Monday, September 26, 2011

The Chicago Cubs Come to Milwaukee, 1913

by Dennis Pajot

Major league clubs playing post season exhibition games in minor league towns was not new in 1913, and it would continue for many years. On occasion the major league club would play the minor league club of that town, but many times an "All-Star" local team was put together for the barnstorming big league club to play. One such game took place at Athletic Park in October 1912, against the Chicago Cubs in Milwaukee. This game is of some historical interest, as the Milwaukee Sentinel reported it was Johnny Evers first appearance as the manger of the Bruins. (MS 10-28-12)

Another barnstorming exhibition game, again with the Cubs, took place on October 19, 1913 at Athletic Park. The local team of All-Stars (or "All-Professionals" as called in some circles) in this 1913 match was billed as coming from, or now making their homes, in Milwaukee. That Milwaukee could field a team of home talent strong enough to take on a National League team was a tribute to the ball playing abilities of Milwaukee ball players of that time.

The All-Star team had played the previous Sunday at Athletic Park, beating the All-Black Leland Giants of Chicago at 9 to 8, with essentially the same team that would meet the Cubs. (MJ 10-13-13; MS 10-13-13)

The Milwaukee All-Star team was selected by Fred Luderus, star first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies. (MS 10-19-13) Luderus was born in Milwaukee on September 12, 1885. He broke into the National League with Chicago in 1909, being purchased by the Cubs from Freeport of the Wisconsin-Illinois League for $2,200 on August 10, 1909. He played with the Cubs in 1910 and was traded to Philadelphia for Bill Foxen, where he would play until 1920. In 1913 he had hit .262 with 18 home runs and 86 RBI. In 12 big league seasons Luderus would play in 1346 games, hitting .277 with 84 home runs.

At second base the Milwaukee All-Pros had long time north side Milwaukee resident Walter Bauman. Bauman had played 1910 and 1911 with Green Bay of the Wisconsin-Illinois League. The 1912 season saw him with Keokuk of the Central Association, and he then returned to Green Bay for 1913, where he hit 255 in 88 games (TSL 12-13-13- p15) He would play 1914 in Green Bay, his last season in organized ball. In the Milwaukee Sentinel of February 22, 1914, A.J. Schinner wrote he thought Bauman was the finest all-around athlete in the Milwaukee area. Bauman, 24 at the time, was "Dutch from his heels to the top of his head." Bauman had been a welterweight boxer of some renown in the area but had been out of the boxing ring for two years. By 1914 he was getting back into shape to recover his old form. Bauman's athletic career started back in 1900, when he played ball with some unknown team in the Third Ward. Being Dutch in this cosmopolitan area gave him "a very fine opportunity of working up his fighting instincts" and he soon took up fighting in amateur tournaments at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. As his career advanced, he beat such boys as Jack Sanders, Tommy Gavigan, Billy Morehead, Frank Kuchler and the immortal Sailor Kelly. Bauman was also credited with a six round draw with Jimmy Ciabby. In February 1914 he would be back in shape stopping Jack Lepper in three rounds "of fast milling." But before this boxing comeback Bauman had become very proficient in the wrestling game. He took on all the best boys at his weight, 142 pounds, and defeated most. He wrestled the Greek Demetral at Larkin's gym one night for one hour and forty minutes before winning. Walter was given $7 for this feat and the Greek received $3 for his share of the receipts. As a result of the match, Demetral had two tin ears and was in the hospital for one month. Bauman had also been a swimmer, football player and indoor baseball shark. He used handball as a good conditioner, and he was good enough in the sport to compete in several tournaments at Larkin's gym, winning a few. (MS 2-22-14; MJ 2-27-14) The local star was also a good enough baseball player that in the winter of 1914 the newly formed Federal League approached him. (MS 1-28-14) Bauman did not think his athletic accomplishments any great wonder. He explained that Nature gave him a fine physique and he let himself drift toward sports. (MS 2-22-14;MJ 2-17-14 for all this.

The shortstop of this team was to be Fred Thomas. After graduation from high school in Milwaukee Thomas played with Fond du Lac in Wisconsin-Illinois League. He signed with the Green Bay club in the same league in 1912 and 1913 as a shortstop (MJ 10-20-19) During the 1913 season he hit .290 with 10 home runs for Green Bay. After the 1913 season he would be drafted by Omaha of the Western League. He played 1914 in Omaha and was drafted by Cleveland of the American League after the 1914 season and assigned to New Orleans. In April 1916 Thomas was traded to the Boston Red Sox (with Sam Jones and $55,000) for Tris Speaker. However, he continued playing with New Orleans. In 1918 Boston third baseman Larry Gardner was traded to Philadelphia and Thomas made the Boston roster as a utility player. He cracked the regular line up, but in July joined the navy and played ball at the Great Lakes Navy base in Illinois. He received a furlough to play with Boston in the World Series against the Cubs. 1919 would find him Thomas in Philadelphia with the A's, and he finished his big league career in 1920, before being demoted to Reading of the International League. Returning to Reading in 1921 he drew a salary of $3,500—one thousand dollars more than he made with Connie Mack. Fred Thomas would play in Reading until 1923 and finished his professional career in Buffalo in 1924. (Much of this from "When Boston Still Had the Babe; The 1918 World Champion Red Sox" –Craig Lammers article on Fred Thomas. Also BB-ref)

Art Bues was the third baseman of the All-Professional team. Bues, born in Milwaukee in 1888, was reported as being 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 158 pounds. He had played with La Crosse and Racine of the Wisconsin-Illinois League from 1908 to 1910. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox, but never played there, being traded to Seattle of Northwestern League. In the great northwest the right handed hitter belting 27 home runs, and had 219 hits for an average of .352. (MS 3-5-12, 12-13-12) After the 1911 season Bues was drafted by the New York Giants, on the recommendation of Amos Rusie. (MS 1-19-12, 3-5-12) In April 1912 the Giants released Art to Buffalo of the International League. (MJ 4-13-12) Bues started 1913 with the Boston Braves, where it was believed he would be the Braves' regular shortstop, even though he lacked major league batting skills. (TSL 4-5-13) However, he fell ill for two weeks in the spring with an ulcerated throat and became very weak. (TSL 4-12-13) After playing two games for the Braves, Bues was traded to Buffalo for Les Mann on April 16, 1913. On July 15 Bues was traded to Jersey City in the International League for shortstop Bobby Vaughn, where he stayed until 1915. (TSL 7-19-13 pg 22, 7-26-13 pg17) Arthur would remain in various minor leagues until 1920, this last season playing with the Brewers. In 13 minor league seasons he would hit .273. Art also played in 14 games with the Chicago Cubs in 1914. Two months after the 1913 exhibition game in Milwaukee, Bues was married out west with a story worth telling. Bues secured a marriage license for himself and Miss Vivian Barber in Seattle on December and then eloped with her to Tacoma to be married. In the company of another ball player and a female companion the happy couple drove to Tacoma, where they were arrested for speeding. When the situation was explained, the judge he remitted the fine for the violation of the speed laws and married the happy young couple. (TSL 12-20-13p2)

Slated for left field was Paul Wachtel. Wachtel had been purchased by the Milwaukee Brewers the previous fall, after winning and losing 14 games with Green Bay as a pitcher. He had also been scouted by Cleveland of the American League, but signed with Milwaukee for 1913. The 6-foot right hander, who was 25 on opening day 1913, had been sent to the Milwaukee Mollys of the Wisconsin-Illinois League for seasoning. He would be 8 and 6 with the Mollys in Milwaukee and transfer to Fond du Lac with the team at the end of June. He finished the season with a 15 and 15 record with the Milwaukee/Fond du Lac Mollys. After his Wisconsin-Illinois seasons Wachtel would go on to pitch four seasons in the Central League with Dayton and Muskegon. Paul Wachtel pitched two games (six innings total) with Brooklyn in the National League in 1917. He posted neither a win nor a loss. Wachtel then stayed in the minor leagues for some time, pitching for Fort Worth in the Texas League from 1918 to 1928. He finished his career in 1930 in the Texas League, splitting time between Waco and Dallas. In nineteen minor league seasons the right hander won 312 games and lost 224. As far as I can tell Wachtel had no other connection with Milwaukee than playing for the Brewers and Mollys.

Charles "Toddy" Kroy was the All-Professional center fielder. Toddy was a Milwaukee north side boy. (MJ 10-20-13), who had but one thumb and little more than a half-finger on his right hand. He lost his fingers in an accident a number of years prior to his playing baseball professionally. (MJ 3-6-14) In 1906 and 1907 he played with Wausau of the Wisconsin State League, and then in 1908 at Fond du Lac of the same league. The 1909 and 1910 seasons found him in South Bend of the Central League; while in 1911 he played with South Bend/Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids/Newark franchises of the same Central League. Kroy started the 1913 season in Grand Rapids, but was turned over to Terre Haute in May. (TSL 5-24-13 p29) In July Kroy and third baseman Charles Pick were purchased by the New York American League club for $2,000 each. The two players were sent to Toronto of the International League, for future delivery to the New York club. (TSL 9-6-13 pg29 TSL 7-5-13 pg9, TSL 8-9-13) Kroy hit .299 in 59 games with Toronto. He would play 1914 in Toronto, then 1915 and 1916 with Utica of New York State League. The left hander was said to be a fine defensive outfielder. It appears he either did not wear a fielding glove, or perhaps had a modified one, as his lack of an error by dropping a ball caused the Journal to report "so the mitt is not missed when it comes to grabbing them out of the air." (MJ 3-6-14)

The right fielder, Fred Mollwitz, was born in Koburg, Germany, on June 16, 1890. His family immigrated to Milwaukee when Fred was 4 years old. (MS 3-28-14) At age 14 he was playing baseball with a steam laundry team in Milwaukee. Then he entered the City League as a first baseman. After leading the City League in batting he went to Green Bay in 1910. He did not hit very well in his first two years there, but broke out in 1913, hitting .311 and stealing 52 bases. (MS 3-28-14) Mollwitz was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in September, getting into two games, going 3 for 7 at the plate. (BB-ref and MJ 10-20-13) At 6-2 and 170 pounds Mollwitz was "long and narrow". (MS 3-28-14) Joe Tinker said "Mollwitz is one of the best first baseman I ever have seen and he is bound to become one of the greatest in the game." (MS 1-9-14) In the 1913/14 off season Tinker would offer him double the money he signed for with the Cubs to play with the Chicago Whales of the Federal League, but Mollwitz stayed with the Cubs. He would play in the National League with Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburg and St. Louis, finishing in 1919 with a lifetime .241 average. Mollwitz would later play five years in Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League and end his career in 1927 in Moline.

Luderus used two catchers in the game. Joe Custer was the catcher for the Milwaukee White Sox of the City League. (MS 10-4-13) In the 1914 season he would play for Manitowoc of Lake Shore League. (MJ 7-12-14). Charles Gehrike played with the Wollen Mills team in 1911 and then had been a catcher for the Kosciuskos of the City League in 1912 and 1913, before going to the Milwaukee White Sox of the Lake Shore League in the summer of this 1913 season. (MJ 4-17-12, MJ 4-2-13; MJ 10-7-12; MS 8-3-13) Gehrike would continue with the local White Sox in 1914. (MJ 7-16-14)

The All-Stars' pitcher was Erwin Lange, originally from Forest Park, Illinois. Lange pitched for the Kosciuskos during the later part of the 1913 season and was considered the star of the Lake Shore League. (MJ 10-19-13) It was reported he was thought to be one of the best spitball pitchers around, behind Ed Walsh. He was on the reserve list of the Chicago White Sox, but refused to re reported owing to "a cheap contract." (MJ 2-14-14) He would pitch in the Federal League for the Chicago Whales in 1914, posting 12 and 11 record. Lange was back with the Kozys in 1915.

Even the umpire for this contest was a Milwaukee professional. Bill Kuhn had been an umpire in the Ohio State League since 1912, the same year the Wisconsin-Illinois let him go because he was too young. (MS 7-24-12 TSL 5-10-13 p24) It was reported he had umpired such fine ball in that league that big league scouts were looking at him. He would umpire again in the Ohio League in 1914. (MS 9-12-12; MJ 3-25-13; MS 9-30-14)

The game was played before a crowd of 2,000 at Athletic Park on Sunday, October 19, 1913. The Cubs downed the local All Stars 5 to 3, before a crowd of 2,000. The Milwaukee Sentinel reported "it was a fine exhibition from beginning to end and the result was in doubt until the last man was retired." Erwin Lange pitched superb ball, only losing due to costly errors by his fielders, resulting in four of the Cubs five runs. Larry Cheney went the distance for the Cubs, giving up 6 hits. Two of these hits off the Chicago spitballer were home runs over the left field wall by Walter Bauman. (MS 10-20-13; MJ 10-20-13)
All-Stars     R  H  P  A  E   Cubs          R  H  P  A  E
Kroy, cf 0 0 0 0 1 Leach, cf 1 0 0 0 0
Baumann, 2b 2 2 2 6 2 Ever, 2b 2 1 1 3 0
Bues, 3b 1 2 0 2 1 Schulte, lf 0 3 1 1 0
Mollwitz, rf 0 1 1 0 0 Phelan, 3b 1 0 0 3 0
Luderus, 1b 0 1 19 0 0 Saler, 1b 1 0 14 0 0
Thomas, ss 0 0 1 6 1 Miller, rf 0 0 2 0 0
Wachtel., lf 0 0 1 0 0 Corridon, ss 0 1 0 2 0
Gehrke, c 0 0 2 0 0 Archer, c 0 0 8 1 0
Custer, c 0 0 1 0 0 Cheney, p 0 0 1 4 0
Lange, p 0 0 0 4 0
Totals 3 6 27 18 5 Totals 5 5 27 14 0
All Stars .... 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 – 3
Cubs.......... 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 1 0 – 5
Two base hits—Bues, Evers, Corridon
Three base hit—Luderus
Home runs-Bauman 2
First base on balls—Off Lange 2; off Cheney 1
Struck Out—By Lange 3; by Cheney 7
Double play—Schulte to Evers to Saler
Umpires-Kuhn and Arndel
Time 1:29

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Green Bay's *Other* Team

With the Packers' season in full swing, it's good to remember that Green Bay has been home to other professional sports clubs, including one with a significant connection to our Milwaukee Brewers.

This is the 1941 Green Bay Blue Sox, a Wisconsin State League farm club of the Brewers. As a significant independent club, the Brewers were large enough to have affiliates in lower leagues.

With the exception of that single year, the team was known from 1940-1959 as the Green Bay Bluejays, which would explain the beautiful sleeve patch those Sox players are sporting. Note the one-word nickname, unlike the later American League franchise in Toronto.

Standing in the back row, far right is team manager Red Smith.

Smith had a long history with the Brewers as a player, manager and executive. Originally brought to the club as an injury-replacement catcher in 1936, was assigned to manage a Brewer affiliate the following season. Within two years he had worked his way up to director of the Brewers' entire farm system. In early 1941, he was hired to lead the Bluejays.

Smith was already well-known in Green Bay. He himself was a Packer in 1927 and 1929 (making him the only man to have worn a Brewer and Packer uniform) and was a member of the Packers' first pennant-winning squad. After hanging up his cleats, Curly Lambeau hired him as an assistant coach and in 1941 was in his eighth year walking the City Stadium sideline.

After taking the job at Joannes Stadium, Smith would continue to coach the Packers in the fall and winter while managing the Bluejays in the spring and summer.

Baseball Reference indicates that Smith also took the mound to pitch a single inning during that 1941 campaign. He gave up two hits, no runs and recorded a strikeout.

Smith led his Blue Sox to the Wisconsin State League championship in 1941, with a record of 76-35, 6½ games up on the second-place LaCrosse Blackhawks.

Interestingly, one of the players on that 1941 Green Bay roster was George Binks (known as "Bingo"), although he does not appear to be in this team photo. It was during his stay in Green Bay that Bingo had the tattered leather pocket of his beloved old mitt rebuilt in wire by an unknown clubhouse hand.

Also a member of the Blue Sox was future big league outfielder Andy Pafko (back row, next to Smith). Although his contract was owned by the Brewers, Pafko never made it up the ladder to Borchert Field. Milwaukee traded him to the Chicago Cubs farm system after the 1942 season, and he quickly found himself playing at the two Wrigley Fields, first the minor league park in Los Angeles and then its namesake on the North Side. Pafko would finally make it to Milwaukee in 1953 as a member of the relocated Braves, but is perhaps best known for the brief time in between, when he wore a Brooklyn Dodger uniform. He was playing left field in the Polo Grounds when Bobby Thomson hit "The Shot Heard Round the World", and was captured by the cameras standing helplessly, watching the ball sail over his head.

