The first time the Cardinals invaded Fenway!


We take our revenge on Harry The Cat/A visit from Bud and Lou: This year marks the fourth time the St. Louis Cardinals have traveled to Fenway for the World Series.

The first time was 1946, when the Cardinals went to Boston for games 3-5. Years later, David Kruh wrote a book about Boston’s entertainment district, the old Scollay Square, which is of course long gone.

What happened when the Cardinals hit town that year? In his fascinating book, Kruh reprinted someone's reminiscence about an event which transpired at the Old Howard, our father’s theater.

This was before our time. Then again, we know how an audience reacts to something like this. Twain, a lover and hater of people, understood this too:
It was right after World War II and the Red Sox had been in the World Series and a friend of mine and I went to the Old Howard. Right in the middle of the show when a comedian is doing his thing this fat guy comes out of one side of the stage chasing this gorgeous-looking girl. Who was it but Lou Costello of Abbott and Costello! They stopped the show, and the manager came out and they reminisced how they had started in burlesque and played the Howard at some point. They were in Boston for the World Series and they decided to come back to their former starting place. They stopped the show, and they did “Who’s on First?”
People think they’ve gone to heaven when something like that occurs.

Bud and Lou were never our favorites, but they were huge movie stars in 1946. We have family photos of them cavorting with our half-sister Shirley and our half-brother Dick, who was about ten at the time.

“The most exciting day of my life,” the gentleman still declares.

The Cardinals won the series in 7. Games 2, 6 and 7 were won by Harry “The Cat” Brecheen, one of the cruelest, least principled men in the history of major league baseball.

In 1959, at eleven years of age, we were able to take our revenge. Our father was no longer living. Harry “The Cat” Brecheen’s brother was.

With a nod to Shakespeare’s less proactive Hamlet, let’s just leave it at that.

The Old Howard was long before our time. Cummings saw it like this:
Humanity i love you
because you would rather black the boots of
success than enquire whose soul dangles from his
watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both

parties and because you
unflinchingly applaud all
songs containing the words country home and
mother when sung at the old howard...
The Old Howard served the swells and the regular people. For the full text, click here.


  1. Mean or not, The Cat, a lefty, had an unhittable scroogie.

  2. With posts like these Somerby once again reveals himself as the faux-liberal, Zimmerman-loving, wingnut that he is. American pastime, my ass!

    1. It's truly sad to read your words of hate. You are blind, despicable, ignorant. Truly pathetic.

    2. Thus speaks yet another sheeple. Somerbot!!!

    3. And these aren't words of hate?

      "Harry “The Cat” Brecheen, one of the cruelest, least principled men in the history of major league baseball."

      With absolutely nothing to support it.

  3. Thanks for the cummings. This Yankees fan is delighted by tonight's game, by the whole series, so well played by both sides. (I had another comment going that got lost when I linked to be sure I was remembering the whole cummings poem rightly. Ah well.)

  4. I never heard of Brecheen. What did he do that was cruel and unprincipled?

  5. Along with Anon 12:40 I was dumbfounded by the reference to this baseball player I'd never heard of....I googled hm and went to wikipedia etc. and could find nothing but praise for the fellow, so I'm left wondering what did he do that was unprincipled and cruel? Also, I don't understand even remotely the part about his brother. Inquiring minds want to know.

  6. Somerby certainly does owe us an explanation that we are not likely to receive.

  7. Hey, super geniuses: try this hypothesis: Harry The Cat beat the Red Sox in the World Series, therefore BAD GUY.