Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Huge Early Baltimore Orioles Transaction Uncovered!

Sometimes in doing random research for the blog I run across something fairly major, and I consider this find one of those instances.

The St. Louis Browns, as we know, moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles. Baltimore had a minor league team there, the Orioles, for decades.

The Orioles purged many of the old Brownies very quickly, but a part of their history was unknown to me until I stumbled across this article from the St. Petersburg Times of Jan. 19, 1954:

“The Baltimore Orioles of the American League announced yesterday they have sold 14 players to Richmond of the International League for $50,000, including nine of the active list and 5 on the restricted list.”
“The Orioles inherited the players from the old International League Orioles.”
“The nine of the active list are pitchers Dick Starr, Ken Heintzelman, Joe Ares, and Wimpy Nardella; catcher Marty Tabacheck; infielders Russ Kerns and Eddie Kasco [sp Kasko]; outfielders Marv Rackley and Roy Weatherly. Ares and Kasco are on the national defense service list as returning serviceman.”
“The five on the restricted list are Blix Donnelly, Ray Poat, Gordon Mueller, George Byam and Butch Woit [sp Woyt]. All were out of baseball last year but were owned by the Orioles. Their contracts go to Richmond.”

The Baseball-Reference major league pages of Starr, Rackley, Kerns, Heintzelman, Weatherly, Donnelly and Poat make no mention of this deal. None of these players made it back to the majors after this, and the players on the restricted list didn't play in organized ball at all after this transaction.

However, Eddie Kasko [misspelled Kasco in the article] has this mention on his page:

Before 1954 Season: Sent from the Philadelphia Phillies to Richmond (International) in an unknown transaction. 

Baltimore was a Phillies AAA team before the Orioles moved in, so this sale explains that move. Richmond, by the way, was an expansion International League team that year, and independent that season.

A major bit of baseball history, with a minor league twist!

Kasko from

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