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Barney Brown

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Barney Brown (Brinquitos)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 165 lb.

Barney Brown was a four-time Negro League All-Star and Mexican League pitcher. He was noted for his screwball. Four times, he led his league in wins.

Brown debuted in 1931 with the Cuban Stars, going 0-3. He went 6-4 and hit .269 in 1932. He was out of black baseball for a couple years, working with the integrated Jamestown Red Sox. In 1935-1936, he went 3-4 for Marianao in the Cuban Winter League. The South Carolinan hurler went 1-2 for the New York Black Yankees in 1936. In 1937, he went 3-4. He pitched from the 4th to the 6th in the 1937 East-West Game, allowing one West run as the East picked up a 7-2 victory. In the winter of 1937-1938, he went 7-9 for Almendares but hit .317 as a starting outfielder, best on a team which included Willard Brown, Martin Dihigo and Mike Guerra.

Barney fell to 3-7 for the 1938 Black Yankees. He tossed three shutout innings in the 1938 East-West Game after relieving Edsall Walker but the East still lost, 5-4.

The little left-hander hit .291 for Habana in 1938-1939 but was 0-1 on the hill. He was 0-3 for the Black Yankees in 1939. Brown also saw lots of action in the Mexican League in 1939, going 16-5 with a 2.49 ERA and .99 WHIP for the Veracruz Eagle. He tied Lazaro Salazar for the league lead in victories. The next winter, he hit only .229 in Cuba and went 6-9 for Habana, tying Luis Tiant Sr. for the most defeats.

Barney had a 16-7, 4.01 record for Veracruz in 1940, tying Ramon Bragana for the team lead in wins; he beat out Dihigo, Leon Day and Double Duty Radcliffe among others. In '41, he improved to 16-5, 3.94. He tied Theolic Smith and Nate Moreland for the most wins in the league. That winter, he led the Puerto Rican League in wins by going 16-6.

Returning to the USA in 1942, Brown went 9-12 for the Philadelphia Stars. He was third in the Negro National League in wins behind only Bill Byrd and Ray Brown. In the first 1942 East-West Game, Brown entered for the East with 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 7th, replacing Dave Barnhill. He promptly retired only two batters, giving up hits to opposing pitcher Satchel Paige and to Cool Papa Bell before Day relieved him.

Brown had a 7-9 record for Philadelphia in 1943 and also spent part of the year in the US Army. Returning to the diamond in 1945, Brown pitched for Philadelphia (2-1) and the Mexico City Red Devils (6-8, 4.52, 1.76 WHIP). In '46, he went 10-5 with a 2.69 RA for Philadelphia. He was 5th in the NNL in wins and 4th in RA behind Lemuel Hooker, Barnhill and Day. In the first 1946 East-West Game, he started for the East and threw three perfect innings to help his team coast to victory; he was succeeded by future big leaguer Pat Scantlebury, who struggled. In the second East-West Game that year, he again shone, with three shutout innings as the East starter, only to see Byrd blow the game. That fall, he went 0-3 in exhibition play against the Bob Feller All-Stars, who included Stan Musial, Charlie Keller, Mickey Vernon, Jeff Heath and Phil Rizzuto.

In the 1946-1947 Puerto Rican League, Brown went 16-5, again leading in victories. He was only 2-9 for the 1947 Philadelphia Stars. He was also with them in 1948-1949. Returning to Mexico in 1950, he went 12-10 with a 2.78 ERA for the Torreon Cotton Dealers, then 15-12 with a 3.13 ERA for Torreon in '51. He was second in wins in 1951, trailing only Jim LaMarque. Brown ended his career at age 44 with the Cotton Dealers in 1952, going 3-6 with a 4.66 ERA and 50 walks in 83 innings as age finally caught up with the veteran.

Overall, Brinquitos went 84-53 with a 3.49 ERA in his seven Mexican League seasons, putting him 6th all-time in winning percentage for hurlers with 1,000-2,000 innings through 2000. Brown's .71 ERA in 12 2/3 East-West Game innings ranks him third in the event's history behind only Jonas Gaines (0 R in 11 1/3 IP) and Satchel Paige (0.60 in 15 IP).


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