Jim Brosnan

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James Patrick Brosnan

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Biographical Information[edit]

Jim Brosnan is best known as the author of two "diary style" books about his experience as a player, The Long Season and Pennant Race. His books were a revelation at the time, both because they were the first to expose baseball's warts - as Jim Bouton's Ball Four would do a decade later - and because he wrote them without the aid of a ghostwriter.

Brosnan pitched from 1947 to 1955 in the minors, missing the 1951 and 1952 seasons due to military service. He eventually broke in with the Chicago Cubs in April of 1954. It was the first full season for the Ernie Banks and Gene Baker double-play combination which broke the color line with the Cubs. He spent part of 1954 back in the minors and all of 1955 with Los Angeles in the Pacific Coast League, going 17-10 for the Angels.

Brosnan pitched nine years in the majors, getting 55 wins and 67 saves. In 1958, his ERA was seventh-best in the league, while in 1961 his 16 saves were third-best and his .714 winning-percentage was also third-best. He pitched in three games of the 1961 World Series with the Cincinnati Reds.

His ambition to be a writer was a long-time one, and he got his first chance to exercise his talents when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked him to pen a series of articles about the 1958 St. Louis Cardinals' tour of exhibition games in Japan following the regular season. This led to his receiving a contract to write a book about the 1959 season, which turned into the classic baseball book The Long Season, published in 1960.

"I don't mind catching your fastball at all. Naturally, I'd want to have a glove on in case you might be having an especially good day." - Gene Green, joking with Jim Brosnan

Further Reading[edit]

  • Adam Berenbak: "Author Wiggen Goes East: Jim Brosnan and the 1958 Cardinals Tour of Japan", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 47, Nr. 1 (spring 2018), pp. 17-22.

Related Sites[edit]