December 8, 1941|
|Died: September 30, 2008
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|September 6, 1961 for the Washington Senators|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1975 for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||461|
|Career highlights and awards|
Edwin Albert Brinkman (December 8, 1941 – September 30, 2009 was a Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop. He played fifteen years in the MLB, led the American League in games played twice, won a Gold Glove Award at shortstop, and had a career batting average of .224. He was also named to the American League All-Star team in 1973.
Youth in Cincinnati
Brinkman was a high school teammate of Pete Rose at Cincinnati's Western Hills High School. Paul "Pappy" Nohr, the baseball coach at Western Hills, described Rose as "a good ball player, not a Brinkman." Based on their performance in high school, scouts saw Brinkman rather than Rose as the future superstar. When he was a senior, Ed batted .460 and also won 15 games as a pitcher. Brinkman was paid a large (for the time) bonus of $75,000 by the Washington Senators in 1959. Brinkman later said: "Pete always kidded me that the Washington Senators brought me my bonus in an armored truck. Pete said he had cashed his at the corner store."
He was signed in 1961 as an amateur free agent by the Washington Senators.
Major league playing career
He played with the Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees during his fifteen year playing career. Brinkman led the American League in games played twice, won a Gold Glove Award at shortstop, and had a career batting average of .224.
Brinkman was part of an eight-player trade in 1971, which sent himself, third baseman Aurelio Rodríguez and pitchers Joe Coleman and Jim Hannan from the Senators to the Tigers in exchange for Denny McLain, Don Wert, Elliott Maddox, and Norm McRae.
In 1972, he won the "Tiger of the Year" award from the Detroit baseball writers, and finished ninth in American League MVP voting despite a .205 batting average. Brinkman earned the votes for his defensive prowess. He was awarded the Gold Glove in 1972 with a fielding percentage of .990 (23 points above the .967 league average for shortstops). In 1972, Brinkman also had 233 putouts and 495 assists in 156 games at shortstop. On August 5, 1972, Brinkman's error ended his record streak of 72 games and 331 total chances without a miscue.
He has the record for the number of seasons (seven) with more than 400 at-bats, fewer than 15 home runs, and a batting average lower than .230. Since 1930 only one player with 5000+ at-bats has a lower average. He committed a then-record low seven errors in 156 games for the division-winning Tigers in 1972. Even with a .203 average, Brinkman was hailed as one of the team's most valuable players, and he won a Gold Glove that season. Brinkman holds the American League record for the fewest hits in a season while playing a minimum of 150 games, with 82 hits in 1965.
Brinkman was a coach and scout with the Chicago White Sox for 18 years from 1983–2000. He was the team's infield coach (1983–1988) and later became a special assignment scout. He retired after the 2000 season.
Brinkman died on September 30, 2008, due to complications from heart failure.
- William A. Cook, "Pete Rose: Baseball All-Time Hit King"
- David M. Jordan, "Pete Rose: A Biography" (Greenwood Press 2004) 
- BR Bullpen
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference