May 21, 1909|
North English, Iowa
March 24, 2002 (aged 92)|
Greensboro, North Carolina
Mace Stanley Brown (May 21, 1909 – March 24, 2002) was an American professional baseball player. He appeared in Major League Baseball, largely as a relief pitcher, over ten seasons (1935–43; 1946) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox. Brown posted a 76–57 record with a 3.46 ERA and 44 saves in 387 appearances (55 as a starter).
Brown was also a javelin thrower who attended the University of Iowa on a track scholarship. He started his professional baseball career after college. In 1934, he won 19 games for the Tulsa Oilers of the Texas League and was purchased by the Pirates in November.
Brown became known as one of the first full-time relief specialists in the Major Leagues. In 1938, he led the Pirates with 15 wins (all in relief), led the National League with 51 games pitched, and became the first reliever to play the All-Star Game. In 1943, with the Red Sox, he also led the American League in games pitched with 49.
However, he is also known for giving up the Homer in the Gloamin', the home run that cost the Pirates their lead in the 1938 National League pennant race. On September 28, 1938, the Pirates were playing the Chicago Cubs, who trailed the Pirates by just one-half game in the league standings. Brown entered the game with the teams tied 5–5 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Darkness was falling fast, and the Cubs' Wrigley Field had no lights, meaning the game could end in a tie. But Gabby Hartnett soon smacked a pitch from Brown over the left-center field wall, giving the Cubs the victory and propelling them into first place. The Pirates proceeded to lose four of their final five games, securing the Cubs' hold on the pennant.
Following his playing career, Brown served as a coach and North Carolina-based scout for the Red Sox organization from 1947 through 1989. He was the Major League pitching coach for the 1965 Red Sox, serving on the staff of manager Billy Herman, who was the Cubs' starting second baseman in the "Homer in the Gloamin'" game.
As a spring training coach for the Red Sox, Mace worked with both pitchers and catchers. Among the latter was Carlton Fisk who credited Mace with teaching him technical and leadership skills that stayed with him throughout his career.
Brown died in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the age of 92.
References[edit | edit source]
- "Homer In The Gloamin'". mlb.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070720&content_id=2099223&vkey=news_chc&fext=.jsp&c_id=ch. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- "Mace Brown". Baseball in Wartime. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. https://web.archive.org/web/20080408154152/http://www.garybed.co.uk/player_biographies/brown_mace.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
- Spink, J.G. Taylor, with Lanigan, Ernest, Rickart, Paul A., and Kachline, Clifford, Baseball Guide and Record Book 1947. St. Louis: Charles C. Spink and Son, 1947, page 60
- Wilson, Doug (2015) Pudge: The Biography of Carlton Fisk, New York: St. Martin’s Press, pages 43-44
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Van Blair, Rick (1994). Dugout to Foxhole: Interviews with Baseball Players Whose Careers Were Affected by World War II. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Publishers.
[edit | edit source]
- Baseball Almanac
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
|Boston Red Sox pitching coach
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