 29, 1942.
357 Ray J. Gillespie, “Ex-Cardinal Sought 5-Year Pact Even If Baseball Shut Down,” The St. Louis Star and Times, November 5, 1942.
358 Keener, “Informs Breadon,” The St. Louis Star and Times, October 29, 1942.
359 “Walsingham of Cardinals Joins Navy,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 16, 1942.
360 Ray J. Gillespie, “Cardinal Organization Will Still Function Successfully Minus Rickey, Breadon Says,” St. Louis Star and Times, October 30, 1942.
361 “Clarence Howard Jr., Dies Following Fall At Veiled Prophet Meeting,” St. Louis Star and Times, October 22, 1943.
362 W.J. McGoogan, “’Donnelly’s Peg to Third and Hopp’s Catch Best Series Plays’ – Southworth,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 10,1944.
363 “New Park For Cards Despite Long Lease At Sportsman’s,” St. Louis Star and Times, November 13, 1944.
364 “’Still A Dream,’ Breadon Says; New Sign But No New Park For Cards Yet,” St. Louis Star and Times, May 9, 1947.
365 Martin J. Haley, “Mort Will Occupy Bench in Inaugural,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 17, 1945.
366 “Wray’s Column: Gave Us Dose of Our Own Medicine,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 27,1946.
367 “Lanier, Martin Here Going To Mexico,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 26, 1946.
368 “Mexican League Banned Players,” Baseball Almanac, https://www.baseball-almanac.com/legendary/Mexican_League.shtml.
369 “Musial Calls ‘Strike 3’ on Pasquels,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 7, 1946.
370 “Pasquel Says Offer Was $130,000 for Five Years,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 7, 1946.
371 “Just Curious Why They Go Says Breadon,” The Windsor Star, June 21, 1946.
372 “Wray’s Column. Dose of Our Own Medicine,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 27,1946.
373 “Pasquel Denies Olmo Quitting, Blasts Spink,” The Circleville Herald, August 14, 1946.
374 J. Roy Stockton, “Breadon Fined $5,000 and ‘Suspended’ by Chandler After Trip to Mexico,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 26, 1946.
375 Bob Broeg, “Breadon, Frick Pacified Feeling Toward Negro, New York Story Says. What Might Happen to Cards.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 9, 1947.
376 “Breadon Adds His Denial to Strike Story,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 9, 1947.
377 “Deny Cardinals Planned Strike Against Brooks,” Moberly Monitor-Index, May 9,1947.
378 Broeg, “Breadon, Frick Pacified Feeling,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 9, 1947.
379 “Breadon Adds His Denial,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 9, 1947.
380 “‘Just Quote Sam:’ Frick Denies Starting Report,” The St. Louis Star and Times, May 9, 1947.
381 “Breadon Adds His Denial,” St. Louis-Post-Dispatch, May 9, 1947.
382 Broeg,”His Cardinal Teams Won Nine N.L.,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 11, 1949.
383 Sid C. Keener, “Breadon Wavering on Sale of Cardinals; Admits Offers,” The St. Louis Star and Times, June 5, 1947.
384 Sid C. Keener, “Breadon to Keep Control of Cards; Cancels All Sales Plans,” The St. Louis Star and Times, June 13, 1947.
385 “Hannegan Buys Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 25, 1947.
386 “Cardinal Sale Probably Ran to $4,060,000,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 28, 1947.
387 “New Sports Corporation Helped Swing Cards’ Sale,” The St. Louis Star and Times, November 28, 1947; “Cardinal Sale Probably Ran to $4,060,000,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 28, 1947.
388 “Who Said Baseball is a Man’s Game,” Daily News, August 16, 1942; “Teams Worth $12,000,000 Were Sold in Last Three Years,” Ottawa Journal, August 10, 1946.
389 “A Big Ruppert Estate,” Kansas City Times, September 25, 1945.
390 “Cardinal Sale Probably Ran to $4,060,000.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 28, 1947.
