Dick Brown (TRADING CARD DB)

Dick Brown

This article was written by Tim Otto

Dick Brown (TRADING CARD DB)Dick Brown signed his 1966 contract with the Baltimore Orioles in January, shortly after his 31st birthday.1 During his nine-year major-league career with Cleveland, the Chicago White Sox, Detroit, and Baltimore, the catcher typically entered spring training battling for a starting job – most often ending up as a reserve. However, with the trade of his most recent catching competitor, John Orsino, to the Washington Senators, his spot as the club’s number one catcher for 1966 seemed assured. But in February, after experiencing constant headaches,2 Brown began another battle that would end his big-league career and, four years later, his life.

Richard Ernest Brown was born on January 17, 1935 in the small coal mining town of Shinnston, West Virginia, the first child of Raymond Brown and Dora Mae (Jones) Brown. A second son, Larry, was born on March 1, 1940. Raymond was a coal miner, and his ancestors had lived in the area since before the Civil War. Dick’s great-grandfather, Henry W. Brown (1842-1908), fought for the Union from 1862 to mid-1865 with West Virginia’s 12th Infantry Regiment.3 Henry W. named several of his sons after Union generals, including his youngest son, Benjamin Harrison Brown (1890-1967), Dick Brown’s grandfather.4

The family moved from Shinnston to West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1942, and a year later settled in nearby Lake Worth, where Raymond operated a grocery store.5 Dora Mae suffered from arthritis, and it was hoped the move to a warmer climate would improve her health.6

By the time he was 15, Dick was working in his father’s store as a clerk. At Lake Worth High School, he didn’t play baseball until his junior year, and didn’t play football and basketball until he was a senior. “I guess the reason I went out late,” he said, “was that I didn’t have enough ability. I was small – between 155 and 160.”7 Despite his late start, Brown was named the outstanding athlete on Lake Worth’s basketball team.8

Brown started in the outfield and also pitched during the first year he played baseball in high school. They needed a catcher in American Legion ball the summer after his junior year and asked him to switch positions.9 The following spring Lake Worth’s baseball coach was searching for someone to handle his hard-throwing star pitcher, Herb Score, and Brown converted to catcher for his senior season.10 The batterymates led Lake Worth to the 1952 Class A State High School championship,11 with Brown hitting .415.12

The heavily scouted Score signed with the Cleveland Indians right after high school for a bonus reported to be in excess of $50,000.13 Brown received a baseball scholarship from Florida State University,14 but stayed only one semester before signing with the Indians for $3,000.15 Score’s sister Helen reportedly praised Brown’s talents as a catcher to Cleveland’s chief scout, Laddie Placek. “You should have signed Dick Brown,” she maintained, prompting the Indians to take a second look at him.16 According to Brown, “When the scouts came to look at Herb, I guess some of them noticed that I could catch the ball. That’s how I got my chance.”17

Assigned to Green Bay of the Wisconsin State League (Class D) for the 1953 season, Brown attended Cleveland’s spring training farm camp in Sarasota, Florida. By then weighing 180 pounds and standing 6-feet-2, he was judged the best new receiver in camp by Birdie Tebbetts. “Brown is definitely a major league prospect,” said the former big-league catcher. “He’s an awkward kid, sure, but he’s only 18. He’s big and strong. I think Brown will hit very well.”18

Brown started the season 0-for-8 at the plate, but in the eighth inning of Green Bay’s third game he doubled for his first professional hit and first RBI.19 In the next four games he went 8-for-16, with another double and two more RBIs.20 For the year he batted .284 as Green Bay won the league championship. Brown, who hit from the right side, and fellow 18-year-old catcher Russ Nixon, a lefthanded batter, gave the team the best catching corps in the league.21

Starting 1954 at Sherbrooke in Canada’s Provincial League (Class C), Brown showed some power, hitting seven home runs in 52 games, with a .349 batting average. Promoted to Spartanburg (Class B, Tri-State League) to finish the season, he added two more homers while hitting .283 in 34 games.

In March of 1955, Brown attended a school for Cleveland’s “more promising” minor league players, held at Daytona Beach, Florida.22 Assigned to Reading (Class A, Eastern League), his batting average dropped to .239, but his 18 homers were only one behind club leader Roger Maris. Brown starred in a mid-June exhibition game against the Indians. In four at-bats, he hit a long double off Art Houtteman and a single and homer off Ted Gray.23

Although not listed on Cleveland’s 40-man roster at the beginning of 1956, Brown was one of several top prospects invited to train with the parent club in Tucson, Arizona.24 The Indians brought eight catchers to camp, with five rookies doing all of the catching during the three intrasquad games played.25 In his first exhibition game at-bat, Brown hit a home run off Johnny Antonelli of the Giants.26 Sent to Mobile (Class AA, Southern Association) for the 1956 season, Brown caught 140 of the club’s 151 games and hit a career high 24 home runs with a .268 batting average.

Brown again was invited to Tucson for 1957’s spring training camp.27 He started the regular season at Omaha (Class AAA, American Association). The Indians called him up in June, after injuries sidelined veteran catchers Jim Hegan and Hal Naragon. “I finally make the big leagues and they won’t let me in the park,” Brown joked. “Fellow at the gate didn’t believe me when I told him I was with the club.” 28

Joining the team in Boston on June 20, he struck out as a pinch-hitter against Rudy Minarcin in his first big-league at-bat. The next day the Indians started a three-game series in Washington, with Brown catching each game. In the first game, his second-inning single against Chuck Stobbs drove in a run in a losing effort. He caught future Hall of Famers Bob Lemon and Early Wynn in the next two contests; each pitched a complete game victory.29

Brown hit his first big-league homer on July 12, against Baltimore’s Connie Johnson. Through July 19, he started 18 games as Cleveland’s catcher before being sent back to the minors. Recalled in September, he started 14 more games. Although his batting average was only .214 while with the Indians during June and July, he hit .310 with three home runs and 14 RBIs after being recalled, bringing his average up to .263 for the year.

Brown served six months in the Army National Guard after the 1957 season.30 Stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma,31 he was granted leave to marry Liisa Veltheim in Miami Beach on December 27, 1957. A graduate of Lake Worth High School the prior spring,32 she was originally from Helsinki, Finland and came to the United States with her family in 1953 at the age of 15. “I met Liisa during the off season,” Brown said. “I came home one winter and there she was. Some people say they can detect a slight accent when she talks, but I don’t notice it myself.”33

Released from the Army in time to join the Indians’ training camp at the end of March,34 he spent the entire 1958 season as Cleveland’s backup catcher to Russ Nixon. Brown appeared in 68 games during the year, 46 as a starter. While his batting average dropped to .237, in 173 at-bats he hit seven home runs, including a second inning lead-off inside-the-park homer off Whitey Ford in Yankee Stadium on August 19. Brown’s line drive bounced over the left fielder Norm Siebern’s head and rolled to the Indians’ bullpen, 400 feet from home plate.35

Brown was the starting catcher for Herb Score in Score’s only two wins in 1958 in his comeback from the previous May’s catastrophic injury.36 According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, this was the first time that non-related high school batterymates were starting teammates in the major leagues. “Dick was a good catcher even in high school,” said Score. “Wild as I was in those days, I always had confidence in him. Of course, he’s a lot better now. Six years makes a difference.”37

Another Brown family highlight of 1958 involved Dick’s younger brother, Larry. After graduating from Lake Worth High School, the 18-year-old shortstop was signed by Cleveland and started his professional baseball career with the organization’s Florida Class D farm team.38

Dick played winter ball for Almendares in Cuba during the 1958-59 off-season. Cleveland players Al Cicotte and Minnie Miñoso were also in the country with Brown when Cuba’s dictator Fulgencio Batista fled as Fidel Castro’s forces took control at the beginning of January. “Our players are in a rather remote beach area far enough from considerable shooting between Batista men still resisting in mid-city areas and Castro troops,” said Indians general manager Frank Lane, who was also in Cuba at the time. “No imminent danger to players and families as long as we stay in the beach area.”39

