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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

AP: Chris Brown, former All-Star third baseman, dies after house fire

Chris Brown, an All-Star third baseman who played six seasons in the majors in the 1980s, died Tuesday, nearly a month after he was burned in a fire at his home outside Houston. He was 45.
...
An autopsy has been performed but the cause of death is still pending, said Beverly Begay, a spokeswoman for the Harris County medical examiner’s office.
...
Brown, who played with Darryl Strawberry at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, debuted in the majors in 1984 and made the All-Rookie team in 1985 after batting .271 with 16 home runs and 61 RBIs. Brown made the NL All-Star team in 1986, when he hit .317 with seven homers and 49 RBIs for San Francisco.

He underwent shoulder surgery after the ‘86 season and his statistics tapered off. He hit .242 in the first half of the 1987 season and the Giants traded him to the Padres. He batted .235 with only two homers in 1988 and the Padres dealt him to Detroit. He appeared in only 17 games with the Tigers in 1989 and batted .193 before he was released.

NTNgod Posted: December 27, 2006 at 10:38 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, padres, tigers

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   1. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: December 27, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#2269594)
Robby Thompson and Will Clark are scared.
   2. Martin Hemner Posted: December 27, 2006 at 10:45 PM (#2269596)
This is sad. They just did some feel good pieces on Brown spending time working in Iraq.
   3. esseff Posted: December 27, 2006 at 10:56 PM (#2269604)
For those who don't remember him, Brown's reputation, right or wrong, was that of a malingerer, a guy who would be out of the lineup with a sprained eyelash. Which doesn't make this news any less sad.

He was part of the big Fourth of July (eve) trade in '87 that brought Dave Dravecky, Craig Lefferts and Kevin Mitchell to the Giants, who rallied to win the NL West.

When last in the public eye, he was driving a truck for one of the rebuilding contractors in Iraq.
   4. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: December 27, 2006 at 10:57 PM (#2269605)
Very sad. Anyone else read "The Ticket Out: Darryl Strawberry and the Boys of Crenshaw High"? If you think Strawberry's tale is one of unfulfilled potential, Brown's will really make you weep.
   5. Bull Pain Posted: December 27, 2006 at 11:04 PM (#2269613)
Brown had worked for Haliburton in Iraq.

The Ticket Out does a great job of explaining how the good ol' boy institution of professional baseball didn't do the inner-city African-Americans of non-superstar quality like Brown any favors.
   6. GregQ Posted: December 27, 2006 at 11:25 PM (#2269623)
I remember telling friends what a mistake that the Giants made trading Brown and that he was a superstar in the making and that Kevin Mitchell would never amount to anything. Too bad, I had always rooted for him even when he was not on the team but boy did his star fall fast.
   7. Halofan Posted: December 27, 2006 at 11:45 PM (#2269638)
It appears to me that he may have been complicit in this fire and something went awry.
   8. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 27, 2006 at 11:53 PM (#2269645)
He slept on his eye wrong.

*ducks*

In all seriousness, though, when the Indians were completely hopeless in the 80s, the Giants were my second favorite team. I loved watching Will Clark and Robby Thompson, Mike Krukow and Atlee Hammaker...and Chris Brown. Man, I thought that Clark-Thompson-Uribe-Brown infield was really going to be special.

Now two of them are gone.

Rest in peace, Chris Brown.
   9. esseff Posted: December 28, 2006 at 12:08 AM (#2269658)
I remember telling friends what a mistake that the Giants made trading Brown and that he was a superstar in the making and that Kevin Mitchell would never amount to anything.


That trade included a future MVP for a future Cy Young winner. I wonder how often that has happened.
   10. Morph Posted: December 28, 2006 at 12:44 AM (#2269679)
4. Yeah, and Cordie Dillard. That was a really good book.
   11. zonk Posted: December 28, 2006 at 12:56 AM (#2269687)
I know he just spent a quick cup of coffee at the tail end of his career with Sparky --- but wasn't Brown another of the players Sparky ordained for greatness?
   12. Kyle S Posted: December 28, 2006 at 01:25 AM (#2269707)
I got friends, and he got friends...
   13. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 28, 2006 at 01:31 AM (#2269708)

That trade included a future MVP for a future Cy Young winner. I wonder how often that has happened.


Jeff Kent for David Cone comes to mind.

Also, maybe someday, Bartolo Colon and Grady Sizemore...
   14. AndrewJ Posted: December 28, 2006 at 02:28 AM (#2269725)
Anyone else read "The Ticket Out: Darryl Strawberry and the Boys of Crenshaw High"? If you think Strawberry's tale is one of unfulfilled potential, Brown's will really make you weep.

I reviewed that book when it came out. A good book, though I didn't enjoy it as much as Sokolove's Pete Rose bio. And there's another whatever-happened-to book I prefer, titled "Destiny's Darlings," about the 1954 Little League world champions from Schnectady.

RIP, Chris Brown.
   15. Benji Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:04 PM (#2269898)
1. RIP Chris. He was the biggest enigma I ever saw. Great physical ability and seemed to really know the game, but he appeared to prefer being thought of as lazy and dumb. I wonder if anyone ever figured him out.

2. Andrew, "Destiny's Darlings" is one of the best books I ever read. It was even more vivid to me because Schenectady is only 20 miles away, and the coach, Mike Maietta, played semi-pro for my Grandfather. If any Primate runs across this book, read it. You'll be happy you did.
   16. schuey Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2269906)
Brown made $695,000 (at least) in his brief career riddled with charges of malingering. Strawberry made $30,330,667 in his career when he wasn't snorting coke and beating his wife. Davis was okay (was he in the car when Vince Coleman threw a quarter-stick of dynamite at a child? I can't be sure but I think he was) and made $31,925,680. Spare me the William C Rhoden-like brain dead ramblings on inner city blacks being exploited for playing a kids game.
   17. AROM Posted: December 28, 2006 at 04:17 PM (#2269918)
Davis was okay (was he in the car when Vince Coleman threw a quarter-stick of dynamite at a child? I can't be sure but I think he was)

I'd be surprised, never heard anything about that. It happened when Coleman was a Met, Davis never played for the Mets.
   18. Spahn Insane Posted: December 28, 2006 at 04:44 PM (#2269927)
I'd be surprised, never heard anything about that. It happened when Coleman was a Met, Davis never played for the Mets.

We're talking about Mike Davis? I remember the firecracker incident happened in LA, and Davis was a Dodger around then, so could be--I have no idea.
   19. Bob T Posted: December 28, 2006 at 04:52 PM (#2269932)
Eric Davis was in the car with Vince Coleman when the firecracker incident happened. It was in 1993 when Davis played on the Dodgers. Coleman was in town with the Mets at the time and he and Davis were going out together after a game.

Davis, for his part now, is big figure in South L.A. with youth baseball. He seemed to come out of his cancer scare in better shape psychologically than Strawberry.
.
   20. Traderdave Posted: December 28, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2269939)
Davis was always in better psychological and emotional shape than Straw
   21. Spahn Insane Posted: December 28, 2006 at 05:34 PM (#2269962)
Oh, Eric. I remember this now, vaguely.
   22. Guapo Posted: December 28, 2006 at 05:50 PM (#2269977)
I know he just spent a quick cup of coffee at the tail end of his career with Sparky --- but wasn't Brown another of the players Sparky ordained for greatness?

As I recall, Brown was Sparky's pet project in the spring of 1989. I can't remember the whole story, but it was something like one of Sparky's relatives was one of Brown's teachers in high school. Of course, Sparky wasn't the first person enamored of Brown's considerable skills... but then Brown showed up to camp overweight, the Tigers got off to a terrible start, Sparky left the team because of exhaustion, and Brown was released after Sparky left.

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