The Milwaukee Brewers had decided to move the team to St. Louis in 1902. The ownership chose the name Browns on purpose. The Browns was the name of the St. Louis Club that won American Association titles from 1885 to 1889. That team moved to the National League in 1892, became the Perfectos in 1899 and finally the Cardinals in 1900.
The new team quickly tried to align itself with fans by raiding the rival St. Louis Cardinals. A couple of Cardinals players were signed, including slick fielding future Hall of FameshortstopBobby Wallace and 1901 National League batting champion outfielder Jesse Burkett. The moves paid off for the team. While playing as the Brewers in 1901, the team had a record of 48 wins and 89 losses. In 1902, the Browns had 78 wins and finished in second place in the American League.