Ed Mickelson: Minor League All Star!

Mickelson Got the Last RBI in St. Louis Browns History.

Today at 83, Ed Mickelson is a silver-haired Cary Grant type living out his happy life in St. Louis, Missouri. Yesterday at 27, he collected the last run batted in recorded in St. Louis Browns history. He did it in a 2-1 losing cause against the Chicago White Sox on the last day of the 1953 season at old Sportsman’s Park. I wrote a parody to commemorate the event, once upon a time.  That signature RBI wasn’t the only thing that Ed ever did in baseball, but it is the thing he wants to be remembered for having done as a member of the Browns’ far from legendary last club on earth back in 1953. The next season, the franchise moved to Baltimore and hatched upon the scene as the Orioles.

In 2007, Ed Mickelson personally wrote his own story and published it through McFarland’s.  Still available through Amazon, the Mickelson biography is entitled “Out of the Park: Memoir of a Minor League Baseball All Star.” It’s well written and a good read, detailing Mickelson’s eleven season career (1947-57). He started with Decatur and ended up with Portland, achieving a lifetime minor league batting average of .316 and 108 home runs in 1,089 minor league games played. Ed even went 3 for 9 as a Houston Buff in 1952 before being reassigned by the parent Cardinals club to Rochester.

Mickelson also played 18 games total in the major leagues for the 1950 St. Louis Cardinals, the 1953 St. Louis Browns, and the 1957 Chicago Cubs. That record RBI single that scored Johnny Groth from second base in 1953 also was one of only three RBI that Ed managed in his brief major league career. His MLB average of .089 helps to explain his limited action beyond the minor leagues.

Ed Mickelson is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He’s a bright guy who looks the part of his current role as an aging gracefully first baseman. The BR/TR, 6’3″ and still lanky guy could not better look the part if he tried.

Mickelson compiled a number of honors for his minor league play over the years, but that’s the stuff of Ed’s story in the book. Just one peek here: Ed Mickelson is also notably proud of the fact that he got his first major league hit in the form of a single off the great Warren Spahn back in 1950. I definitely remember Ed’s short 1952 stay with the Buffs too, but the Cardinals didn’t leave him here long enough to do that sad Buff team much good.

In honor of Ed Mickelson’s last RBI in St. Louis Browns history, here’s that parody I wrote years ago in all their honors:

The Lost Hurrah: September 27, 1953
Chicago White Sox 2 – St. Louis Browns 1.

(A respectful parody of “Casey At The Bat” by Ernest L. Thayer in application to the last game ever played by our beloved St. Louis Browns.)

by Bill McCurdy (1997)

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Brownie nine that day;
They were moving from St. Louis – to a place quite far away,
And all because Bill Veeck had said, “I can’t afford to stay,”
The team was playing their last game – in that fabled Brownie way.

With hopes of winning buried deep – beneath all known dismay,
The Brownies ate their cellar fate, but still charged out to play.
In aim to halt a last hard loss – in a season dead since May,
They sent Pillette out to the mound – to speak their final say.

The White Sox were that last dance foe – at the former Sportsman’s Park,
And our pitcher pulsed the pallor of those few fans in the dark.
To the dank and empty stands they came, – one final, futile time,
To witness their dear Brownies reach – ignominy sublime.

When Mickelson then knocked in Groth – for the first run of the game,
It was to be the last Browns score, – from here to kingdom came.
And all the hopes that fanned once more, – in that third inning spree,
Were briefly blowing in the wind, – but lost eternally.

For over seven innings then, – Dee bleached the White Sox out,
And the Browns were up by one to oh, – when Rivera launched his clout.
That homer tied the score at one, – and then the game ran on.
Until eleven innings played, – the franchise was not gone.

But Minnie’s double won the game – for the lefty, Billy Pierce,
And Dee picked up the last Browns loss; – one hundred times is fierce!
And when Jim Dyck flew out to end – the Browns’ last time at bat,
The SL Browns were here no more, and that was that, – was that!

Oh, somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;

And somewhere men are laughing, – and little children shout,

But there’s no joy in Sislerville, – the Brownies have pulled out.

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One Response to “Ed Mickelson: Minor League All Star!”

  1. bbprof Says:

    Ed Mickelson is a special person to me. He was a charter member of the At. Louis Browns Historical Society, which we founded in 1984—still going strong. I have always called him the “last of the Brownies,” by virtue of his having knocked in their very last run. I think so much of Ed that I lionized him in my recent play, “The Last Memory of an Ol’ Brownie Fan,” which was produced by FirstRun Theater in St. Louis, last September. Bill Borst

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