Smith continued his two-sport career until 1943, when Lambeau decided that he needed his assistants year-round. Faced with a choice between the diamond and gridiron, Smith chose to leave Green Bay altogether and take a job coaching the Brewers under Charlie Grimm. He followed Jolly Cholly to the Chicago Cubs in 1945 and back to the Brewers as the club's general manager in 1950.

After winning the a second Wisconsin State Baseball League championship in 1946, the Bluejays severed their ties with the Brewers, becoming a Cleveland Indians farm team starting with the 1947 season.

I do like the interlocking "GB" logo worn by the Bluejays/Blue Sox, whether worn on the cap, chest or sleeve. The initials lend themselves to a good-looking monogram.

Today, the Green Bay Bluejays are largely forgotten. Ebbets Field has in past years offered a 1953 throwback jersey and handsome 1959 cap, although neither is currently available except as a special order.

Green Bay will always be famous for its football team, but Titletown has also contributed much to Wisconsin's rich baseball history.

(ht: Indians/Bluejays photo via Uni Watch)

Friday, September 16, 2011

1944 Pocket Schedule

We return again to early 1944 - this pocket schedule gave Brewer fans a peek at the season ahead of them.

On the cover, Owgust makes a great leap for the catch. This is why I love mascot logos; the graphic versatility. The Brewers' marketing department could field a whole team of Owgusts running, pitching, catching, batting and even flashing a little glove.

On the inside, we see the Brewers' schedule of games, both at Borchert Field and "abroad". I love that every Sunday and holiday game, nineteen in all, was a scheduled doubleheader. Those were the days.

And there's Brewer skipper Charlie Grimm. The pocket schedule was obviously printed before Grimm was hired away by the Cubs and Casey Stengel was brought in to replace him as manager.

Below Grimm we have Brewer announcer Mickey Heath at his microphone. As we learned from the May 1944 issue of Brewer News, the games weren't broadcast on the radio in 1944. Instead, Heath hosted a 15-minute highlight program on WISN sponsored by Miller Brewing Company six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

The back of the schedule shows us the ticket prices as well as another ad for Miller, whose relationship with Milwaukee baseball long preceded the ballpark which bears its name today.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Mile in Mickey Tussler's Shoes

In my previous review of Frank Nappi's novel The Legend of Mickey Tussler, a coming-of-age story of a young autistic pitcher joining the Milwaukee Brewers in 1948, I mentioned that I would be glad to help with the inevitable film adaptation.

That wasn't some grand leap on my part; I knew it had been optioned, but that's not surprising. Many novels get optioned, though few of those adaptations actually get made. Nappi's novel is one of them, although in its translation it has lost both the period setting and the trappings of Borchert Field. The modern-day "layton River Rats" have been substituted for the 1948 Milwaukee Brewers.

Here's the channel's press release:
Atlanta, GA (September 12, 2011) – gmc TV, America’s favorite channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, presents the GMC World Premiere Movie A Mile in His Shoes, starring Dean Cain and newcomer Luke Schroder in his debut role. Country music singer George Canyon also stars. The movie is directed by William Dear (Angels in the Outfield, Harry and the Hendersons).

Based on the critically-acclaimed book written by Frank Nappi, A Mile in His Shoes is the uplifting story of Mickey Tussler, a 17 year-old farm boy from Bargersville, Indiana with Asperger’s Syndrome and a killer fastball (Schroder), who is recruited by minor league manager Arthur "Murph" Murphy (Cain), to play for the Clayton River Rats, his struggling minor league baseball team. Murph is convinced Mickey has a gift, but his autism keeps him isolated from a world he attempts to understand. Caught between life at home with his overprotective father (Canyon) and life on the field, Mickey turns to his gift, the support of his teammates and Murph, who gives him the opportunity of a lifetime. Murph learns a few life lessons himself along the way, which help him to make peace with his family.
Sounds like they kept the bones of Nappi's story, but dropped the period setting. Shame, as I thought its setting elevated and distinguished the novel. I'm not surprised that they fictionalized the team, but they could have kept it set in the 1940s and retained a lot of Nappi's mood.

