Alton Brown (baseball)

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Alton Brown
Born: (1925-04-16)April 16, 1925
Norfolk, Virginia
Died: January 10, 2016(2016-01-10) (aged 90)
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 21, 1951, for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
May 27, 1951, for the Washington Senators
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 0–0
Earned run average 9.26
Strikeouts 7

Alton Leo "Deacon" Brown (April 16, 1925 – January 10, 2016) was a right-handed Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played for the Washington Senators in 1951.


Brown was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. Growing up, he worked the scoreboard for baseball games at Norfolk's Bain Field, but he never played baseball until he served in the military during World War II.[1]

He made his professional debut in 1948, with the Roanoke Rapids Jays, and he spent his first three seasons with the team. He earned an 8–12 win–loss record with a 4.21 earned run average (ERA) in 36 games in the 1948 season. In 1949, he had a 16–12 record with a 3.97 ERA in 38 games. Brown had arguably the best year of his professional career in 1950, as he went 28–11 with a 2.38 ERA in 45 games, allowing 269 hits in 317 innings of work.[2] He led the league in wins and strikeouts (204) and won the league's Most Valuable Player award.[3]

He began the 1951 season with the Senators, making his major league debut on April 21. Brown had a 9.26 earned run average in seven big league appearances, with no decisions. He appeared in his final big league game on May 27, and was sent to the minors, where he went 5–8 with a 6.29 ERA in 22 games (16 starts) for the Chattanooga Lookouts. Brown split 1952 between the Lookouts and Richmond Colts, going 12–10. In 1953 he went 11–8 with a 2.24 ERA in 42 games (13 starts) for the Norfolk Tars.[2] Before the 1954 season, Tars management offered Brown a contract for $250, and after negotiations, settled on a salary of $375.[1] He split that season between the Tars and Shreveport Sports, going a combined 13–6 in 44 games. Brown played his final minor league season in 1955, splitting the year between the Columbus Foxes and San Antonio Missions, finishing with a combined 2–3 mark. Overall, he went 109–76 in 320 minor league games.[2]

Brown managed the Norfolk Tars for part of the 1955 season.[2] After leaving baseball, Brown was a longshoreman on the Norfolk docks.[4] After 20 years as a longshoreman, he suffered disabling injuries in a fall onto a barge.[5] He died at the age of 90 in 2016.[6]


  1. ^ a b Shampoe, Clay; Garrett, Thomas (2003). Baseball in Norfolk, Virginia. Arcadia Publishing. p. 103. ISBN 9780738515007. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Alton Brown Register Statistics & History". Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ Holaday, J. Chris (2006). Professional Baseball in North Carolina: An Illustrated City-by-City History, 1901-1996. McFarland. p. 143. ISBN 9780786425532. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Living WWII baseball veterans" (PDF). Baseball in Wartime Newsletter (41). January 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  5. ^ Marazzi, Rich; Fiorito, Len (2003). Baseball Players of the 1950s: A Biographical Dictionary of All 1,560 Major Leaguers. McFarland. p. 47. ISBN 9781476604299. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  6. ^ Alton Brown obituary

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