391 “Hannegan Group Buys Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 25, 1947; “Cardinal Sale Probably Ran to $4,060,000.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 28, 1947.
392 “Robert Emmet Hannegan,” Find A Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9331/robert-emmet-hannegan. Accessed October 22, 2019.
393 “Bob Hannegan: From Police Captain’s Son to A Millionaire,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 30, 1949.
394 “Lively Scramble in Prospect for Berths with Tulsa’s Oilers,” The Daily Oklahoman, March 7, 1926.
395 Charles J. Brill,”Tulsa Oilers Will Deal More Misery During This Season,” The Daily Oklahoman, April 8, 1926. Ironically, Hannegan didn’t get to play against the team he was a rabid fan of, when Rogers Hornsby’s Cardinals played an exhibition game against the Oilers in Tulsa on April 6, 1926 . Taken from game information in St. Louis Globe-Democrat on April 7, 1926, written by Martin J. Haley.
396 “Robert E. Hannegan Dies at Home Here,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 6, 1949.
397 “Peddled Peanuts.”
398 “Once Obscure Attorney Climbed to ‘Top of the World,’” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 29, 1953.
399 Mike Eisenbath, “Fred Saigh Jr., Former Owner of the Cardinals, Savvy Investor, Dies at 94,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 30, 1999.
400 “Father-in-Law of Fred Saigh Dies,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 24, 1950.
401 J. Roy Stockton, “Hannegan Sells Cards’ Control To Fred Saigh,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 27, 1949.
402 “Hannegan Buys Cards, Quits Cabinet,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 25, 1947.
403 “Hannegan Buys Cards.”
404 “New Sports Corporation Helped Swing Cards’ Sale,” The St. Louis Star and Times, November 28, 1947.
406 “Denies Cards Used Own Cash to Finance Sale,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 29, 1947.
407 “Melon Cut of $700,000 to Benefit Club Only,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 19, 1947.
409 “Hannegan Buys Cards.”
410 W. Vernon Tietjen, “Stan Smashes Long Double,” St. Louis and Star Times, April 20, 1948.
411 Martin J. Haley, “Cardinal Notes,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 4, 1948; Martin J. Haley “Turned Away by Chicago 4-3,”St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 4, 1948.
412 “Musial Signs Two-Year Contract With Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 4, 1948; “Stan Musial Salaries: 1949, Age 28, St. Louis Cardinals, $50,000; 1950, Age 29, St. Louis Cardinals, $50,000.” Baseball Reference, https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/musiast01.shtml.
413 J. Roy Stockton, “Hannegan Sells Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 27, 1949.
414 Hannegan and Saigh’s spilt was half each of the 90 percent share they owned combined. The shares outstanding increased between November 25, 1947 and January 27, 1949 by 33 shares. So each had 778.95 shares before Saigh bought out Hannegan. Once the sale was complete, Saigh owned 1557.9 shares. The other 10 percent was divided between 4 other shareholders; Sidney Salomon Jr. held 166 shares.
415 Stockton, “Hannegan Sells Cards.”
416 Dent McSkimming, “President Saigh to Use Four-Man Huddle,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 28, 1949.
417 “Chandler Tells Saigh Move Is Not in His Jurisdiction,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 1, 1949; The Cardinals drew 1,111,440 in 1948 and the Browns 335,564, giving the Cardinals 77 percent of the total.
418 Seventy Seven percent of $76,000 equals $58,520.
419 Sid C. Keener, “All Parties Silenced,” The St. Louis and Star Times, March 9, 1949; $35,000 plus result in endnote above $58,520 equals $93,520.
420 Keener, “All Parties Silenced.”
421 “Browns File Suit to Evict Cardinals from Ballpark,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 1, 1949.
422 “Cards Beat Browns in Court,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 2, 1950.
423 “Cards to Get New Park in 4-5 Years,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 29, 1949.
424 “Cardinals Sell Former Stadium Site for Terminal,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 31, 1950.
425 “The Proposed New Park for the Cardinals,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 29, 1949.
426 “Cardinals Sell Former Stadium Site,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 31, 1950.
427 “Defaulted Pennant,” The St. Louis Star and Times, September 27, 1948.
428 Steven Goldman, “Jackie Robinson Day MLB. Breaking the Barrier,” SBNation, April 11, 2013.
429 “Committee to Take Over if Happy Steps Out,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 12, 1950.
430 J. Roy Stockton, “Bid for New Contract Hurt Happy’s Chances,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 12, 1950.
431 W.J. McGoogan, “Card Owner Denies He Led Fight,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 12, 1950; “Highlights And Sidelights,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 12, 1950.
432 “Chandler Concedes Defeat,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 13, 1951.
433 “Chandler’s Six Year Reign Ends Today,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 15, 1951.
434 Jack Rice, “Saigh a Good Winner,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 13, 1951.
435 “Saigh Pleads No Contest,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 28, 1953.
436 “Defense Counsel Says No Contest Plea Was Made in Case,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 29, 1953; “Saigh Gets 15-Month Term, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 29, 1953.
437 “Saigh Pleads No Contest.”
438 “Saigh Gets 15 Month Term.”
439 “Saigh Pleads No Contest.”
440 “Saigh Gets 15-Month Term, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 29, 1953.
441 Bob Broeg, “Saigh to Set Up Citizens Group,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 30, 1953.
442 Broeg, “Saigh to Set Up Citizens Group;” Ray J. Noonan, “$4,225,000 Bid for Cards Rejected,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 22, 1953.
443 “Saigh Begins Preliminary Talks,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 3, 1953.
444 “Cardinals Ball Club Sold To Anheuser-Busch,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 20, 1953.
445 “Stockholders of Busch OK Stadium Backing,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 13, 1960.
446 “Success in Keeping Cardinals Here Praised,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 21, 1953.
447 Noonan, “Bid for Cards Rejected.”
448 “Keeping Cardinals Here Praised.”
449 Mike Eisenbath, “Saigh Of Regret,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch , June 14, 1992.
450 “Cardinals Ball Club Sold.”
451 “August Anheuser Busch Jr., American Brewer,” Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/August-Anheuser-Busch-Jr. Accessed November 4, 2019; “The Busch Family,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 30, 1989.
452 “Gussie Busch Dies at 90,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 30, 1989.
454 “August Busch Jr. Major in the Army,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 12, 1942.
455 “Bridlespur Hunt Show Scheduled for May 13,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 29, 1945.
456 “August A. Busch Jr. Named President of Brewery Firm,” St. Louis Star and Times, September 5, 1946.
457 “Gussie,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 30, 1989.
458 “The Busch Family,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 30, 1989.
459 “Young Wife of A.A. Busch Jr. Dies Suddenly,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 27, 1930.
460 “Cardinals Ball Club Sold.”
461 Bob Broeg, “Sports Hall Of Fame Inducts ‘Gussie,’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 28, 1975.
462 Noonan, “Bid for Cards Rejected.”
463 “New Cardinals President Busch Long Active in Field Sports,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 20, 1953.
464 ” Anheuser-Busch Sets Record in Shipping Barrels of Beer,” The Daily Standard, January 3, 1953; “Schlitz Sets Record,” Kenosha News, January 26, 1953.
465 “Cardinals Ball Club Sold.”
466 Frank McCulloch Jr., “The Baron Of Beer,” Time Magazine, July 11, 1955.
467 “Anheuser-Busch Shareholders OK Cardinals Deal,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 10,1953.
468 “State of Missouri No. 80330 Certificate of Incorporation,” Missouri State Archives.
469 “Shareholders OK Cardinals Deal.”
470 “Richard A. Meyer Is Named General Manager of Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 22,1953.
471 “St. Louis Browns vs. Louisville at Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 23, 1881.
472 “Busch Buys Sportsman’s Park,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 10, 1953.
473 “Busch Buys Sportsman’s Park.”
