ST. LOUIS — It was 69 years ago when the Busch era of baseball began in St. Louis when Anheuser-Busch bought the St. Louis Cardinals.
KSDK-TV was there for the big story.
"The big news, of course, in St. Louis today on this memorable Friday, February 20th, is the sale of the St. Louis Cardinals, the sale being from the previous President Fred Saigh to the new president, Colonel August A. Busch," announced KSD-TV moderator Frank Eschen.
It was the winter of 1953 when fans watched the announcement that would mark the beginning of a baseball dynasty. Beer maker Anheuser-Busch bought the St. Louis Cardinals for under four million dollars.
For the next 40 years, the St. Louis Cardinals would be run by men with the last name of Busch.
"We're delighted to be the owners of the Cardinals, and we're going to try to give the fans everywhere the finest baseball that is known in the United States,” said August “Gussie” Busch, Jr., the team’s new Cardinals president, on that first day.
Also on hand for the announcement, Warren Giles, the then-president of the National League.
"I'm sure all the members of the League are very happy to have a member of the type Mr. Busch and his associates,” said Giles. “I think it's a great thing for baseball.”
But even with players like Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst and Enos Slaughter on the roster, the team would only finish third in the National League in 1953 under manager Ed Stanky.
The Cardinals wouldn't win a world series under Gussie Busch until 1964.
The team would go on to win two more World Series championships with a Busch at the helm.
On October 25, 1995, Anheuser-Busch announced it was selling the team, bringing an end to the Busch era of baseball.