ST. LOUIS — Thursday at Busch Stadium was a celebration for fans of the long-lost St. Louis Browns, today known as the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles were in St. Louis this week for just the second time since the franchise packed up for Baltimore in 1953. The Browns/Orioles franchise was playing the Cardinals in St. Louis for just the third time ever. It was the second since the 1944 all-St. Louis World Series between the Browns and Cardinals.
And there were a number of Browns fans in attendance on Thursday, to celebrate the history of the former St. Louis team.
Multiple Browns bat boys were on the field pregame Thursday, including Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. Bill DeWitt Sr. was an executive for the Browns, and his son was a bat boy at Sportsman's Park. In 1951, Eddie Gaedel, the shortest player in baseball history, stepped to the plate for the Browns wearing DeWitt Jr.'s bat boy jersey. That jersey is now in the Cardinals Hall of Fame and museum.
The last St. Louis Browns player still living in St. Louis, Ed Mickelson, was in the stands for Thursday's game as well. Mickelson, 95, played for both the Cardinals and the Browns in the 1950's.
We profiled Mickelson's life story for Sports Plus in 2021.
Busch Stadium honored Mickelson during the game, and also played various Browns tributes on the video board throughout the game.
There are four players who appeared for the St. Louis Browns still alive today.
At 101, former Brown George Elder is the oldest living Major League player in 2022. Mickelson (95), Frank Saucier (95) and Billy Hunter (93) round out the list of former Browns.
Saucier was actually the player removed from the game in 1951 so Gaedel could take his famous at-bat.
The Orioles got some revenge for that 1944 World Series loss in 2022. They took two of three games against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, winning 3-2 on Thursday.