474 “Ballpark Renamed Busch Stadium Not Budweiser,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 10,1953.
475 “Ballpark Renamed Busch Stadium”
476 “St. Louis Brewery to Make New Beer,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 8, 1955.
477 Neal Russo, “Scorer’s Button to Set Off Chain Reaction,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 21, 1954.
478 “It Happened Here,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 7, 1954.
479 Jack Herman,”$1,085,000 Profit For Cardinals in ’57,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 4, 1958. Note: $4.5 million equal total of $3,300,000 plus $1,274,720.
480 “Shareholders OK Cardinals Deal,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 10, 1953; Dan Parker and Robert Burnes, “The American Weekly Poll,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 11, 1954; “Bonus Player Signed By Birds Fielding Prodigy,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 4,1953.
481 Herman, “Profit For Cardinals in ’57,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 4, 1958.
482 Herman, “Profit For Cardinals in ’57.”
483 Jack Herman, “To Pick Pilot Next Week,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 7, 1955.
484 Herman, “To Pick Pilot Next Week.”
485 “Fred Hutchinson Named Cardinal Manager,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 12, 1955.
486 “Cards Decked Out in New Uniforms,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 26, 1956.
487 Jack Herman, “Shirts Changed to Please Fans,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 20, 1957.
488 Herman, “Shirts Changed.”
489 Bob Broeg, “Pennant Must Come Busch Warns Lane,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 13, 1957.
490 Bob Broeg, “New G.M. To Receive Reported $30,000,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 13, 1957
491 Jack Herman, “Cards Paint Books With $21,891 in Red Ink,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 6, 1959.
492 Herman,” Cards Paint Books With Red Ink”; “Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston Make A.A. Ten-Team League,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 2, 1958.
493 August A. Busch Jr., “Years of Planning,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 6, 1959.
494 “Stadium Drive Huge Success,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 19, 1962.
495 “Stadium Drive Huge Success;” C.K. Boeschenstein, “First Stadium Projects Are Announced,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 28, 1961.
496 “Land Clearance Body OK’s 3-Way Agreement,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 17, 1961.
497 Robert A. Dunlap, “Seven of 11 Bond Issues Are Approved,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 7, 1962; “Election Results City Bond Issue,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 7, 1962.
498 “$10 Million Pledged for New Stadium,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 29, 1959; “Sports Stadium to Be Ready,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 16, 1965; James Toomey, 1966 St. Louis Cardinals Sketch Book (St. Louis: St. Louis Cardinals Public Relations Department 1966), Inside Back Cover.
499 “1964-or Bust,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 20, 1959.
500 Jack Herman, “Group Confident It Will Raise $20,000,000,”St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 22, 1959.
501 “Stockholders of Busch OK Stadium Backing,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 13, 1960.
502 “240 Subscribers of 298 pay on Stadium Pledge,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 21,1962.
503 “Stadium Drive Huge Success.”
504 “Second Call for Downtown Stadium Funds,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 20, 1962.
505 “Busch’s Civic Investment,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 15, 1962.
506 “Busch Defends Stadium Site,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 29, 1960.
507 “Cards in New Park May 8,” Miami News, January 29, 1966.
508 “Busch’s Civic Investment.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 15, 1962; Bob Broeg, “Birds to Miss Beer-and-Popcorn Concert of Coins,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 24, 1965.
509 “Stadium Design Unveiled, Wins Backers’ Praise,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 12, 1963.
510 “Redbird Tickets,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 9, 1966.
511 “Defeat Sours Nostalgia, but Cards Had Moments,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 9, 1966.
512 Eugene Bryerton, “Traffic Snarl Fails to Develop At New Stadium,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 9, 1966.
513 Neal Russo, “Cards Give A Bit Extra for Debut,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 13, 1966.
514 “KSD-TV (5) 8:00 Baseball: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 12, 1966.
515 Frank Leeming, Jr., “46,048 Attend First Game in New Stadium,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 13, 1966.
