Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, June 11, 2001

Boston.com / Latest News / Sports / Ex-Detroit Tigers utility man, Negro Leaguer Ike Brown dies at 59

I don’t remember exactly why, but I took a liking to Ike Brown when I was around eight. Maybe I just liked the way he smiled on the ball field. I liked him so much that his baseball cards were almost as valuable to me as my Nolan Ryan cards were. It’s funny how things like this pop back into your memory when someone passes. My sympathy goes out to his family and friends.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2001 at 03:03 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jay Jaffe Posted: June 11, 2001 at 06:49 PM (#69202)
I was too young to ever see him play, but I knew Ike Brown by his baseball card, and I liked Ike, too. My older cousin very generously passed down about 2,000 baseball cards from the 1965-1975 era when I took a serious interest in the hobby, including some of the greats-- Aaron, Mays, Frank Robinson, Rose, Gibson, etc. There were plenty of duplicates, especially of the lesser players, and I had multiple 1974 Ike Browns.

I didn't necessarily hold Ike's card in high value, but I can see it in my mind's eye: a right-hander, posed in his batting stance, cropped around the knees, wearing a road Detroit uniform. A fairly mundane baseball card, but I had a soft spot for utilitymen, and for anyone who tried to play baseball while wearing glasses. (If you don't believe me, check here.)
   2. Michael Posted: June 11, 2001 at 08:44 PM (#69203)
I became a lifelong Tiger and baseball fan during 1968 and collected a ton of baseball cards during the next offseason, memorizing plenty o' batting averages. I enjoyed watching Ike Brown too because I figured that Tom Matchick and Dick Tracewski must stink and figured that any black player able to break through management's prejudices must have really earned the right to play. The fact that he wore glasses also was cool!
   3. Bruce Markusen Posted: June 12, 2001 at 02:24 AM (#69204)
When I was growing up, I used to think that Gates Brown and Ike Brown were brothers. I figured that since they were both black and both played for the Tigers, they simply HAD to be related. Funny how your mind works when you're a kid.

Ike Brown was versatile enough to play second base, third base, or the outfield, but stuck with the Tigers primarily because he could swing the bat a little--at least for a utility player. When he played second base for Detroit, he might have been the biggest middle infielder of that era--about 6'2'' and 205 pounds. He actually looked more like a football player than a baseball player.

I never realized that Ike Brown had played in the Negro Leagues. He must have played during the last season of the Leagues' existence, which would have been around 1960. By the time that Brown was playing in the majors (1969-74), only a handful of Negro Leagues alumni remained active as players. The short list would have included Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, both of whom played in the Negro Leagues during the late forties/early fifties, when the black leagues were nearer their heyday. Frankly, I can't think of any other Negro Leagues players who would still have been playing in the majors by the early seventies. Minnie Minoso did come back for a brief spell in the latter part of the decade, but that was partly a publicity stunt.

Unfortunately, we are fast losing players like Ike Brown, who provide such interesting links to baseball's past. Although Brown was not a great player, he was a popular one, and one who played with and for the likes of Al Kaline, Denny McLain, and Billy Martin. I wish I would have had the chance to interview him.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Eugene Freedman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogRemembering How Mike Trout's Road to the Red Sox Was Detoured
(11 - 4:36pm, May 22)
Last: Mattbert

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 5-22-15
(5 - 4:30pm, May 22)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-22-2015
(32 - 4:23pm, May 22)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogAT&T Ad Showing First Woman In Major League Baseball Draws Strong Reactions
(231 - 4:21pm, May 22)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogOTP - May 2015: Jeb Bush would like to watch baseball with Teddy Roosevelt and Pitbull
(3676 - 4:17pm, May 22)
Last: Dr. Vaux

NewsblogHolding Separate Elections For Player and Non-Player Candidates Would Greatly Improve the Hall of Fame's Era Ballot Vote Process
(4 - 4:09pm, May 22)
Last: Dennis Eclairskey, closer

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - May 2015
(1867 - 4:08pm, May 22)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim

NewsblogBrewers pitcher Will Smith ejected for using foreign substance
(14 - 4:04pm, May 22)
Last: boteman asks Where's My Ring?

NewsblogRed Sox have quite a stockpile of talent in Greenville - Sports - The Boston Globe
(11 - 4:03pm, May 22)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT: 2015 NHL Playoff thread
(453 - 3:52pm, May 22)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogBBTF 2015 Shooty Memorial Softball Meet-up!
(234 - 3:46pm, May 22)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogKeith Hernandez gets part of the credit for Lucas Duda's southpaw success
(17 - 3:40pm, May 22)
Last: Beleaguered Mets Fan

Newsblog45 Ruth Pics from Library of Congress
(4 - 3:39pm, May 22)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogRicketts Family Buys 3 More Rooftops Across From Wrigley Field « CBS Chicago
(51 - 3:39pm, May 22)
Last: toratoratora

Newsblogwtop.com | Marvin Hudson is a stooge
(6 - 3:33pm, May 22)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

Page rendered in 0.1855 seconds
49 querie(s) executed