Ray Brown (Negro leagues pitcher)
February 23, 1908|
|Died: February 8, 1965
|Negro Leagues debut|
|1930, for the Dayton Marcos|
|1948, for the Homestead Grays|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
Raymond Brown (February 23, 1908 – February 8, 1965) was an American right-handed pitcher in Negro league baseball, almost exclusively for the Homestead Grays. Brown was most notable for many pitching accomplishments. While he was considered a very good pinch hitter and a solid bat, his arm earned him high praise. In February 2006, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Born in Alger, Ohio, he had a large variety of pitches in his arsenal, but his best pitch was known to be his curveball. Brown would fire the curveball at a batter no matter what the count was, having supreme confidence in that pitch. Brown played for Cum Posey's Grays from 1932 to 1945. Brown married Posey's daughter, Ethel. In 1944, he went 9–3 for the champion Grays, and threw a one-hit shutout in the Negro World Series to put them on top of the African-American baseball world. In 1945, he threw a seven-inning perfect game.
But after his long solid stint with the Grays, he opted to play in Mexico and in the Canadian Provincial League in his final years. In those years, he continued to dominate most batters, leading Sherbrooke to a title in the Provincial League. He also pitched a no-hitter for Santa Clara of the Cuban Winter League, a baseball sanctuary, at that time, for many black players during the winter season. Brown also helped them to the Cuban title that year (1936).
The records that were taken show an excellent 109–30 (.762 winning percentage) record by the end of Brown's career. It made him fifth in the league's all-time win list.
Like most great Negro Leaguers, Brown managed as well later on in his career. He was one of five black players mentioned as being of major league caliber in a 1938 wire sent to the Pittsburgh Pirates by the Pittsburgh Courier. The other four were Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Cool Papa Bell and Satchel Paige.
Brown died at age 56 in Dayton, Ohio.