516 Neal Russo,”Comic Tim McCarver Not So Funny to AL,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 13, 1966.
517 “Frank Does not Miss NL Pitching,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 13, 1966.
518 Russo,”Tim McCarver Not So Funny to AL,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 13, 1966.
519 “Negro Players Cannot Stay,” Kansas City Times, February 3, 1961.
520 “Paper Says Negro Athletes Resent Spring Training Humiliation,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 24, 1961.
521 “Yanks Ask Hotel To End Spring Camp Segregation,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 2, 1961.
522 “Baseball Acts To End Spring Segregation,” Springfield News-Leader, November 16, 1961; “18 Scheduled At St. Pete, Five With Mets,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 16, 1961.
523 Bob Broeg, “Camp Redbird; Road to Utopia,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 15, 1962.
524 “How Oddsmakers Figure Flag Races,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 12, 1964; Bob Broeg, “Cards See High Roost,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 12, 1964.
525 Ed Wilks, “Busch Unsure On Keane,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 22, 1964.
526 Bob Broeg, “Birds’ Nest Has One Big Branch;” Neal Russo,”Devine Was Fired, Howsam to be GM,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 18, 1964.
527 Neal Russo, “Cards Top Mets To Win NL Flag,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 5, 1964.
528 Neal Russo, “Cards Are Great, Berra Tells Keane,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 16, 1964.
529 Carl R. Baldwin, “Fans Jam Downtown Streets To Celebrate,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 16, 1964.
530 Neal Russo, “Keane Quits As Manager Of Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 16, 1964.
531 Manny Cassimatis, “Dear Mr. “Gussie” Busch,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 19, 1964.
532 Bob Broeg, “Howsam’s Move is for Better-Both Ways,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 23, 1967.
533 Neal Russo, “Musial Replaces Howsam as GM,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 23 1967.
534 Neal Russo, “Gibson Strong As Birds Take 11th Flag,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 19 1967.
535 Roy Malone, “St. Louis Wild,” Springfield Leader and Press, October 13, 1967.
536 Ed Wilks, “Players Assured Of ‘Friend’ Bing,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 6, 1967.
537 Al Levine, “Rog’s Right And On Tap For Season,” Tampa Bay Times, January 11, 1968.
538 “Javier Could Make Cardinals One Million Dollar Baseball Team,” JefFerson City Post-Tribune, March 5, 1969.
539 Larry Fox, “Baseball’s 100th Year,” Daily News, April 6, 1969.
540 “Baseball Goes Mod,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 6, 1969.
541 “Baseball Goes Mod.“
542 “Cards Need Pitching, GM Says,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 20, 1968.
543 “Czar Kuhn Told to “Restructure” Baseball,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 5, 1969.
544 ” Spring Training Stall,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 4, 1969.
545 “Baseball Players Hire Steel Union Officer,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 6, 1966.
546 “Pension Rejection Indicated in Voting,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 6, 1969.
547 Bob Broeg, “Busch Makes Pitch to Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 23, 1969.
548 Broeg, “Busch Makes Pitch.”
549 Broeg, “Busch Makes Pitch.”
550 Broeg, “Busch Makes Pitch.”
551 Broeg, “Busch Makes Pitch.”
552 Broeg, “Busch Makes Pitch.”
553 “Baseball Goes Mod.”
554 “Redbirds Increase Prices For Reserved, Box Seats,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 9, 1969.
555 Bill Beck, “Set By April 1, ‘No Foolin’,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 22, 1970.
556 “Redbird Raises on Club Basis,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 12, 1972.
557 Bob Broeg, “Busch Leads With Chin – And Miller’s Swing Finds It,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 23, 1972.
558 Broeg, “Busch Leads With Chin.”
559 Broeg, “Busch Leads With Chin.”
560 Baseball-Reference.com. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jenkife01.shtml.
561 Baseball-Reference.com. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bluevi01.shtml.
562 Broeg, “Busch Leads With Chin.”; Baseball-Reference.com. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/torrejo01.shtml.