Brown began the 1959 season with Cleveland, but was sent to Buffalo (Class AAA, International League) when the roster was cut to 25 players on May 9.40 He was recalled on June 10, after veteran catcher Ed Fitz Gerald was placed on the disabled list with a fractured right thumb. Joining the team in Baltimore, he was inserted into the starting lineup when Nixon suffered a back spasm before the game. “I was lucky to get here when I did,” Brown said. “They called me at 10:30 this morning and I just made the plane.”41

Beginning with his recall from the minors, he started 24 of Cleveland’s next 29 games. Fitz Gerald’s return from the disabled list in mid-July significantly reduced Brown’s playing time.42 The Indians and White Sox were battling for first place, but the pennant race was effectively settled at the end of August when Chicago swept a four-game series in Cleveland.43 Brown played a total of 48 games for the second-place Indians, with five home runs and a .220 batting average.

The final weeks of 1959 were eventful for the Brown family. Dick and Liisa’s first child, Mark Kerry, was born on the day after Thanksgiving. On December 6, Dick was traded to the White Sox as part of a seven-player deal. “Well, these are the things that happen in baseball,” said Brown, who was training to be a real estate agent in the offseason. “I had a bad year last year, and maybe this is a break, but you never know.”44

The White Sox trained in Sarasota, Florida in 1960, much closer to Brown’s Lake Worth home than the Indians’ Arizona training site. On January 30, his mother, Dora Mae Brown, passed away at the age of 42. Confined to a wheelchair for several years, she was described in a Palm Beach Post tribute as Lake Worth’s number one baseball fan, always attending her sons’ games, whether at home or away.45

When Chicago traded 25-year-old catcher Earl Battey to the Senators before the 1960 season, it looked like Brown would be the primary backup behind Sherm Lollar.46 However, Brown appeared in only 16 games, posting a .163 batting average (7-for-43, with three homers), before being optioned to Miami (Class AAA, International League) in mid-June, appearing in 89 games with a .243 batting average.47

Chicago sold Brown to Milwaukee on November 28, 1960, but he never wore a Braves uniform. On December 7, he was traded to Detroit in another multi-player deal.48 Bob Scheffing, the Tigers’ new manager, believed there was a good chance Brown would be the team’s starting catcher.49 “He’s only 25,” said Scheffing. “He’s strong. When he connects, it’s curtains. A third of his 109 big league hits have been either homers (19) or doubles (16). But while he isn’t a consistent hitter yet, he is an excellent receiver.”50

Detroit and Brown had strong starts to the 1961 season. After completing an 18-game road trip on May 28, the first-place Tigers had a 28-14 record, 3½ games ahead of the Indians and 4½ games ahead of the Yankees. Brown, playing regularly, hit eight homers, with 27 RBIs and a .308 batting average. However, in his next 19 games, he was 8-for-64 (.125), dropping his average to .259. He’d worked hard on hitting the ball to all fields during spring training but developed a bad habit. “Brown has been moving his left foot much too quick, committing himself too soon, and his bat is out in front of the pitch,” said Scheffing.51

Brown seemed to be coming out of his slump after going 3-for-4 with a homer in Cleveland on June 25. He duplicated that performance against New York in a doubleheader on July 4. Detroit was in a first-place tie with the Yankees on July 15 when Brown bruised one finger and broke another on his throwing hand while catching against Minnesota.52 Placed on the disabled list, he did not return to action until September 3.

The Tigers battled the Yankees for first place through the end of August but were swept in a crucial three-game series in New York at the start of September. Despite ending the season with 101 wins, Detroit finished second, eight games behind the Yankees. Brown hit well during the last month of the season (.290 with five home runs), ending the year with a major-league career high 16 homers and a .266 batting average.

Brown hit only .163 during spring training in 1962. “Last year I used to wait for the pitch,” he said. “I’ve been too anxious. I go chasing after pitches or I’m way out ahead of them … It’s all mental. You may know what’s wrong, but doing it right is something else.”53

Expected to be Detroit’s starting catcher on Opening Day in 1962, he was bypassed in favor of Mike Rourke, who started the first three games of the season.54 Brown regained his starting spot in the fourth game with a 3-for-4 performance that included a home run and two RBIs. He caught a career-high 132 games during the year, finishing with 12 homers and a .241 batting average.55

Detroit traded Brown to Baltimore for outfielder Whitey Herzog and catcher Gus Triandos on November 26. “I was almost hoping I’d be traded,” he said. “You can tell when things aren’t going your way. They have a big bonus boy now in Detroit, Bill Freehan, and he’s going to get the opportunity to play. I don’t know where I would have figured into their plans.”56

In spring training 1963, he posted the highest batting average of any Oriole (.388), but John Orsino, a 25-year-old catcher acquired in December from the Giants, was also impressive at the plate, leading the club with five home runs.57 Brown started the first six games of the 1963 season. Orsino started the next contest and hit a two-run homer in a 5-4 Oriole win. Brown became mired in another batting slump – his average had dropped to .150 as of May 22. Thus, Orsino took over the majority of the catching duties, starting 103 games during the season and hitting .272 with 19 homers.

Brown finished the year hitting .246, with only two home runs. His second homer on July 29 was a pinch-hit, two-run shot hit off Mickey Lolich in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Tigers, 2-1. “When I went to the plate, I never thought in terms of batting against my old club,” he claimed. “It felt good,” he said about connecting with the first pitch, a high slider. “I felt that it had a good chance of making it (over the fence).”58

“Our catching is in the best shape it has ever been in the history of the club,” said Orioles general manager Lee MacPhail as spring training began in 1964. “I believe that Dick Brown is as good a second-string catcher as there is in either major league.”59

Orsino dislocated a finger during an intersquad game on March 11 and was out for three weeks.60 Brown hit well in his absence (.362),61 but Orsino was back in the lineup by Opening Day. He caught most of Baltimore’s games until injuring his wrist while sliding into third on May 24.62 The injury sidelined Orsino until June 16. Brown caught 22 straight games during Orsino’s absence, including both ends of a doubleheader on June 14.

Brown started most of Baltimore’s games in July and August, catching both ends of a doubleheader at Kansas City in 90-degree heat on July 31. “I’m playing No. 10 (Brown) because it looks like he might have a hot bat,” said manager Hank Bauer,63 whose Orioles occupied first place for much of the summer. While Orsino struggled at the plate during July, ending the month on a 0-for-18 streak, Brown had 14 hits, including six homers, in his last 27 at-bats in July.

The Orioles were in first place as late as September 18, but the Yankees won the pennant, one game ahead of the White Sox and two games ahead of third-place Baltimore. Orsino ended a disappointing year with eight home runs and a .222 batting average. Brown hit .257 with eight homers.

During the winter, Brown worked at Grant Furniture Company in West Palm Beach,64 less than a 20-minute drive from his Lake Worth home. On December 19, Liisa gave birth to the couple’s second child, Kristy Lynn.65

“We’re even stronger in the catching department this year than we were last spring,” said MacPhail, expecting Orsino to rebound from his poor 1964 season. “Dick Brown caught more for us last year than he did in 1963, and showed improvement in just about all departments.”66 But by the end of spring training, baserunners were taking advantage of Orsino’s inaccurate throws, and Brown was hitting only .143.67

With Orsino catching the first 20 games for Baltimore in 1965, Brown did not see any action until mid-May. After Orsino’s throwing problems resurfaced during two separate series against the Angels in late May and early June,68 Brown’s playing time increased.

Baltimore trailed first-place Minnesota by four games when the two teams met for a four-game series starting July 30. The visiting Orioles lost each of the first two games by one run but won the third game. The Twins led the finale, 5-2, heading into the ninth. With two outs, Brown hit a three-run homer off rookie lefty Jim Merritt to tie the game, but Jimmie Hall’s leadoff homer against 19-year old Jim Palmer in the bottom of the inning won the game for Minnesota. Baltimore finished the season in third place, eight games behind the pennant-winning Twins.

