Letters to the Editor

Who’s on First? The Braves or the Brewers?

Ronald S. Green Jr. | Dec 1, 2009

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To the Editor:

For the In Memoriam section of the October Perspectives on History, Leon Litwack has written an eloquent and well-deserved tribute to his late colleague Kenneth M. Stampp. I read it with especially great interest because of the importance of Stampp’s writings to my own teaching and understanding of American history.

With that feeling, I fear I may be about to engage in some trivial nitpicking, but nonetheless I believe that historical accuracy calls for clarification of this paragraph: “The breadth of Stampp’s interests extended well beyond the academy. He was also an avid reader of fiction, and a devotee of the symphony, the ballet, the theater, and the opera. In a different arena, he was a passionate fan of the Milwaukee Braves and the Green Bay Packers” (emphasis added).

Please note that the Braves have not played baseball in Milwaukee since 1965, having departed that year for Atlanta. Was Stampp unwilling to recognize that move, or was he in fact a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team over the past 40 years?

—Ronald S. Green Jr.

Leon Litwack replies: Ken, in his youth, was of course a Brewers fan. When the Braves moved from Boston to Milwaukee, he became an ardent Braves fan and was rewarded with some fine teams in the Warren Spahn and Hank Aaron era. When the Brewers replaced the Braves, he again became a Brewers fan, but by this time other teams competed for his support—the Giants, the A’s, and the 49ers.

Associate Editor David Darlington adds: The Milwaukee Brewers existed as a minor league American Association franchise from 1902 to 1952. The major league Braves played in Milwaukee 1953–65 before leaving for Atlanta. The current Brewers franchise arrived in Milwaukee in 1970 after one season in Seattle.

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