563 Dick Kaegel, “Cards Deal Carlton To Phils For Wise,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 25, 1972; “Cards Trade Reuss,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 16, 1972.
564 “’New Guard’ Takes Over Reins Of Anheuser-Busch,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 10, 1974.
565 William H. Kester, “August Busch III Replaces Meyer,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 27, 1974.
566 “Six New Vice Presidents For Anheuser-Busch,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 10, 1974; “Busch Is Top Seller-Again,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 16, 1977.
567 “Busch Ends 50 Years With His ‘Second Love.’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 9, 1975.
568 “Busch Ends 50 Years With His ‘Second Love.’”
569 “Busch Ends 50 Years With His ‘Second Love.’”
570 Roy Malone, “Team Sale Called A Step to Aid Brewery,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 15, 1975.
571 Malone, “Team Sale Called Step to Aid Brewery.”
572 Bob Broeg, “Busch Ends Attempt to Buy Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 27, 1976.
573 Broeg, “Busch Ends Attempt to Buy Cardinals.”
574 Bob Broeg, “Cardinals Fire Schoendienst; Coaches Also Dismissed,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 5, 1976.
575 Neal Russo, “Rapp Stresses Fundamentals, Hard Work,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 8, 1976.
576 “Rapp Defends His Ban On Long Hair,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 12, 1977.
577 Neal Russo, “Pressure Now Is On Hrabosky,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 22, 1977.
578 Dick Kaegel, “Single Dimension Catches Up with Rapp,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 26, 1978.
579 Ed Wilks, “‘Birds Will Bust Their Tails,’ New Manager Herzog Says,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 9, 1980.
580 Rick Hummel, “Baseball Talks: Time For Action,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 7 1980.
581 “Whitey’s Week,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 14, 1980.
582 Rick Hummel, “Birds Will Finish Season With East’s Top Record,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 4 1981.
583 Rick Hummel, “Playoff Plan Approved Despite Herzog’s Efforts,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 7,1981.
584 “Anheuser-Busch Threatens to Sell Cardinals Ball Club,” St. Joseph Gazette, June 25, 1981; Malone,”Team Sale Called A Step to Aid Brewery.”
585 Louis J. Rose, “Busch May Face Competition In Bid For Civic Center,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 16, 1981; Kevin Horrigan, “Tangled Triangle Created By Third Bid For Stadium,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 2, 1981.
586 William H. Kester and Kevin Horrigan, “No Longer Considering Sale of Redbirds,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 2, 1981.
587 Horrigan, “Tangled Triangle Created By Third Bid For Stadium.”
588 Kevin Horrigan, “Busch Wins In Extra Innings,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 23 1981.
589 Rick Hummel, “Cards Right On Schedule, Herzog Says,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 7,1982.
590 Neal Russo, “McDonald Quits As GM of Cardinals,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 4, 1985.
591 Rick Hummel, “Impatience Motivated Clark,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 7, 1988.
592 Rick Hummel, “Herzog: ‘We’ll Be Lucky To Play .500,’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 7 1988.
593 “Gussie Busch Dies At 90,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 30, 1989.
594 “August A. Busch III Named Cards’ Board Chairman,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 31, 1989.
595 Dan Caesar, “New TV Deals Yields Cards A Bonanza, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 1989.
596 “New Sports Channel,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 1, 1984; Caesar, “New TV Deals Yields Cards A Bonanza.”
597 Dan O’Neill, “Smith In. Langston Out, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 29, 1989.
598 ” Is That All There Is?, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 9, 1989.
599 Rick Hummel, “‘Whiteyball’ Era Ends,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 7 1990.
600 Brian Bartow and Jeff Wehling, “St. Louis Cardinals 1992 Media Guide,” (St. Louis:St. Louis National Baseball Club Inc, 1992), 244.
601 Lorraine Kee, “Presto Change-o! The NFL is Back at Busch, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 8, 1995; Edward H. Kohn, “Kiel Suites’ Prices Likely To Go Up,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 19, 1992.