“I wish I had hit more,” said Brown in summing up his season. “You know if you have a slump early and get over it you feel better, but I slumped in the last month. I was hitting around .270 and then I skidded to somewhere around .230. But I got to play more games, about 90. It was nearly a month before I played much, but I was catching most of the games in the last month.”69

Dick enjoyed playing against his brother Larry, by then the regular shortstop for Cleveland. “When Larry came to bat and I was catching, we didn’t say much to one another, just a little joking or kidding. At the end of the season, we played the last series in Cleveland and Larry wasn’t hitting much, but he got a hit and was on first. On the second pitch I dropped the ball and it rolled away a few feet. Larry took off for second and I picked up the ball and threw him out.”70

The Orioles settled on Brown as their top catcher for 1966 when they traded Orsino to the Washington Senators for veteran utility infielder/outfielder Woodie Held on October 12, 1965. Baltimore made the most noteworthy offseason acquisition on December 9, sending starting pitcher Milt Pappas and two other players to the Cincinnati Reds in return for Frank Robinson, a six-time All-Star and 1961’s National League MVP.71 The addition of Robinson helped make the Orioles preseason favorites to win the pennant.72

Bothered by recurring head pains during the start of spring training, Brown was flown to Baltimore on February 24 for tests to determine the cause. Over the winter he’d noticed occasional headaches, sometimes with slight dizziness. “I can’t recall much of this during the season last year, but sometimes now the pains are severe,” Brown said. “I can’t go on like this … I’ve got to find out what is wrong and do something about it.”73

After a week of tests, Brown underwent a 3½ hour surgery at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore to remove a tumor the size of a golf ball from the back part of his brain. The tumor was apparently benign. “It’s a tremendous relief,” said pitcher Dick Hall, Brown’s roommate on road trips for the previous three years. “I certainly hope he has a fast recovery and that this thing is licked for good.”74

The Orioles were told before the surgery that Brown would be lost for the season. The club placed him on the voluntarily retired list but continued to pay his salary. “I saw Dick Brown break into the American League as a kid in 1957 at Tucson when we were both with Cleveland, and I have always admired him as a catcher and a person,” said Gene Woodling, by then a Baltimore coach. “This is our No. 1 catcher we’re losing for the season and he will be hard to replace. More important than that, though, for a while we will be missing his wonderful influence on the ball club.”75

Released from the hospital on March 19, Brown flew home to recover, but returned to Baltimore to throw out the first pitch for the Orioles’ home opener on April 15. The 1966 Orioles yearbook was dedicated to Brown and featured two pages of photos, including a tribute to the catcher’s courage. “It makes me feel kind of embarrassed,” he said. “I’ve always felt that a man should earn, should deserve the kind of wonderful life I have, my tremendous family and the treatment I have received from the Baltimore ball club, from the doctors and other people at the hospital and from everybody. I can’t really feel like I deserve all this.”76

After Brown experienced headaches again, a second surgery was performed on May 27. The surgeons removed another tumor that wasn’t found during the first operation but couldn’t remove it all without causing damage to the brain. X-ray treatments were started to shrink what remained of the tumor.77

Brown recuperated at home during the summer as the Orioles won the pennant and swept the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series. He threw out the first pitch in Game Three, the first Series game ever played in Baltimore. “This club is really great,” he said. “They phoned me when they clinched the pennant and they voted me a full Series share. They made me feel close to the club.”78

Baltimore employed Brown as a full-time scout for Florida starting in 1967. “I enjoy scouting, and I’m happy to be able to contribute something to the organization that way,” he said. “It’s more than I expected to be able to do after that second operation.”79

Brown was admitted to Sinai Hospital in November 1968 after his headaches resumed. Tests revealed a small tumor located “in the posterior aspect of the brain,” and he underwent X-ray treatments six days a week for the following six weeks.80

