Alton Brown

From BR Bullpen

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Alton Leo Brown
(Deacon)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Alton Brown was a right-hand pitcher who never played organized baseball at any level until he was with an Army team during World War II. He started out pitching at the lowest level of the minor leagues in the class D Coastal Plain League with the Roanoke Rapids Jays in 1948. Alton was in the league for three seasons, going 8-12 in his first year, then 16-12 in his second and impressed everyone with a 28-win, 11-loss year with a league-leading 204 strikeouts to lead Roanoke Rapids to the league championship as Alton claimed the MVP award in 1950.

Brown was signed by the Detroit Tigers following that season, but hardly stayed with that organization as the Washington Senators selected him in the 1950 Rule V Draft on December 4th. The following spring, he made the long jump to a spot in the Washington bullpen to start the 1951 season. He made it into seven games with no decisions and an ERA of 9.26 before returning to the minors and the Chattanooga Lookouts where he finished out 1951 with a 5-8 record. This season was to be Alton's only shot at the majors in a nine-year pro baseball career.

He split 1952 between the Lookouts and Richmond Colts, going 12-10. In 1953, he went 11-8 with a 2.24 ERA in 42 games (13 starts) for the Norfolk Tars. In 1954, he played for the Tars and Shreveport Sports, going a combined 13-6 in 44 games. He played his final minor league season in 1955, splitting the year between the Columbus Foxes and San Antonio Missions. He went a combined 2-3.

In 1955, Brown took a try at managing his hometown team, the Norfolk Tars, for a brief interim. He was the second of three to hold the position, but the team disbanded on July 14th, being last in the league standings as well as in attendance.

Alton had been in pro ball from 1946 through 1956 and was active nine years. His record shows he appeared in 320 outings, winning 109 and losing 76 while pitching 1,616 innings, giving up 1,531 base hits and 757 base on balls for a 3.49 ERA.

After baseball was over Alton said: "Like most players I had hopes and dreams of a long major league career. That didn't happen, but I still enjoyed my years in baseball. I made some wonderful friendships. I was the teammate of Brooks Robinson when he was on his way up. We became good friends and still keep in touch."

Alton worked for 20 years as a crew foreman on the Norfolk waterfront before being disabled after suffering injuries in a fall onto a barge. He retired and lived in Virginia Beach, VA where he died in 2016 at the age of 90.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1955 Norfolk Tars Piedmont League 2-1 -- New York Yankees -- replaced Al Evans (11-14) on May 25
replaced by Bill Herring (24-19) on May 28

Sources[edit]

Baseball-Reference.com
Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page
The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Third Edition

Related Sites[edit]