Fritz Brickell

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1961 Topps #333 Fritz Brickell

Fritz Darrell Brickell

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Biographical Information[edit]

Before the 1953 season, shortstop Fritz Brickell, was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Yankees. Fritz, who stood just 5'5½", was optioned out to the Joplin Miners of the class C Western Association. The 18-year-old Kansas native got into only 37 games his first year, hitting .221.

Fritz was in the same league in 1954 but with the St. Joseph Saints, where he played 121 games at short and hit .306. He spent the next few years in the high minors until he had a look-see in a couple of games, with no record, for the Yankees in 1958. They gave him another look in 1959 and he appeared in 18 games at short and hit .256 before being sent back to the International League's Richmond Virginians, where he finished out the year, hitting .247 in 88 games.

Brickell stayed in the Yankees organization until April 4, 1961 when they traded him to the Los Angeles Angels for Duke Maas. Fritz became the first starting shortstop for the expansion Angels but was waylaid by injuries, appearing in only 21 games. He was dispatched to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where after he healed a bit, and had probably his best season yet, hitting .307 in 108 games and fielding .985, while holding down the second base position.

Fritz was with both the Toronto squad and the Louisville Colonels in 1962, hitting a combined .234 in 68 games. It was apparent he wasn't his old self and he called it a career after the season. He had spent 10 years in professional baseball from 1953 through 1962. Fritz's minor league records show he appeared in 982 games with 3,549 at bats, 979 base hits, including 82 home runs and had a .275 career batting average.

When he was diagnosed with cancer, Fritz Brickell Night was held in August of 1965 at the National Semi-Pro Tournament in Wichita, Kansas, with his former teammate Mickey Mantle on hand to stage a hitting exhibition as part of the activities. Fritz died just a few months later on October 15th, at age 30 in his hometown of Wichita.

Fred Brickell, Fritz's father, was a National League outfielder who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the New York Yankees in the 1927 World Series.

Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

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