Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1950s Child's Ticket Stub

Although Borchert Field is long since gone, artifacts left behind help tell its story.

This ticket stub would have let some lucky child into Borchert Field's grandstand for a Brewer game.

Interestingly enough, the Globe Ticket Company is still around.

Although the stub is undated, we can narrow the timeframe down considerably. At the edge of the tear we can just make out the name of the Brews' General Manager: "Richard P. Smith," known to the dugout and boardroom alike as "Red." Red Smith was a Brewers stalwart who had come as a replacement catcher in 1936, managed in the Brewers' farm system and who coached the team in the late 30s and early 40s under manager Charlie Grimm.

When Grimm moved from the Brewers up to the Chicago Cubs, he took Smith along. And when the Boston Braves, by then owners of the Brewers, hired Grimm back to manage Milwaukee in November of 1950, Red came along for the ride. "Jolly Cholly" took his rightful place in the dugout, and Smith took the reins as the club's general manager. Grimm was called up to the big league club at the end of May

He stayed in this capacity until the invading Braves bumped the Brewers out of Milwaukee, moving with the club to Toledo in the spring of 1953. So that leaves us with two possibilities for this ticket stub: 1951 and 1952.

Looking at the schedules, the thirtieth home game of 1951 (not counting exhibition games with major league clubs) was on Tuesday, June 26th against the Indianapolis Indians, and the corresponding game in 1952 was on Saturday, July 5, as the St. Paul Saints come to Borchert Field. This stub came through the grandstand turnstyles on one of those two days.

This was a good period for the Brewers; they took home the American Association pennant in both years. This was taken in November of 1952, after the team won its second pennant in a row.

AIMING HIGH — General Manager Red Smith is showing Tommy Holmes (center), new Brewer manager, the championship plaque the team won last summer. Looking on at the right is Charlie Grimm, who started the Brews on the right track and then turned over the reins to Bucky Walters.
Sentinel photo
The relationship between Tommy Holmes and Grimm was an interesting one. Holmes had been an outfielder for the Boston Braves from 1942-50 before leaving to manage in their farm system. He returned to Braves Field on June 19, 1951 to take over as player/manager. He lasted almost a year before being fired on May 31, 1951. Charlie Grimm was called up from the top-level farm team in Milwaukee to take over the reins, but the Braves weren't finished with Holmes, as he was after the 1952 season he was assigned to take over Grimm's Brewers starting in 1953.

That plaque the three men are admiring would be the last piece of silverware won by the Brews in Milwaukee. The following spring, it would hang in the offices of Toledo's Swayne Field, and the original owner of this stub could see his new hometown Milwaukee Braves play at County Stadium.

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