Brown continued to work as an Orioles scout until his condition worsened in the summer of 1969.81 During the following winter he returned to Baltimore for periodic treatments, but he began to have problems with his equilibrium, often leading to nausea.82 He passed away in Baltimore on April 17, 1970 at the age of 35, and was buried at Lake Worth’s Pinecrest Cemetery.83

A moment of silence in memory of Brown was observed before the game in Baltimore against the Yankees on the evening of April 17. Bob Brown, the Orioles’ public relations director and Dick’s close friend, called him “certainly the bravest person I have ever met. He never gave up.”84

 

Acknowledgments

This article was reviewed by Rory Costello and Bruce Harris and fact-checked by Kevin Larkin.

 

Sources

The author accessed Baseball-Reference.com and Retrosheet.org for box scores/play-by-play information, player, team, and season pages, pitching game logs, and other data.

The author also utilized Ancestry.com to access United States Federal Census data.

 

Notes

1 “Orioles Sign Dick Brown,” Baltimore Sun, January 30, 1966: 26.

2 Lou Hatter, “Sale is Conditional; Catcher Bothered by Head Pains,” Baltimore Sun, February 24, 1966: 25.

3 The 12th Infantry Regiment fought in several battles in the Shenandoah Valley during 1863 and 1864, and during the Appomattox Campaign (1865) per the National Park Service’s website:

https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=UWV0012RI.

4 The Brown family history was developed using U.S. Federal Census data, including the 1890 Veterans Schedules of that year’s census.

5 “A Fan is Gone from LW Scene,” Palm Beach Post, January 31, 1960: 52.

6 Doug Brown, “Browns Polishing Big-Time Brother Act,” The Sporting News, October 12, 1963: 3.

7 Brown, “Browns Polishing Big-Time Brother Act.”

8 “First Trojan Prom to be Held Saturday,” Palm Beach Post, May 28, 1952: 8.

9 Watson Spoelstra, “Motor City Purring over its Sleek Mitt Model – Dick Brown,” The Sporting News, May 31, 1961: 9.

10 “Lake Worth Nine Opens Against Cats March 13,” Palm Beach Post, March 7, 1952: 15.

11 Wilbur Royce, “Trojans Cop State Class A Ball Title,” Palm Beach Post, June 13, 1952: 12.

12 “Statistics Show Trojans’ Strength,” Palm Beach Post, May 18, 1952: 23.

13 “Lake Worth Ace Nicks Tribe for $50,000,” Palm Beach Post, June 15, 1952: 7.

14 “Just Notes,” Palm Beach Post, August 10, 1952: 15.

15 Brown, “Browns Polishing Big-Time Brother Act.”

16 “Obituaries,” The Sporting News, May 2, 1970: 38.

17 Spoelstra, “Motor City Purring over its Sleek Mitt Model – Dick Brown.”

18 “Bluejay Catcher ‘Best’ in Camp,” Green Bay Press-Gazette, April 2, 1953: 21.

19 “Jays Check Fondly in 10th 5-3, Keep State Loop Top,” Green Bay Press-Gazette, May 8, 1953: 15.

20 “Jays Duel Wausau for Top in Twin Bill Tonight,” Green Bay Press-Gazette, May 13, 1953: 35.

21 “Jays Worthy State Loop Champs,” Green Bay Press-Gazette, September 9, 1953: 21.

22 “Score and Brown a Tribe Battery?” Palm Beach Post, February 15, 1955: 12.

23 Harry Jones, “Indians Eke Out 5-4 Victory over Reading,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 21, 1955: 23.

24 Gordon Cobbledick, “Indians’ Fin Crop of Rookies Draws Rival Scouts to Tribe’s Training Camp,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 6, 1956: 29.

25 Gordon Cobbledick, “Winter Baseball Graduates Tee Off on Pitchers in Spring Camp Games,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 7, 1956: 33.

26 Harry Jones, “Giants Whip Tribe on 3 Homers, 11-5,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 12, 1956: 31.

27 “Indians Ship Averill to PCL,” Palm Beach Post, March 26, 1957: 19.

