Service package for a 102-year-old baseball superfan who starred in a documentary
By Joe Holleman
ST. LOUIS (St. Louis Post-Expedition) – After a life of devotion to old St. Louis Browns, 102-year-old superfan Gertrude E. “Gert” Slama will be remembered next week.
Slama, who passed away on June 20, was the star of “A Baseball Legacy: Fans Remember the St. Louis Browns”, a documentary that highlights decades of fan dedication to the team.
In an interview for an article this office published in November to mark his birthday, Slama said, “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the Browns.”
Slama grew up in University City and began attending games in 1929. She laughed when asked how she remained dedicated to a team that typically finished last in the American League.
“I was 10 years old,” she says. “Honestly, I never realized they were so bad.”
The Browns – eternal losers except in 1944, when they lost to the Cardinals in the “Streetcar Series” – played here from 1902 to 1953. They then moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles.
Slama’s survivors include two children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Visitations will be held on Monday July 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kutis Affton Funeral Chapel, 10151 Gravois Road.
A funeral mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday July 6 at the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church, 1420 Sappington Road. Interment will be in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Slama liked to talk about paying a dime to get into Sportsman’s Park, then heading to a picnic table that was behind the Browns’ dugout canoe.
“The players were coming in between the innings and I would be there to get autographs,” Slama said. “And they would sit with me and talk; they were all so nice.
The film in which Slama starred was spurred on by the book “The St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team” by Bill Borst, Bill Rogers and Ed Wheatley, president of the St. Louis Browns Historical Society.
On the funeral home’s commemorative page, Wheatley wrote: “Gert was the darling of the St. Louis Browns fan club and the team’s all-time biggest fan.
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