Peggy’s Aunt Mary Reinhardt Colombo, visiting us for the holidays, brought with her some interesting family mementos.
Pictured here is a St. Louis Browns commemorative scarf. The Browns were an American League baseball team in St. Louis from 1902 to 1953, before the franchise moved to Baltimore to become the Orioles. They shared Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis with their more successful crosstown rivals, the National League Cardinals. Mary’s father, Clarence Reinhardt (b. 1892 d. 1949), was a huge Browns fan, so his children, Charles (Peggy’s dad), Hubert, Joseph and Mary, followed the Browns as well. The Browns were notorious for their losing ways, but Mary recalls the excitement in 1944 when they won the AL pennant and faced the Cardinals in the World Series. Mary says her dad was so excited that he treated the family to a night out, a very rare event for the family. The Browns lost “The Trolley Series” to the Cards in six games.
This next picture is from the family archives of Mary’s late husband, John Lewis Colombo (b. 1937 d. 2014). John was born and raised in St. Louis. John’s dad, Charles Colombo, worked for many years as the banquet manager for the Mark Twain Hotel in St. Louis. It was a pretty fancy place.
Charles took this picture of the hotel assistant manager with a few famous St. Louis sports dignitaries. Most of them were known outside of the city, as well. I’ll give you a minute to see how many of these guys you can name. As a hint, I’ll tell you that among the group there are four baseball players, one boxer and one professional wrestler. The assistant hotel manager is the guy in the dark suit in the front. Like you didn’t know.
From left to right, the athletes are: Cardinals catcher and well-known announcer/TV personality Joe Garagiola, 6-time World Champion professional wrestler Lou Thesz, World Heavyweight Champion boxer Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, Baseball Hall of Famer Stan “The Man” Musial, Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, and Baseball Hall of Famer Albert Fred “Red” Schoendienst. How many did you get?
Thanks, Mary, for sharing the memories. Merry Christmas to all!