602 Edward H. Kohn, “Busch Gets Bigger, Better Replay Screen,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 15, 1993.
603 Edward H. Kohn, “Workers Prepare For Opening Day,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 3, 1992.
604 Edward H. Kohn, “Cardinals Game No Longer Best Bargain In Majors,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 5, 1992.
605 R.B. Fallstrom, “Moore-Musial-Slaughter Outfield Reunited,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 12, 1992.
606 “Musial Memorabilia To Be On Display,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 4 1992.
607 Robert Steyer, “A-B to Spin Off Its Bakery Unit, “St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 27, 1995; Robert Manor, “A-B Strategy: Beer, Theme Parks,” St. Louis-Post-Dispatch, October 26, 1995.
608 Tim O’Neil, “Busch, Cards Breaking Up,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 26, 1995.
609 Charlene Prost, “What Are The Stadium, Garages Worth?,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 26, 1995.
610 Tim O’Neil, “New Card Owners: ‘We Want To Win,’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 23, 1995.
611 Brian Bartow, St. Louis Cardinals 1996 Media Guide, (St. Louis: St. Louis National Baseball Club, 1996), 4.
612 Tim O’Neil, “Cardinal Owners Share Schooling, Social Status,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 23, 1995.
613 O’Neil, “Cardinal Owners Share Schooling Social Status.
614 St. Louis Cardinals 1996 Media Guide, 4.
615 O’Neil, “Cardinal Owners Share Schooling And Social Status.”
616 St. Louis Cardinals 1996 Media Guide, 4.
617 St. Louis Cardinals 1996 Media Guide, 5.
618 Tom Anderson and Marilyn Vise, “Cards’ owners worth $4 Billion,” St. Louis Business Journal, May 6, 2001.
619 O’Neil, “New Card Owners: ‘We Want To Win.’”
621 Rick Hummel, “Lamping Job: Build A Winner,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 20, 1994; Rick Hummel, “Cards May Get New Executive,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 19, 1994.
622 O’Neil, “New Card Owners: ‘We Want To Win.’”
623 “Conversion Of St. Louis Cardinals L.P. Under § 347.125 Charter Number LC0538980,” Missouri Business Filings. https://bsd.sos.mo.gov. Accessed June 8, 2020; “Difference Between a Limited Partnership and a Limited Liability Company.” Hosbeg.com. https://hosbeg.com/difference-between-a-partnership-and-a-limited-liability-company. Accessed September 4, 2020.
624 O’Neil, “New Card Owners: ‘We Want To Win.’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 23, 1995.
625 Brian Walton,”The St. Louis Cardinals Lose One Owner,” The Cardinal Nation, November 19, 2009, https://thecardinalnation.com/st-louis-cardinals-lose-one-owner.
626 Cardinals Communications Department, St. Louis Cardinals 2019 Media Guide, (St. Louis: St. Louis Cardinals L.L.C. 2019), 6.
627 St. Louis Cardinals 2019 Media Guide, 6.
628 “Jim Davis,” Forbes.com. https://www.forbes.com/profile/jim-davis-1/#69d83dbec462; St. Louis Cardinals 2019 Media Guide, 6.
629 Walton, “The St. Louis Cardinals Lose One Owner;” Bruce Rushton, “Pulitzer’s New Prize,” The Riverfront Times, April 4, 2001, https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/pulitzers-new-prize/Content?oid=2472322.
630 Rushton, “Pulitzer’s New Prize.”
631 Bernie Miklasz, “Fans Saying ‘Thank You At The Ticket Office,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 16, 1996.
632 Bill Smith, “Keeping Score: Behind The Big Board,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 6, 1997.
633 The author was one of those manual scoreboard guys starting in 1998 and I have the picture to prove it.
634 “Cards Management, Players Plan Charity Fund,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 12, 1997.
635 “About Cardinals Care,” https://www.cardinalscare.org/about-cardinals-care.
636 Rick Hummel, “‘I Am Proud to Be A Cardinal,’ McGwire Says,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 17, 1997.
637 “La Russa: Leave The Big Man Alone,” Journal Gazette, February 7, 1998; “McGwire Cannot Escape Talk of Record,” The Springfield News-Leader, February 17,1998.
638 Victor Volland, “Fans Should Make Smooth Progress to Kiel, Busch,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 4, 1998.
639 Stern, “Cards’ promises are not included,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 19, 2001.
640 Stern, “Cards’ promises are not included.”
641 Stern, “Cards’ promises are not included.”
642 Doug Moore, “Busch Will Not Take A Hit In ’05 As New Park Is Built,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 9, 2003.
643 Doug Moore, “Financing deal makes Cardinals owners of the stadium,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 24, 2003.
644 Moore, “Financing deal makes Cardinals owners of the stadium.”
645 Moore,”Financing deal makes Cardinals owners of the stadium.”
646 Cardinals Media Relations Department, St. Louis Cardinals 2006 Media Guide (St. Louis: St. Louis Cardinals L.L.C., 2006), 18; History of Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri,” STLNews.com, https://www.stl.news/busch-stadium-2/. Accessed September 2, 2020.
647 “Cardinals to Break Ground On New Baseball Stadium,” St. Joseph News-Press, January 16, 2004.
648 Jim Salter, “Cards, brewery keep Busch Stadium alive,” Springfield News-Leader, August 5, 2004.
649 Bernie Miklasz,” Face It Folks; The Better Team Is Series Bound,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 21, 2005.
650 Jim Salter, “Busch Memorabilia Hot Items,” Springfiield News-Leader, November 26, 2005
651 Kevin C. Johnson, “Dave Matthews Hits It Out of the Park,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 9, 2008.
652 Bernie Miklasz, “On Kroenke, Matheny, Blues and Soccer,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 26, 2013.
653 Dan Caesar, “KMOX or KTRS: Is A Decision in the Cards?,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 5, 2005.
654 Dan Caesar, “Cards Flock to KTRS,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 5, 2005.
655 “Cards Fans Go to Bat for KMOX,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 26, 2005
656 Caesar, “Cards Flock to KTRS.”
657 Caesar, “Cards Fly back to KMOX,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 2, 2010.
658 “How Many Radio Stations Are in the Cardinal Radio Network?,” Bing.com. Accessed September 4, 2020; “Radio Affiliates,” MLB.com. https://www.mlb.com/cardinals/schedule/radio-affiliates; “Cardinals Spanish Broadcast,” Bing.com. Accessed September 4, 2020.
659 “Who Owns KTRS?,” Bing.com. Accessed September 4, 2020.
660 Christina Settimi, “Cardinals Television Rights Deal With Fox Sports Midwest is Extension of 22 year Partnership,” Forbes, July 30, 2015.
661 Derrick Goold, “Cards, Fox Sports Midwest Reach Lucrative TV Deal,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 30, 2015.
662 R.B. Fallstrom, “Walt Jocketty Out As Cardinal General Manager After 13 Seasons,” The Daily Journal (Flat River, Missouri), October 4, 2007.
663 Derrick Goold, “Cards, Fined, Must Forfeit Draft Picks Over Astros Hack,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 31, 2017.
664 Joe Strauss,” Philosophical Differences,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 27, 2011; Joe Strauss,” Albert At Ease,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 27, 2011; Joe Strauss, “After 11 Years A Quick and Rocky Ending,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 9, 2011.
665 “Opening Events,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 23, 2014; Nathan Ruebblke,”Ballpark Village Tower Nears Completion As Cardinals Mull District’s Reopening Plan,” Bizjournals, May 11, 2020.
666 Ruebblke, “Ballpark Village Tower Nears Completion.”
667 Sheryl Ring, “Bill DeWitt, MLB And the Lies We Tell Ourselves,” Beyond the Box Score, June 11, 2020.