Although baseball continued in America as World War II raged, the war effort greatly reduced the number of available players. As more of the best athletes volunteered for military service or got draft notices, ordinary players suddenly had a chance at the big leagues. Such was the case with the 1944 St. Louis Browns. Composed of men unfit for military service, farms boys, industrial workers, and general misfits, most players barely had any experience in the minor leagues. Although there seemed little chance that such a team could be competitive, much less win, the Browns won the 1944 American League pennant and advanced to the World Series. There they faced their hometown rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals and the legendary Stan Musial. Both teams played at Sportsman Park and St. Louis fans eagerly flocked to the stadium for their very own World Series. Although the Browns’ Cinderella story came up short, they lost the series four games to two, the 1944 World Series was one of the greatest moments in St. Louis sports history.
The Library has several resources on baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals. For more information about the 1944 World Series, see
The Boys Who Were Left Behind: The 1944 World Series between the Hapless St. Louis Browns and the Legendary St. Louis Cardinals by John Heidenry and Brett Topel.
Footage of the St. Louis World Series is available on St. Louis Cardinals Vintage World Series Film 1943, 1944, 1946
There is a biography of Stan Musial, Musial: From Stash to Stan The Man by James N. Giglio. Readers can also learn about Musial when he played for the original Springfield Cardinals in Baseball in Springfield by Rusty Aton
Find this article at