28 Harry Jones, “Batting Around,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 21, 1957: 29.

29 Brown caught six Hall of Fame pitchers during his career. While with the Indians in 1958, he also was the catcher for Hoyt Wilhelm in an 11 inning, 2-1 loss at Boston. With Detroit he caught Jim Bunning, and with the Orioles he caught Jim Palmer and Robin Roberts. Jim Hegan caught seven Hall of Fame pitchers, the most in MLB history according to http://batteries.sabr.org/caught-most.htm (accessed on 8-3-2022).

30 Harry Jones, “Average Indian is 28, Six Feet, 190,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 26, 1958: 45.

31 Harry Jones, “Batting Around,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 27, 1958: 28.

32 “Fiesta Queen,” Palm Beach Post, February 16, 1957: 6.

33 Brown, “Browns Polishing Big-Time Brother Act.”

34 Harry Jones, “Batting Around,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 27, 1958: 28.

35 Harry Jones, “Colavito Connects for 28th,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 20, 1958: 25.

36 Score, out for the 1957 season after being hit in the eye by a line drive in early May, made a promising comeback in April 1958. He won his first two starts, striking out 13 in a shutout of the White Sox on April 23. However, in his next start he felt pain in his left elbow and made only one more start in seven appearances during the remainder of the year. He finished 1958 with a 2-3 record and a 3.95 ERA.

37 Harry Jones, “Score-Brown Duo is ‘Old’ Battery,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 27, 1958: 49.

38 Harry Jones, “Tribe is Hit Hard by Rain,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 26, 1958: 27.

39 Larry Allen, “Castro Man Sworn in as Cuba’s Chief,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 4, 1959: 1.

40 Harry Jones, “Indians’ Brown Goes to Buffalo,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 10, 1959: 42.

41 Harry Jones, “Batting Around,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 11, 1959: 36. In Cleveland’s 11-8-win, Rocky Colavito walked in the first inning and then hit 4 consecutive home runs.

42 Harry Jones, “Batting Around,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 9, 1959: 35.

43 Fitz Gerald caught all four games in the series. Brown did not make an appearance in any of the games. The White Sox won their first pennant in 40 years, finishing 5 games ahead of Cleveland. Chicago lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 games to 2.

44 Bob Balfe, “‘Surprised’ – Brown,” Palm Beach Post, December 8, 1959: 19. Chicago traded first baseman Norm Cash, third baseman Bubba Phillips, and catcher John Romano to Cleveland in return for outfielder Minnie Miñoso, pitchers Don Ferrarese and Jake Striker, and Brown.

45 Palm Beach Post, January 31, 1960: 52.

46 Edward Prell, “Battey and Mincher go to Senators after Lopez Vetoes Esposito Deal,” Chicago Tribune, April 5, 1960: 55.

47 “Miami Gets Brown, Green to Outfield,” Miami Herald, June 22, 1960: 56.

48 Milwaukee sent outfielder Bill Bruton, infielder Chuck Cottier, relief pitcher Terry Fox and Brown to Detroit in return for second baseman Frank Bolling and outfielder Neil Chrisley.

49 “Brown Now Tiger in Baseball Chess,” Palm Beach Post, December 8, 1960: 17.

50 Lyall Smith, “Tigers Did OK, Says Scheffing,” Detroit Free Press, December 8, 1960: 45.

51 Joe Falls, “Will Road Trip Snap Brown Out of Slump,” Detroit Free Press, June 20, 1961: 31.

52 Bob Pille, “Bunning Notches His 10th,” Detroit Free Press, July 16, 1961: 37.

53 George Pucas, “Why Isn’t Dick Brown Catching?” Detroit Free Press, April 11, 1962: 32.

54 As a 30-year-old rookie in 1961, Rourke filled in at catcher for the Tigers when Brown was injured, hitting .223 with two home runs.

55 The Tigers in 1962 could not overcome Al Kaline’s broken collarbone and Frank Lary’s arm problems, dropping to fourth place in the American League standings with an 85-76 record.

