Eugene Joseph Bremer
also known as Eugene Joseph Bremmer
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 160 lb.
- Debut 1937
- Final Game 1948
- Born July 18, 1916 in New Orleans, LA USA
- Died June 19, 1971 in Cleveland, OH USA
Known for not using a windup, Eugene Bremer (or Bremmer) was a top Negro League pitcher for several years. He began with the minor New Orleans Crescent Stars in 1932, then three years later joined the Shreveport Giants. In 1936 he hit the prime time with the Cincinnati Tigers and went 25-12, but did not play any other top Negro League teams as there was no league in the Midwest that year. When the Negro American League was formed in 1937, Bremer was one of the top hurlers, as his 2.20 RA was third behind Ted Trent and Hilton Smith and his 18 strikeouts ranked 5th. His record is listed as 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0, depending on your source.
Gene followed manager Double Duty Radcliffe to the Memphis Red Sox in 1938 and went 1-3. He was 0-1 in 1939 for Memphis and also pitched for the Monterrey Industrials where he was 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA but walked 23 batters in 34 2/3 innings. Bremer returned to dominant form in 1940 with a 5-2 reocrd for Memphis and a 1.89 RA, second in the NAL. He got the call as the starting pitcher in the East-West Game and walked five batters while on the hill, taking the loss for the west.
After sitting out a season, Bremer returned in 1942 with Memphis and the Cincinnati Buckeyes. Combined, he went 10-3 to lead the NAL in wins and was 4th in RA (2.95). He appeared in the East-West Game, pitching a hitless, walkless inning. A car crash in September killed Joe Brown and Smoky Owens; Bremer survived but had a concussion and fractured his skull.
Gene survived and the Buckeyes moved to Cleveland, OH in 1943. He again went 10-3, tying Booker McDaniels (10-1) and Satchel Paige (10-15) for the most wins. The Cleveland ace was 10-6 in 1944 after the military turned him down and also hit .340. He got the save in the East-West game, pitching 1 and 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.
In 1945 Gene went 9-4 with a 2.22 RA (fourth in the NAL in wins, third in RA) as part of a fine rotation to lead the Buckeyes to the title. He made his fourth and final East-West team and beat the Homestead Grays during a sweep of the Grays by the Buckeyes in the World Series. He was 5th in RA (3.86) in 1946, when his record was 5-3. Gene continued to fade, going 3-4 for the champion Buckeyes in 1947 at age 31-32 and 3-3 a year later. He was 3-5 with a 3.53 in 1948, finishing his 7-year run with the Buckeyes.
Bremer moved to the integrating minor leagues in 1949 but the fading star was 2-7 with a 6.38 ERA for the Cedar Rapids Rockets. He made one more stop, with the McAlester Rockets of the 1952 Sooner State League, going 3-3 with a 5.80 ERA at age 36-37, then retired from baseball.
- 4-time NAL All-Star (1940, 1942, 1944 & 1945)
- NAL ERA Leader (1937)
2-time NAL Winning Percentage Leader (1945 & 1946)
- The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley
- Pat Doyle's Old-Time Professional Baseball Player Database
- The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros
- Invisible Men by Donn Rogosin and The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway