Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Brewer News" 1945, Vol. 3, No. 1

Once again, we continue our ongoing look at Brewer News, the club newsletter published throughout the year to keep fans appraised of the latest news and upcoming events.

This is Volume 3 Number 1, from April 1945 , covering the last seven games of the season. We've previously seen the September issue from that year, covering the last seven games of the season. This issue was printed as the season began, offering Milwaukee fans their first look at the 1945 Brewer team, coming off back-to-back American Association pennants.

Among the changes for 1945 was new Brewer manager Nick Cullop, who took over for the departed Casey Stengel. The "tomato-faced" Cullop, as the newspapers often styled him, had a long career in baseball. He had often bedeviled the Brewers as manager of the Columbus Red Birds, where he had been named "Manager of the Year" in 1943 by the Sporting News. The Columbus Dispatch wrote this upon Cullop's leaving for Borchert Field:
Can you imagine those Brewers muscling in our Hipper Dipper? Of course we can't blame Nick. Money speaks and when they lay a $10,000 offer in front of you, you just grab the pen and scratch, that's all. Nick will be drawing down the same pay Casey Stengel got last year as Milwaukee's field chief.
Cullop was stepping to some big shoes as the Brewers' third manager in two years, following Stengel and before him Charlie Grimm in the Orchard's dugout.

As always, Brewers radio man Mickey Heath hosted game-day recaps of the action, hosted by Gimbels, for fans who couldn't make it out to the ballpark. The Brewers spent 1944 and 1945 without a radio home for their game broadcasts, and Heath's daily summaries (along with Brewer scores announced on WEMP every fifteen minutes during games) helped keep fans in touch. Full games returned to WEMP in 1946. There's also a note that "As a convenience to the Brewer fans, Gimbels will again have a fine collection of seats for all Brewer home games on sale at their cigar counter on the main floor."

Note also that morning games for night shift war production workers, a staple of Bill Veeck's ownership, were scheduled to return starting April 30th.

I also like the notation of the Brewers' part for the war effort:

Baseballs to Army Camps
Baseballs hit into the grandstand and returned by fans will be sent to the various Army Camps for their service teams. Requests for baseballs are received daily by the Brewers, so kindly co-operate by giving the ball to your nearst usher for deposit in the service basket.
On the third page, we check in with Veeck himself, who was then recovering in California from injuries suffered while he was in the Marines and who had "hopes of returning to Milwaukee sometime this summer".

There's also an introduction to the new Brewer outfield corps, Bill Burgo, Lew Flick, Eddie Kobesky and Bill Norman. Norman was also named to the Brewers' coaching staff, taking over the responsibilities of Red Smith, who left the Brews to join Charlie Grimm's Cubs coaching staff.

The back page contains a roster for the club, and some noteworthy odds and ends "hosted" by Owgust, the original Beer Barrel Man. I particularly like this sign of the times:

Physicians and other persons expecting calls during the ball game are requested to leave their name and the location of seats they are occupying at the office under the grandstand. Please co-operate with us to keep paging over the Borchert Field loud speaker system to an absolute minimum.
And with that, the 1945 season was underway!

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