(Busch Stadium) While there is certain familiarity with new St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famers Chris Carpenter, Terry Moore, and Joe Torre the inclusion of Sam Breadon should not be overlooked.
“You talk about an owner that really does not get the credit he’s due for really helping to change how the game is played and his success as an owner,” began Brian Finch of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum. “While (Branch) Rickey really gets the credit for having the concept of the farm system, Breadon is the one who had to sell his ballpark and strike a deal with the American League Browns to move into Sportsman’s Park to become tenants.”
That deal wasn’t as easy as it sounds as Rickey had recently jumped ship from the Browns.
“Phil Ball, the owner of the Browns would not talk to Branch Rickey,” shares Finch. “Breadon kind of had to eat his hat a little bit and go against the grain to negotiate this relationship and this agreement to find a ballpark to play in. And it was his money on the line–it wasn’t Rickey’s money on the line, it was Breadon’s to make this deal. If this concept went down, it was his ship that was sinking. We credit Rickey, rightfully so, for having the idea. Breadon’s the one who had to put his money where his mouth was to back it up.”
More on Breadon and the development of the St. Louis Cardinals farm system is still on display in featured exhibit in the team’s Hall of Fame museum.
During his time as owner (1917-1947) Breadon saw the St. Louis Cardinals win six World Championships and capture the National League pennant nine times.
photo credit: National Baseball Hall of Fame