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Monday, May 02, 2005

Chet Brewer

Chet Brewer

Eligible in 1952.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 02, 2005 at 08:44 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 01:35 PM (#1306875)
hot topics
   2. Gary A Posted: May 04, 2005 at 03:18 AM (#1309447)
1928 Chet Brewer
Kansas City Monarchs

TRA-4.79 (NNL 5.26)

Park Factor for Muehlebach Field in 1928 was 99.
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 06, 2005 at 07:18 PM (#1317034)
Bump. Anyone got anything to say about this guy? Is he better than Andy Cooper? He sure seems important.
   4. Chris Cobb Posted: May 06, 2005 at 07:27 PM (#1317068)
A big challenge in analyzing Brewer is the portion of his career that may be undocumented.

Here's his career line from Macmillan 8th:

Chet Brewer
1925-1932 NeL
1933 in semipro ball
1934-37 NeL (no data for 1934-35)
1938-40 "Latin America,"
1941 NeL,
1942-45 "Latin America,"
1946-48 NeL

89-63, .596. 166 g, 115 gs, 97 cg, 1110 ip, 1075 hits, 283 bb, 552 k, 14 so, 3 sv

If some of that Latin American play is in Mexico, we should be able to get stats, but if it isn't, we won't.
   5. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 06, 2005 at 08:28 PM (#1317359)
Here's what Riley's got for him:

1924Gilkerson's Union Giants
1925KC Monarchs
1926KC Monarchs (11-3)
1927KC Monarchs (8-7)
1928KC Monarchs (7-9)
1929KC Monarchs (17-3)
1930KC Monarchs (15-11 from 30-32)
1931KC Monarchs/Crookstone MN
1932KC Monarchs/Washington Pilots
1933KC Monarchs
1934KC Monarchs
1935KC Monarchs/Brooklyn Royal Giants/Bismark ND
1936NY Cubans (5-2)/Bismark, ND
1937Dominican Republic (2-3)/Post Tourney
1938Mexican League (8-3, 1.82)
1939Mexican League (16-6, 2.50)
1940KC Monarchs
1941KC Monarchs/Philadelphia Stars
1942Cleveland Buckeyes
1943Cleveland Buckeyes
1944Mexican League (8-12, 5.11)
1946KC Monarchs/Cleveland Buckeyes
1947Cleveland Buckeyes (12-6)
1948Cleveland Buckeyes (5-5)
1949Cleveland Buckeyes

Lifetime Lg Total: 127-79, .617

1933Toured Orient
1947Caguas (PR Lg) (7-3)
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 06, 2005 at 08:29 PM (#1317363)
Ugh, sorry for the cruddy formatting.
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 09, 2005 at 09:57 PM (#1323946)
Anyone got anything interesting on this guy? I know he's 1952 and all, but I personally feel like I'm on a bit of a mission with regard to NgL pitchers.

My gut (which is ample) tells me we've completely ignored Lefty Andy Cooper and maybe Nip Winters, and I've got immense concern that Brewer, Hilton Smith, Bill Byrd, and others will be similarly rejected with little if any fanfare, when, frankly, I'm not sure we really know a derned thing about them yet.

Sorry, I was having a soapbox moment....
   8. Chris Cobb Posted: May 17, 2005 at 04:55 AM (#1342581)
Chet Brewer Data from Holway

