Note: This page links to 1960s and 1970s infielder Larry Brown. For the former Negro League catcher in the 1920s through 1940s, click here.
Larry Leslie Brown
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.
- High School Holy Name High School (Lake Worth)
- Debut July 6, 1963
- Final Game September 29, 1974
- Born March 1, 1940 in Shinnston, WV USA
He was originally signed by the Indians in 1958], and on July 6, 1963 against the New York Yankees, he made his big league debut at the age of 23. Pinch-hitting for Tito Francona, he struck out in his first at-bat, but he collected a single in his second plate appearance. He collected his first hit off Al Downing and his first home run off Paul Foytack.
As a starter for Cleveland between 1964 and 1969, his batting averages were consistently low - his highest batting average during that span was .253, while his lowest was .227. However, it should be remembered that he played during the second dead-ball era, when averages were uniformly low - his batting average of .234 in 1968 was higher than the league average of .230 that year. On May 4, 1966, he collided with LF Leon Wagner at Yankee Stadium and both were hurt. Brown suffered a fractured skull, cheekbone, and nose. Wagner received a broken nose and slight concussion. This collision actually led to the downfall of whatever power he may have possessed.
In 1970, he lost his starting job to a young Jack Heidemann, and by April 24, 1971, he was with a new team - the Athletics. He'd end up hitting below .200 during his time with the Athletics, and in 1973 he was signed by the Orioles. He played only 17 games with them that season, batting .250 but on May 13th, he hit his final home run, off Lindy McDaniel. He finished his career with the Rangers in 1974. On September 22nd, in his final career at-bat, he collected his final hit - a single, once again off Lindy McDaniel. He played his final game on September 29th of that year.
Overall, he hit .233 with 47 career home runs and 254 RBI. Although those numbers don't sound too great, he was still a good batter in his own right - twice he ranked in the top 5 in sacrifice hits (1965 and 1967). He also ranked in the top ten in intentional walks in 1968, and -because of his good eye at the plate - he ranked in the top ten for best at-bats per strikeout ratio twice (1968 and 1969). His fielding percentage stood at .966. According to Baseball-Reference, the player that is most similar to him statistically is former All-Star Joe DeMaestri. Sam McDowell was his teammate for ten seasons - longer than any other teammate.
At last check, he lived in West Palm Beach, FL.
- Gregory H. Wolf: "Larry Brown", in Chip Greene, ed.: Mustaches and Mayhem, Charlie O's Three-Time Champions: The Oakland Athletics 1972-74, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 145-150. ISBN 978-1-943816-07-1