In the spring of 2019, a time so long ago I have to search my memory to recall it, I was in the thick of reading the newspaper accounts of the 1938 Millers and Saints.
I was so excited by what I sensed might be an epic battle between these cross-town rivals. The Millers had crafty owner Mike Kelley, veteran manager Donie Bush, and they had the highly regarded Boston Red Sox prospect Ted Williams. In 1937 the Millers finished the season without winning the pennant. Several sports writers were predicting a banner year for 1938 because the talented Williams was now on their team.
On the west side of town in Saint Paul, 1937 was a disappointment. The Saints finished 7th out of eight teams. Plus the Saints owners had fired their manager and hired a young still untested ex-Miller, Babe Ganzel, as their new manager for 1938.
All indications pointed to the Millers besting the Saints in 1938. And that’s the point of the story. These teams are rivals. Sure it’d be great to win a pennant. But the added bonus of winning a pennant is that you beat your cross-town rival. And the second best year-end out come, is to place higher in the standings than the team that lives right next door to you. If you had a childhood like I did and grew up with competitive brothers and/or sisters, then you know what I’m talking about.
If you don’t like spoilers, then stop reading now …
… because the 1938 Saints won the pennant.
I was just about to learn the secrets of how the Saints won the pennant in 1938 when the pandemic shut down Wilson Library. There are no words I can write for public consumption that adequately describe the frustration and depression I felt in late spring of 2019. What I can write here is luckily I discovered Kentucky Bourbon.
Now Wilson Library is open. I can finally restart my research of the incredible Millers and Saints history. Plus, I now have a hankering to visit Louisville.