"sloppy seconds" (UNCLASSIFIED)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 17 00:44:12 UTC 2008

Curt Flood, plus the sale of the team to August Anheuser Busch, Jr.,
who built a new, fully-integrated ball park named after himself, made
all the difference in the world. I recall listening - sigh! those were
the good old days! - to a Cardinals game with a cousin-in-law (he was
married to my cousin Lois Harrold, whose family name is the source of
my first name, Harrold; Walter, AKA Wilson, NMN, Gray was my father).
Flood kicked ass in that game, causing said in-law to remark, "Damn!
He's going to make me a fan of the Cardinals, yet!"

And, of course, once the Browns moved to Baltimore, black fans shifted
their allegiance to the Cardinals, especially after the Dodgers moved
to L.A., breaking the tie of the Jackie Robinson legacy.

BTW, I once saw Babe Ruth. He was the guest of honor on Babe Ruth Day
at a Yankees vs. Browns game. At the time, the poor old guy was
already on his last legs and his voice was little more than a croak,
as he addressed the overflow crowd.

Little-known fact: back in the day, the best-selling beer in Saint
Louis itself was not Budweiser, but Falstaff, brewed by the
now-defunct Griesedieck Bros. Brewery. The prophet-without-honor bit
was a great embarrassment to AB, first everywhere but in its own home

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 4:33 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "sloppy seconds" (UNCLASSIFIED)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 3:53 PM -0500 12/16/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>I remember that. Black St. Louisans were fans of the Browns.
>>Sportsman's Park, the local professional baseball venue, was owned by
>>the Browns and the Cardinals leased it for their home games. When the
>>Browns played, there was open seating. When the Cardinals played, the
>>venue was Jim-Crowed and black fans were restricted to the bleachers.
>>Whites could sit in the bleachers, too, if they chose. But blacks had
>>no choice as to where they sat.
>>I could never understand this, because the Cardinals weren't owned by
>>some absentee, mint-julep-sipping, racist grandee from Mississippi,
>>but by a local Arab-American named Fred Saigh, who segregated the
>>stadium for Cardinals games by personal fiat. I have no idea what he
>>had against the colored. The Jim-Crowing of the Cardinals games
>>certainly wasn't demanded by a hostile, racist, local white
>>population, either, Saint Louis in the 'Forties and 'Fifties being no
>>more racist than Boston in the 'Seventies and 'Eighties. As no less a
>>light than the great Bill Russell once noted, WRT those days:
>>"I'd rather be in jail in Sacramento than sheriff in Boston."
>>And white Bostonian *loved* him!
> It's curious.  By the early 1960s, when the American League Brownies
> had moved out of town to become the Baltimore Orioles, the National
> League Cardinals were renowned as a team of racial harmony, and in
> general the National League was much more integrated on the field, if
> not off it, than the AL, beginning but not ending with Jackie
> Robinson's debut in '47.*  When Curt Flood, now known mostly as the
> great martyr in the cause of free agency, was traded from the Cards
> to the Phillies, he refused to report (according to various reports,
> including that in detail in Halberstam's book on the 1964 season)
> because of the tales of how racist Philly was.  So I assume, although
> I don't know for a fact, that by the 60s, when the Cards were the
> ascendant team in the National League (winning the '64 and '67 World
> Series and playing in the '68 one), the stands must have been
> integrated as well.  This would have been the Augie Busch era in
> terms of ownership--did that make a difference?  Others on this list
> probably know more of the details than I do.
> LH
> *The difference in racial makeup of the two leagues, especially as
> regards star players, was the principal reason standardly given for
> the NL dominance in the all-star games in those years, and to support
> Wilson's point the Red Sox were among the very last team to admit a
> black player, in the person of the otherwise forgettable Pumpsie
> Green.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list