Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Curse of the Spiders

No, this post has nothing to do with arachnids. It does have everything to do with the Gateway City.

This morning I had heard on the news that the St. Louis Rams will be moving back to Los Angeles for the 2016 NFL season. What does this have to do with spiders? I'll get to that.

You may have to feel sorry for the people of St. Louis, getting their football team "stolen" from them. However they "stole" the team from Los Angeles in 1994 to begin with. You couldn't really feel sorry for the football fans of L.A., since they "stole" the Rams from Cleveland in 1946. But I digress.

St. Louis lost another NFL team, the Cardinals, to the Phoenix area, however they "stole" this team from Chicago in 1960.

Now the people from the Gateway City at one time had a National Basketball Association team. This team was the Hawks. Atlanta claimed them as their own in 1968. You really can't shed a tear for these sports fans since they took the team from Milwaukee in 1955.

Oh, and St. Louis once had two Major League Baseball teams to call their own. One team, you already know about. they are the Cardinals, who have been playing in St. Louis since 1882 under varying names. The other team was the St. Louis Browns. This team was "stolen" by the good people of Baltimore in 1953. Cliff Note: Seems the people in the Charm city have an obsession with teams nicknamed the "Browns". But you really cannot feel sorry in this case either. The Browns began their existence as the Milwaukee Brewers. but this is not where the St. Louis thievery began.

Back in 1899 the Robinson brothers purchased the National League St. Louis Browns, rescuing them from certain bankruptcy. they renamed the team the Perfectos. However they also owned another National League team, the Cleveland Spiders The Robinsons felt that a winning team would be a better draw in St. Louis, so they arranged for all the talented players from the Spiders to be transferred to St. Louis. The Spiders record for the 1899 baseball season was 20-134, the worst in major league history. Most of their games were played on the road since the other franchises wouldn't play in Cleveland due to very low attendance, which averaged 199 spectators per game. The Perfectos were renamed the Cardinals the following season.

The Cardinals are the only team to have any longevity in St. Louis, however they almost went out of business in 1899. It took stealing half of the Cleveland Spiders to save them then. I just wonder if what is happening to St. Louis now is an ongoing result of this long ago larceny? Could it be "the curse of the Spiders?"

Enjoy your baseball St. Louis. And be kind to spiders. Oh..Baltimore? You could be next.