1925 4-1 for KC; team 63-20. #6 on team in dec.. +0.22 WAT
1926 14-1 for KC; 3rd in wins, 1st in wp, 75 K 2nd in league; team 65-19, #3 on team in dec. +2.19 WAT
1927 9-6 for KC; team 58-33, #3 (tie) on team in dec., –0.67 WAT
1928 7-9 for KC; team 49-32; #3 on team in dec., -3.34 WAT
1929 17-3 for KC; 2nd in wins, 1st in wp, 1st in TRA,; all-star, GSA; team 66-14, #2 on team in dec., +0.67 WAT
1930 13-10 for KC; 5th in wins, 109 K 2nd in league; team 54-33, #1 on team in dec., -1.7 WAT
1931 2-2 for KC; team 21-6, #3 on team in dec. (tie), -1.3 WAT
1932 5-6 total (2-6 for WAS; 3-0 for KC), #4 on WAS in dec, team 16-35, -0.49 WAT, #2 on KC in dec. (tie), team 9-5, +1.36 WAT
1933 No data for KC (barnstorming)
1934 No data for KC (barnstorming)
1935 No data for KC (barnstorming)
1936 5-7 for NY Cubans; #1 on team in dec., team 25-22, -1.9 WAT
1937 Santa Domingo (2-3)
1938 MeL (8-3)
1939 MeL (16-6)
1940 Macmillan says “Latin America”; Riley says KC; Holway has no NeL data, could have toured with the KC “B”Team. Was he in the MeL?
1941 2-6 total (0-1 for KC, 2-5 for PHI), #5 on KC in dec., team 24-6, -0.83 WAT, #2 on PHI in dec. (3-way tie), team 12-28, -.12 WAT
1942 No data. Macmillan says “Latin America,” Riley says Cleveland. Was he in the MeL?
1943 No data. Macmillan says “Latin America,” Riley says Cleveland.
1944 MeL (8-12)
1945 No data. Macmillan says “Latin America.” Riley says nothing.
1946 9-10 total (7-9 for CLE; 2-1 for CHI), #1 on CLE in dec., team 19-25, +0.14 WAT; #5 on CHI in team dec., team 19-21, +0.62 WAT
1947 12-6 for CLE, 1st in league in wins, 2nd in TRA, 3rd in K (91); team 44-17, #1 on team in dec., -1.40 WAT
1948 5-5 for CLE, 5th in league in TRA (3.22); team 26-27, #3 on team in dec., +0.12 WAT

Adding seasonal totals gives a record of 104-72, .591
Holway’s All-Time Victories list puts him at 87-63, .589 (ah, the discrepancies)
Brewer collected black or gray ink in 1926, 1929, 1930, 1947, 1948
His career wins above team are –7.8 .

Looking at this record, I don't see a HoMer here. The WAT number is not impressive at all, though that is brought down partly because he was a member of an absolutely fabulous pitching staff in KC that included Rogan, William Bell, and Andy Cooper. However, I think the record indicates that all three of those guys were better than Brewer.

It's unfortunate that most of the Mexican League data we have so far is from weaker years. He was highly successful, but not nearly as lights-out as Martin Dihigo was at that time.
   9. Chris Cobb Posted: May 17, 2005 at 03:18 PM (#1343032)
One caveat on the above evaluation: we are largely missing data that would cover Brewer's probable prime. He have good documentation for the following seasons by age:


We have some documentation also from 24-25, 30, 34.
   10. Gadfly Posted: May 17, 2005 at 04:43 PM (#1343253)
This is just off the top of my head, but Chet Brewer played for the war-time industry teams in Los Angeles from 1942 to 1945 during the summers, except for the stint with a sore arm in Mexico in 1944.

After the conclusion of his Negro League career, Brewer played, pretty much year round, in Panama from 1949 to 1951 and actually pitched (poorly) and managed in the Minor Leagues in 1952.

Brewer, like Bill Byrd, has always been discounted by the Negro League veterans because he was well known as a doctored ball (spit-cut) pitcher. I've always kind of comped Brewer with Ted Lyons and Byrd with Gaylord Perry in my head, but that isn't the result of any deep thought on the subject.

But both of these guys would have gone well over 200 victories in the Majors.
   11. Gary A Posted: May 18, 2005 at 10:59 PM (#1346878)
Chet Brewer's Mexican League stats


   12. Gary A Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:02 PM (#1346883)
His hits allowed for 1944 should read 181, not 161.

