Clipping: Spring Training with the 1951 St. Louis Browns

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Opera star Helen Traubel is flanked by St. Louis Browns manager Zack Taylor (left) and coach Jack Tobin at spring training in California in March of 1951. Traubel was a minority shareholder in the Browns and stopped by spring camp to meet the team and pose for a publicity photo.

The St. Louis Browns were barely major league caliber in the early 1950s. So much so that after the 1953 season they were sold to a group of businessmen in Baltimore, who moved the team to Maryland.

This photo from spring training in southern California is from March of 1951. It shows St. Louis Browns manager Zack Taylor and coach Johnny “Jack” Tobin with opera singer Helene Traubel, who may have just heard a dirty joke.

Traubel was an avid baseball fan and in 1950 she purchased minority shares in the Browns, for a reported $25,000. She appeared in photos like this to publicize her career on stage, and to help sell tickets for the woeful Browns.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is the author of three books about baseball, including Ty Cobb: A Biography. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. He lives in Michigan where he writes, runs, and enjoys a good orange soda now and again.
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