Date(s) - 02/20/2020
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Maplewood Public Library
Everyone knows about Jackie Robinson and his becoming the first African American player to integrate baseball on April 15, 1947. Bill DeWitt Sr., an executive of the St. Louis Browns, and owner Richard Muckerman, wanted to take proactive steps to improve their team and also attract the African-American community as fans of the team when they signed Hank Thompson and Willard Brown from the Kansas City Monarchs to play for the Browns.
The tale of both players is the tale of the first time in Major League Baseball that two African-American players took the field together here in St. Louis on July 19, 1947. There were many more “firsts” for the St. Louis Browns. This is a story that few in St. Louis, much less all baseball fans, are aware of in the annals of MLB history. Many relics from these events will be shared with the audience.
Author Ed Wheatley grew up in and around the world of baseball, from the time in his youth when his dad played professionally, to his own baseball activities. As President of the St. Louis Browns Historical Society & Fan Club, he works to preserve the history and legacy of this transplanted American League team. He has co-authored The St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team and authored Incredible Cardinals. The 2018 Emmy-nominated documentary based on the St. Louis Browns was selected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 13th Annual Film Series in Cooperstown where Ed introduced and spoke about the film.
A second film A Baseball Legacy – Fans Remember the St. Louis Browns premiered in August 2019 and was also selected for the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 14th Annual Film Series. Ed once again was invited to speak at the Baseball Hall of Fame.