Country Brown

From BR Bullpen

Elias Bryant (Country Brown, Al Schacht the second)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left

Country Brown was a Negro League player for 16 years, noted for his speed and contact hitting.

Brown debuted in 1918 with Hilldale as a regular outfielder. He moved to the Atlantic City Bacharach Giants in 1919. He hit .393 for the Bacharach Giants in 1920, third among eastern black teams behind Jess Barbour and Eddie Douglass.

In 1921, Brown batted .256; his 7 doubles ranked second among eastern clubs. That fall, he went 7 for 17 against Fred Heimach, Eddie Rommel and Dave Keefe in exhibition play, second to Oliver Marcelle on Atlantic City. The next season, the left-handed batter produced a .330 average, third in the east behind Louis Santop and George Shively.

Brown moved to the Washington Potomacs in 1923. In 1924, he hit .335 for them, just missing the top 5 in the Eastern Colored League. He followed with a .420 mark for the Potomacs in partial playing time in 1925.

Brown slumped to .146 when he returned to Atlantic City in 1926. He was 2 for 11 in the 1926 Negro World Series, which his club lost. Country switched teams in 1927, signing up with the Brooklyn Royal Giants. Now playing second base mostly, he hit .286. Swapping positions with outfielder Chino Smith for 1928, Brown hit .317, second on the Royal Giants.

Brown remained with Brooklyn through 1933 in a reduced capacity for one of black ball's worst league teams.

Throughout his career, Brown was noted for his clowning while in the coaching box. He would occasionally bat while standing on his knees. He had a very detailed routine wherein he mimed a crap game, removing clothing and throwing them in for his ante. He would then faint after seeing the results of an imaginary dice roll. Brown once brought out a shovel to dig a grave for an umpire.

He got into an altercation with his brother-in-law on Christmas morning in 1937 and a blow fell Brown, whose skull was fractured. He was taken to Harlem Hospital, on the same street, and died there. James Riley's baseball encyclopedia lists Brown's brother-in-law as dying during the fight, not Brown. Research by Gary Ashwill, though, turned up a 1/1/38 edition of the New York Amsterdam News which said Brown died during the fight and his brother-in-law, Raymond Terrell, laid the fatal blow.

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