I'm struck by the inconsistency with what Holway reports for his Mexican League career.
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:07 PM (#1346891)
I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with whatever Brewer and Byrd did to the ball. Am I gonna hold it against an IF who perfected the hidden ball? Or Kent Hrbek for bench-pressing Ron Gant off of 1B? No way.
   14. Gary A Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:08 PM (#1346894)
Chet Brewer's Cuban League record, such as it is:

1930 1-0
1930u (Unico, special season) 1-2

He also went 2-0 in the Caribbean Series in 1950, pitching 6.3 innings in relief for Panama.
   15. Gary A Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:20 PM (#1346908)
1934 Chet Brewer
Kansas City Monarchs

   16. Gary A Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:21 PM (#1346911)
I should say that his 1934 record represents four of the few games the Monarchs played with top NeL teams--they mostly barnstormed in Canada and the Pacific Northwest with the House of David.
   17. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:37 PM (#1346942)

Do you have data for all of the Monarchs pitchers against top NgL teams for 1934?

Also, do you have your MxL data in a spreadsheet or database, or is it coming from a book?

   18. Gary A Posted: May 18, 2005 at 11:49 PM (#1346974)
In the California Winter League, Brewer's record over 13 seasons was 43-13.

Comparing some of the top NeL pitchers in this league:

Chet Brewer 43-13
Andy Cooper 22-6
Reuben Currie 26-19
Bill Foster 24-1 (!)
Robert Griffith 20-2
Satchel Paige 56-7
Andrew Porter 23-6
Bullet Rogan 42-14
Jim Willis 41-10

From 1931 to 1936, Paige was 50-2 (!!); his record is brought down by a 6-5 record from 1943-47.

Not all pitchers have complete strikeout and innings pitched records; of these, the only ones whose records are complete are:

Currie, 162 K, 94 W, 402 IP
Griffith, 228 K, 29+ W, 214 IP
Paige, 770 K, 138+ W (2 seasons with 121 IP are missing walks), 572 IP
Rogan, 351 K, 189 W, 516 IP
   19. Chris Cobb Posted: May 19, 2005 at 01:40 AM (#1347129)
I'm struck by the inconsistency with what Holway reports for his Mexican League career.

My post was misleading. Those w-l records are from Riley, brought down from Dr. Chaleeko's post of the Riley data above. Holway does not report Mexican League numbers for 1938 or 1939. He only notes briefly some of the NeL stars who played in Mexico in each season.
   20. Brent Posted: May 19, 2005 at 01:44 AM (#1347134)
What can you tell us about the California Winter League? Was it integrated? How did the level of competition compare to the Negro leagues? Were the players mostly pros, or did it include semipros?
   21. Chris Cobb Posted: May 19, 2005 at 02:32 AM (#1347225)
A second question on the California League data:

What years does it cover? I'm especially curious about when Rogan was pitching there. Was it during his 1920-28 run as a star pitcher for the Monarchs or was it later?
   22. Gary A Posted: May 19, 2005 at 03:37 AM (#1347383)
The California Winter League was integrated. There was usually one black team, which was of very good quality (virtually a NeL all-star team), and maybe 2-3 white teams (though this varied). The white teams were a mismash of major-leaguers like the Meusel brothers, Babe Herman, and others, PCL stars like Buzz Arlett and Smead Jolley, lower-level minor leaguers, and a sprinkling of semipro players. My vague estimate is that the overall quality of the white teams was probably somewhat less than AAA, maybe as low as AA. The black teams, as I said, were *very* good, although a few local, non-ML quality black players filled in gaps.

Even when there was more than one black team involved (which happened occasionally), they didn't play each other that often--the whole point of the league seemed to be to pit white teams against black teams.

The NeLers, as you can tell from the pitchers' records, absolutely destroyed the opposition. They didn't win every pennant, but they came close.

Incidentally, I believe that, like the Cuban League, the California Winter League operated much of the time in just one park, White Sox Park.

This version of the league ran more or less from 1920 until the mid-late 1940s. There were earlier versions of the league, and a few featured NeL teams (the American Gts won the pennant in 1915-16).

Rogan pitched in the league in 1920-21, then for four straight seasons from 1925-30 (he also appeared with the 17/18 L.A. White Sox, but there are no box scores). It's interesting because in the regular NeL, he pretty much stopped pitching after 1928, but he threw 92 innings in the 28/29 CWL season (9-1), and 59 more in 29/30 (5-1).
   23. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 22, 2005 at 07:23 PM (#1354528)
I haven't posted them yet, but I've gotten as far as I can go on the career leaderboards.

