Cheap Seats

On this date in Cardinals history: March 1, 1947

On this date 62 years ago the St. Louis Brown told the Cardinals "Yer out."

The Brownies, who owned Sportsmans park and rented the space to the National League Redbirds for their games, decided they wanted to increase the rent and the Cardinals balked. So the St. Louis AL team notified its tennant that it would be evicted following the season.

Perhaps they were still stung about the Cardinals whipping them in the 1944 World Series. Or maybe the Browns were jealous because the Redbirds had just won another world championship in the fall of 1946... But the most likely reason is that the Brownies were suffering at the gate and became desperate to bring in new revenue any way they could.

The Cardinals drew about 1.06 milion fans in 1946 and about 1.25 million in 1947. Meanwhile the Browns, who in just four more seasons would be sold and moved to Baltimore, drew 536,435 in 1946 and only 320,474 in 1947.

The matter was eventually worked out and the Redbirds stayed.

The Birds had been tenants of the Browns since 1920 when they moved to Sportsmans Park from Robison Field. The Cardinals went from eviction to ownership in 1953 when they sold the ballpark on North Grand Avenue to the Redbirds when they moved out of town.

Owner August Busch Jr., Chairman of the Anheuser-Busch brewing company, settled on renaming the park Busch Stadium in 1954 after the National League rejected his initial idea to call the field "Budweiser Park." While the Busch moniker was supposedly in his own honor, I doubt it was much of a coincidence that A-B launched Busch bear at about the same time.

The Cardinals played in the former Sportsmans Park until May 8, 1966 when they moved to Busch Stadium II in downtown St. Louis.