Bruton in 1955.
December 22, 1925|
|Died: December 5, 1995
|Batted: Left||Threw: Right|
|April 13, 1953 for the Milwaukee Braves|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1964 for the Detroit Tigers|
|Runs batted in||545|
|Career highlights and awards|
William Havon Bruton (December 22, 1925 – December 5, 1995) was a Major League Baseball center fielder who played for the Milwaukee Braves in 1953 through 1960, and for the Detroit Tigers in 1961 through 1964. Bruton batted left-handed and threw right-handed. Bruton was born in Panola, Alabama, and was the son-in-law of Negro Leagues legend Judy Johnson.
As a teammate of Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, Lew Burdette, Johnny Logan, Eddie Mathews, Red Schoendienst, Warren Spahn and Bobby Thomson, Bruton was the leadoff hitter, the chief base stealer and the center fielder for the powerful Milwaukee Braves teams of 1956 through 1960.
Bruton started his career right after the Braves franchise moved from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953. He became an immediate hero when his 10th-inning home run gave the Braves a 3–2 victory over St. Louis in Milwaukee's first major league game.
In 1957, a serious knee injury knocked him out of the second half the season - and hence the chance to play in the World Series, which the Braves won in seven games over the New York Yankees. But he came back in good form with the pennant-winning 1958 Braves. He was also their leading hitter (.412) in the 1958 World Series, which the Braves lost in seven games to the Yankees. Then in 1959, Bruton led off for the Braves who tied for the National League pennant with the Los Angeles Dodgers but lost to the eventual world champions in two straight games in the best-of-three pennant playoff series.
He clouted three triples in one game during the 1959 season, two with the bases loaded, which was the only time that any National League hitter hit two triples in one game during the 20th century. (Duane Kuiper did it in the American League for the Cleveland Indians. Bruton played for eight seasons with the Braves before being traded to the Detroit Tigers, where he spent four seasons covering center field between slugging corner outfielders Al Kaline and Rocky Colavito, retiring in after the 1964 season.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (February 2013)|
In his twelve-year major league career, he posted an overall .273 batting average with 94 home runs and 545 RBI in 1610 games. A line-drive hitter and a fleet-footed runner, Bruton led the National League in stolen bases for three consecutive seasons (1953 through 55), twice in triples (1956 & 1960), and once in runs scored (1960). He led off a game with a home run twelve times.
Bruton's milestones include the following:
- tied for the Northern League lead in games played (124), and led the league in at bats (545), runs (126), and batting average (.325) while playing for the Eau Claire Bears in 1950
- led the Western League with 27 triples while playing for the Denver Bears in 1951
- tied for the American Association lead in games played (154), at bats (650), runs (130), hits (211), and outfield assists (22) while playing for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1952
In 1991, Bruton was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.
- List of Major League Baseball players with 100 triples
- List of Major League Baseball triples champions
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- List of Major League Baseball stolen base champions
- List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
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- Specific citations
- "Tareyton delivers the flavor...". Ebony. August 1961. Retrieved 2013-02-06.
- General references
- 1955 Baseball Register, published by The Sporting News
- Baseball Library - Profile and highlights
- Baseball Reference - Career statistics and analysis
- The Deadball Era