Anyway, so here's where Brewer falls on the Holway-based career U.S. NgL leaderboards.

WINS 14th with 104

LOSSES 11th with 73

DECISIONS 12th with 177

(50+ decisions) 45th
(25+ decisions) 67th
(10+ decisions) 105th

(50+ decisions) 42nd
(25+ decisions) 60th
(10+ decisions) 89th

WAT 795th (out of 812)at -6.3

(50+ decisions) 90th (of 122)
(25+ decisions) 138th (of 205)
(10+ decisions) 211th (of 335)
   24. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 22, 2005 at 07:32 PM (#1354572)
Brewer's place on seasonal wins leaderboards

1926: 3rd most wins in NNL with 14, 6th in NgLs.

1929: t-2nd most wins in NNL with 17, t-3rd most wins in NgLs.

1930: 4th most wins in NNL with 13, 5th most in NgLs.

1946: 2nd in NAL with 8 wins, t-6th most wins in NgLs.

1947: Led NAL with 12 wins, t-2nd most wins in NgLs.
   25. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: May 25, 2005 at 07:08 PM (#1360925)

So, what do we think of this guy? He had a 22-year NgLeg career winning games at a high rate. Am I the only one considering him for my ballot?
   26. Michael Bass Posted: May 25, 2005 at 07:20 PM (#1360952)
Is there any evidence he was ever great? To be fair, he's missing several documented years, so there could be a peak in there somewhere, but absent any actual display of greatness, he's not top 50 to me.

What we do know about him, he did play forever, and was fortunate enough to play for great teams, for which he was almost always the #3-ish starter, looking at his WAT.

As one example, during his time on the same team as Rogan, he appears to have been a significantly lesser pitcher than Rogan. Now, Rogan is in the HOM, but without his hitting, I strongly doubt his pitching performance alone would have been enough to get him in. This is slightly unfair to Brewer, of course, he had many more years after this when he may have been much better. But the on again/off again evidence we have is that he wasn't.

Summary: Even with a 22 year career, he had no peak that I can see, and appears to have been a mid rotation guy. For my (admittedly peak heavy) system, that's not a HOMer, or even close to it.
   27. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 25, 2005 at 07:45 PM (#1361011)
Michael, you summed up my feelings precisely. Brewer's got Charlie Hough or TJ written all over him without the charming and disarming knuckler or the namesake surgery to give him indie cred.

Unless we find out a lot more about him, I feel like the Central-American sojourn that covers his peak years would have to be absolutely awesome to float the 10-15 years we know about.

More information:

1930: t-4th most losses in NNL and NgLs.

1936: t-4th most losses in NgLs.

1941: t-4th most losses in NNL, t-3rd most losses in NgLs (was with two teams).

1946: Led NAL and NgLs in losses.

1947: Led NAL and was 4th in NgLs in losses.

1948: t-4th most losses in NAL and t-5th in NgLs.

I'll try to work up his OPP+ and hOPP+ by tonight.
   28. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: May 25, 2005 at 08:21 PM (#1361094)
As one example, during his time on the same team as Rogan, he appears to have been a significantly lesser pitcher than Rogan.

While this is no doubt true, his record over a period of years in the California Winter League (posted earlier in thread) is essentially the same as Rogan's.
   29. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 25, 2005 at 08:28 PM (#1361112)
Brewer's OPP+ is 107 (938 team decisions in a context of 876 average team decisions)

Brewer's hOPP+ is 123 (938 team decisions in a context of 765 historically average team decisions)

So it's very possible that at least some part of Brewer's high placement on some career lists is a result of pitching during a rich scheduling period. In all fairness, however, he had fewer decisions, and in fact his highest concentration of decisions come from 1926-1930, a period in which he racked up almost exactly half his decisions. His cumulative WAT in this period was (-.101), and his record was 60-29 for a KC Monarchs team that played .690 ball over the same period.

