Ollie Brown

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Ollie Lee Brown

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Biographical Information[edit]

Ollie Brown played 13 seasons in the big leagues. He was primarily a right fielder. In his best season with the bat, he hit 23 home runs with 89 RBI and a .292 batting average for the 1970 San Diego Padres, a team which hit .246 overall while playing in a pitchers' park.

Ollie was born in Tuscaloosa, AL, a town which was also the birthplace of a number of other major leaguers such as George Foster, Butch Hobson and Lee Maye. Ollie attended high school in Long Beach, CA and broke into the minors at age 18, improving as he moved up the chain.

Brown spent 1962 as an outfielder for the Salem Rebels and Decatur Commodores. Returning to Decatur in 1963, Brown spent 12 games in the outfield, but also started 21 games in the pitching rotation. On August 13th, he threw a no-hitter against the Wisconsin Rapids Senators winning 8-0. In 1964 with the Fresno Giants he hit 40 home runs and batted .329. That earned him a move up to AAA ball, where he hit 27 home runs for Tacoma. He got a shot at the majors in September 1965 with the major league Giants, a team which already had Willie Mays, Jesus Alou, Matty Alou, Len Gabrielson and Ken Henderson in the outfield. In spite of that, Ollie made the team the following season and got substantial playing time in 1966 and 1967. He was down in the minors for part of 1966 and 1968.

He was the first pick of the San Diego Padres in the 1968 expansion draft, and became a regular for the Padres from 1969 to 1971. Given regular playing time, he hit over 20 homers in both of the Padres' first two seasons. 1972 found him with three separate teams - the Padres, the Oakland A's and the Milwaukee Brewers - before he spent 1973 with the Brewers. In 1974 he was with two teams - the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies - before closing out his career from 1975 to 1977 with the Phillies, a team which won its division in 1976 and 1977. With the 1975 Phillies he posted a line of .303/.369/.510 in 161 plate appearances.

He is the older brother of Oscar Brown. Another brother, Willie Brown, played in the NFL with the Rams and Eagles. Ollie had a cannon of an arm in right field, which explains why he was also used as a pitcher in the minors. Later in his career he developed into a top pinch hitter with the Philadelphia Phillies of the late 1970s.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Andy Sturgill: "Ollie Brown", in Chip Greene, ed.: Mustaches and Mayhem, Charlie O's Three-Time Champions: The Oakland Athletics 1972-74, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 151-154. ISBN 978-1-943816-07-1

Related Sites[edit]