A Mile in His Shoes will air on gmc TV on Sunday, September 25 at 7 p.m. ET.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Brewer News" 1944, Vol 2, No. 1

This is the May 1944 issue of Brewer News, the club newsletter. Brewer News was a four-page newsletter published throughout the season (and occasionally in the off-season) to keep fans appraised of the latest news and upcoming events.

This issue starts with an introduction to Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel, who had taken over from manager Charlie Grimm upon the latter's promotion to skipper of the Chicago Cubs. Stengel wasn't considered a terribly hot managerial prospect at the time; owner Bill Veeck reportedly hit the ceiling when he was informed of the hiring.

Veeck's concern was misplaced - although the Brewers had more or less picked Casey off the scrap heap, Grimm knew what he was doing. The Brewers would finish the season with a 102 - 51 record and Veeck's second American Association pennant. Stengel would go on to manage the Oakland Oaks on his way to the New York Yankees and the Hall of Fame.

Page 2 begins with an announcement that a "Miller High Life Night" would be held on Monday, June 12th. These nights were apparently raucous affairs, with entertainment provided by the "Brewer Wildcats", a band made up of players. Outfielder Hershel Martin was the bandleader and played piano. He was backed up by Eddie Scheiwe on the harmonica, pitcher Bob Bowman on the washboard, backstop Jim Pruett on the drums and shortstop Dick Culler playing the bass fiddle. This year, the Brewer Wildcats offered fans a special treat: "Julio Acosta, the Cuban Sinatra, will render a number in the style of Xavier Cugat." Must have been some show.

There's Brewer first baseman George "Bingo" Binks, with his lucky baseball glove. It had been given to him by a scout eight years earlier, and as it broke down Bingo held together with tape and bailing wire. Unfortunately, he would lose the glove just a month after this issue of Brewer News was published, while helping fans evacuate the park after a storm tore part of Borchert Field's roof off.

Page 3 begins with the unfortunate news that, for the first time in eighteen years, the Brewers would not have their games broadcast on the radio. Fortunately, local sponsors stepped up and Brewer fans could listen to announcer Mickey Heath give game reviews and highlights Mondays through Saturdays at 5:30 on WISN (courtesy of the Miller Brewing Company), and ten thirty every evening on WEMP (this time by Gimbels).

We also get a peek at the new ticket prices for 1944: you could have a box seat for $1.40 ($.75 for a children's ticket), while general admission or bleacher tickets would set you back $.95 and $.50, respectively (both $.30 for kids). Ladies' Day tickets were a mere two bits.

The back page brings word from Veeck, then serving "somewhere in the Pacific" with the Marine Corps.

And there's "Owgust", the Brewers' mascot, who would become the Beer Barrel Man, representing the Brewers in the American and then National Leagues. His column brings us a review of the Opening Day ceremonies and lots of little details about the club, including the unfortunate news that the club's tickets-for-blood-donors program of 1943 had not been renewed (blame the Red Cross Headquarters in Washington).

These newsletters are invaluable for helping us understand the American Association Brewers, the fans, and the relationship between them. I hope to be able to scan more for you soon.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Raise the Roof. Literally.

As the Northeast picks up the pieces from Hurricane Irene (and I return all the furniture to my roof deck), I am reminded of a storm which struck Borchert Field on the evening of Thursday, June 15, 1944.

During the seventh inning of a game with the Columbus Red Birds, high winds ripped off a 120-foot section of the first base grandstand roof.

The storm also knocked out the floodlights, plunging the park into darkness. When the roof collapsed, hundreds of fans sitting along the first base line were trapped underneath the timbers. The remaining five thousand fans swarmed on to the infield to escape the flying debris.

Large sections of the roof were carried across the street to the homes which faced the ballpark. The debris crushed cars and smashed into front porches.

Inside the ballpark, Borchert Field ushers guided the patrons to center field, where they were able to organize an orderly evacuation of the park as emergency lighting was turned on. Brewers employees and players worked to free the trapped fans from the rubble, and in the commotion, George "Bingo" Binks lost his treasured baseball glove.

By the time the dust settled, thirty-five people were injured, four seriously enough to warrant hospitalization. The worst suffered a skull fracture, but most endured only cuts and bruises, including three boys who had been standing on the front porch of one of the 7th Street houses. Among the injured was the pregnant wife of Brewer pitcher Dick Hearn.

The damage to the neighborhood was extensive. The Milwaukee Sentinel provided this look at the damage across the street:

A closer look at the photos gives us some idea of the chaos that ensued:

North 7th Street bordering Borchert field on the east was a shambles last night when a powerful wind ripped the grandstand roof from its moorings and sent it soaring, in pieces, in all directions. A section of the huge roof flew across the street, tearing off the front porch shown here, and crushing several parked automobiles in the street.
Sentinel photos

One huge section of the Borchert field grandstand was thrown across N. Seventh St. to completely cover the front of a duplex in the N. 3000 block. Part of the roof fell in the areaway to the south. Large sections of the tar paper roofing were ripped from the roof itself and scattered about the neighborhood.
Sentinel photos
Not to be outdone, the Journal followed up with an amazing full-page photo essay, chronicling the damage done to the ballpark and neighborhood.

Fierce winds ripped off part of the Borchert field grandstand roof and slammed it on houses on N. 7th st. Thursday night in the midst of a Brewers-Red Birds game. Firemen put a ladder up against the house at 3032-A N. 7th st. to remove the ball park roof. More of the flying roof can be seen on the house at right and on the ground at left.
Journal staff
The spot where the roof was blown away is shown in this photo taken from the center of the field looking southwest. The arrow points to a large wooden roof beam, the only part of the roof that fell inside rthe park. It crashed onto four persons as they sat in the grandstand and seriously injured them. They were taken to county emergency hospital.
Journal staff
Here's what happened to the houses hit by the ball park roof. The upstairs porch of the home at left was completely removed. George Buchholz (arrow) had just left it when the roof hit. He and his family fled the home, thinking lightning had struck.
Journal staff
Some of the 5,100 fans left in terror. Fand behind the visiting team's dugout who could see the falling roof fled in such haste that a popcorn vendor's basket, a case of beer and chairs were overturned.
Journal staff
This is the scene in the stands where the beam hit. Note the personal belongings, including glasses (arrow), left by the injured.
Journal staff
Curious people inspect the damages in the park and to N. 7th st. on Friday. Note the leaning grandstand, the badly wrecked car and the lamp shade.
Journal staff
Some automobiles parked on N. 7th st. were badly damaged when they were struck by parts of the roof. This scene along the east fence of the park shows two automobiles covered by the roof and two hit by it.
Journal staff
The Journal also put a human face on the disaster, introducing us to some of the people affected.

Here are some of the victims of the Borchert field accident Thursday night. When the wind tossed part of the grandstand roof on top of their home at 3032-A N. 7th st., Mr. and Mrs. Buchholz (top) snatched their daughters, Annette (left), 5, and Sharon, 2, out of bed and fled to a neighbor's. Bottom, William Winzensten, 29, of 1521 W. Orchard st., now in county emergency hospital with a fractured back, was one of four fans injured seriously when hit by a large wooden beam.
Journal staff
Finally, the Journal offered its readers this sketch drawn by a fan who watched the accident from his seat inside the park.

'This is an eyewitness sketch of the accident that put the lights out and sent many fans fleeing. First time in 20 years I saw the Brewers play and this happens'—Reg Hardie
In the aftermath of the storm, the city expressed concern about the Orchard's structural integrity. Deputy building inspector William Gaethke reported that the park, which had been inspected prior to the start of the season, was still safe to host games. Here we see Milwaukee Mayor John L. Bohn touring the wreckage two days after the storm:

Mayor Bohn inspected the damage at Borchert field Friday caused when a windstorm wrecked part of the grandstand roof. He is shown with Rudy Schaffer, general manager of the club.
Journal staff
Hizzoner proclaimed himself satisfied with Gaethke's report, telling the Journal:
"That was a terrific wind and there was nothing the building inspector's department could have done to prevent such an accident. It's a miracle that there wasn't more damage with some fatalities."
If there had been fatalaties, the storm would have been a tragedy. As it was, the "raising of the roof" became another celebrated chapter in the whimsical annals of Orchard lore, earning a mention of this delightful one-panel history from the Brewers' 1947 programs:

Right there among the ballpark's most memorable moments, even if the Brewers were slightly off on the date.

All part of the rich history of the old wooden ballpark at 8th and Chambers.