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“Meet Me In St. Louis” Baseball And Other Notes

December 13, 2016

Some baseball notes, and as is often the case, coincidences, coursed through me, as I watched “Meet Me In St. Louis” the film on which greats, Judy Garland and eventual husband director, Vincent Minelli  met and collaborated, on TCM last night.

First of all, the movie was set on the precipice of 1904, as St.Louis was the center of the world, for that year’s fair.

“Meet Me In St. Louis” was released in 1944 and again St.Louis was the “center of the world,” at least the baseball world, as both their teams, the Cardinals for the 8th time of what is now 18, and the Browns for the first and only time in their St.Louis history, made and met in an all St. Louis World Series.

Additionally the father of the Smith family played so well by Leon Ames, conjures two more baseball links/coincidences.

He jokes of leaving his law practice circa 1904 to play for the (original) Baltimore Orioles. Fifty years later, and ten years after the film’s release, there would be “job movement” from St.Louis to Baltimore (Orioles), as the Browns became the Baltimore Orioles, playing their first season along Chesapeake Bay in 1954.

Finally Ames is not just Smith,  but Lon, short for Alonzo, but also called Lonnie (Smith), certainly a name in St. Louis baseball history.

The film was made 40 years after the time it was set in. 38 years later, Lonnie Smith already once a member of a title team, (the Philadelphia Phillies’ first ever and one of two to this date, in 1980), playing for the Cardinals, helped them raise their W.S. record to (9-4) (at that time a better winning percentage than the vaunted Yankees (22-11) mark in such yielded), as St. Louis prevailed in 7 games vs the Milwaukee Brewers to win the 1982 World Series.


Click below to view “Judy,” (her talent manifests in first name identification), an undeniable great performer, who suffered despite great success, sing “Have Yourself A Merry Christmas” to actress Margaret O’Brien in the film, “Meet Me In St. Louis.”



Meet Me in St. Louis movie poster. Lithograph, 1944. Missouri Historical Society, Photographs and Prints Collection. NS 21652. Scan © 2004, Missouri Historical Society.

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