1926: Team went 65-19, Brewer had 3rd most decisions and took 2.9 WAT.

1927: Team went 58-32, Brewer had 4th most decisions and had (-0.7) WAT.

1928: Team went 49-32, Brewer made 3rd most starts and had (-3.3) WAT.

1929: Team went 66-14, Brewer had 2nd most decisions and .7 WAT.

1930: Team went 54-33, Brewer had most starts and (-1.7) WAT.
   30. crict Posted: August 24, 2005 at 04:41 PM (#1568913)
Just found that while googling for Chet Brewer.

He went 4-2 for St-Jean of the Quebec Provincial League in 1949, the top outlaw league of the time that had most Mexican League jumpers and many Negro leagues veterans that year. His team was 46-51 on the season. I don't have more detailed stats.
   31. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 24, 2005 at 04:58 PM (#1568967)
crict, can you share the link to that information? thanks!
   32. crict Posted: August 24, 2005 at 07:18 PM (#1569410)
I meant that I found this thread while googling.

The Quebec Provincial League information comes from my own research. I document my research on a website, here's the page for the '49 St-Jean team. (Sorry, free website with lots of popups).

Brewer actually appears in that page as Bill, but my research notes (from the newspapers) clearly show him identified as Chet. The stats are the one published at the end of the year in newspapers covering the league.

We are a few working on this league, trying to get better stats and identify most of the players. Still a lot of work to do, but since it was for many Negro Leaguers their first and sometimes only opportunity in integrated baseball, it's also very interesting and should be quite useful.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 25, 2005 at 01:38 AM (#1570643)
Thanks for your help, crict.
   34. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 24, 2007 at 12:53 AM (#2343650)
Hey guys. Sorry to bump this and feel free to ignore it, but in light of the revisions of the MLE's you guys have been doing lately, how is Brewer faring? He was one of the guy's I thought might be rediscovered by your project but it hasn't seemed to happen. My image of him is formed by reading anectodtal accounts in a number of books and accounts of the Negro Leagues and those anecdotal accounts make him seem a towering figure. Is that just a cult of personality or could he throw the pill? It's just really tough getting a handle on the real stars of the Negro League baseball. I admit I get swallowed sometimes by the stories.

OK. Back to lurking. You guys are doing a great job and the stuff on the Negro League guys is off the charts cool.

(By the way, does anybody know if there's any kind of project in the works to centralize the stats of Negro League players, including their minor league and foreign work, in a web site or book? Or would something like that be too good to be true?)
   35. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 24, 2007 at 02:03 AM (#2343765)
Shooty, I've got a little information now that I can share.

Some little stuff on Brewer's MxL years:

1938 Tampico 1.88 182 4.31 .95 216
1939 Tampico 2.10 176 3.48 .95 158
1944 Mx City 5.10 143 4.30 1.04 88
*In some cases lgERAs may not be perfect, since Cisneros occasionally doesn't give every pitcher's ERs.
**This is a very general pf that I apply to MxL stats. It is an average of all pfs in a team's existence (through 1963) rather than year-by-year.

Now there's some other things we need to talk about. I've been running the MxL as a AA-equivalent league lately, and it seems to fit well in context of the surrounding MLE seasons. For 1944, that's fine. But for 1938-1939, it's not. The MxL leagues contained many fewer foreign players in those years and consequently were of worse than AA quality. In 1938 foreign players accounted for 27% of all ABs. In 1939 30%. This spiked to 49% in 1940 and was at 51% in 1944. I think I would probably rate the MxL as a Class A or Class B league in Brewer's first two years. If I can simply use the pf right on the ERA+ (I don't know if that's right, but hell why not), then at a Class A equivalent for the first two years, his ERA+s would be


At Class B quality:

Kind of a mixed bag....
   36. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 24, 2007 at 02:13 AM (#2343778)
Hmm. Those numbers don't scream HOMer, for sure. That 70, obviously, is a weird outlier, but can't be ignored. I appreciate the info. It's fun trying to get a handle on these guys, even if it pops a few bubbles.

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