56 Doug Brown, “’Flattered by Swap,’ Claims Dick Brown,” The Sporting News, March 9, 1963: 13. The 21-year-old Freehan played in 100 games for Detroit in 1963. During his 15-year career with the Tigers, he was an All-Star 11 times.

57 Lou Hatter, “Gosh! What Happens When Man Homers, Then Dies?” Baltimore Sun, April 8, 1963: 20.

58 Jim Elliot, “Brown Gets His Revenge,” Baltimore Sun, July 30, 1963: 15.

59 Jim Elliot, “Oriole Catchers Earn Praise from MacPhail,” Baltimore Sun, March 5, 1964: 31.

60 Jim Elliot, “Birds to Play Today, Tonight; Roberts Hurls,” Baltimore Sun, March 21, 1964: 20.

61 Lou Hatter, “Bird Hurling Okay, Hitting Question as Camp Breaks,” Baltimore Sun, April 11, 1964: 13.

62 Jim Elliot, “Orsino,” Baltimore Sun, June 13, 1964: 13.

63 Lou Hatter, “John Orsino’s Pride Hurt,” Baltimore Sun, August 2, 1964: 23.

64 Bob Balfe, “Orioles’ Brown Hopes for 2 More Twins Wins,” Palm Beach Post, October 9, 1965: 13.

65 “Good Samaritan Hospital Reports List of Area Births,” Palm Beach Post, December 30, 1964: 5.

66 Jim Elliot, “Catching No Bird Worry,” Baltimore Sun, March 10, 1965: 25.

67 Lou Hatter, “Orioles Near Training End,” Baltimore Sun, April 10, 1965: 18.

68 Bob Maisel, “Morning After,” Baltimore Sun, June 12, 1965: 14.

69 Bob Balfe, “Orioles’ Brown Hopes for 2 More Twins Wins.”

70 Bob Balfe, “Orioles’ Brown Hopes for 2 More Twins Wins.”

71 The players sent to the Reds were starter Milt Pappas (13-9, 2.60 ERA in 1965 and an All-Star), reliever Jack Baldschun (recently acquired from the Phillies for Jackie Brandt and Darold Knowles), and outfielder Dick Simpson (recently acquired from the Angels for Norm Siebern).

72 Joe King, “At the Crossroads – That’s Baseball in ’66,” The Sporting News, April 16, 1966: 7.

73 Lou Hatter, “Orioles’ Ailing Dick Brown Sent Here for Examination,” Baltimore Sun, February 24, 1966: 29.

74 Lou Hatter, “Apparently Benign Tumor Taken from Brown’s Head,” Baltimore Sun, March 8, 1966: 25.

75 Lou Hatter, “Orioles Lament Year-Long Loss of Catcher Dick Brown,” Baltimore Sun, March 6, 1966: 34.

76 Lou Hatter, “Brown Given Doctor’s O.K.,” Baltimore Sun, April 20, 1966: 35.

77 “‘Situation Isn’t Good,’ Says Brother of Dick Brown.” Baltimore Sun, Jun 2, 1966: 32.

78 Lou Hatter, “Bauer Never Planned Hook,” Baltimore Sun, October 9, 1966: 34.

79 Bob Maisel, “Morning After,” Baltimore Sun, September 23, 1967: 18.

80 Lou Hatter, “Dick Brown Due More Treatment,” Baltimore Sun, November 22, 1968: 23.

81 Lou Hatter, “Ex-Oriole Catcher Brown Loses Cancer Fight at 35,” Baltimore Sun, April 18, 1970: 21.

82 Bob Maisel, “Morning After,” Baltimore Sun, April 19, 1970: 28.

83 Find a Grave website, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/46492001/richard-ernest-brown.

84 Lou Hatter, “Ex-Oriole Catcher Brown Loses Cancer Fight at 35.”

Full Name

Richard Ernest Brown

Born

January 17, 1935 at Shinnston, WV (USA)

Died

April 12, 1970 at Baltimore, MD (USA)

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