Leaguer of the Month
Dave "Lefty" Brown
aka Lefty Wilson
Born: 1896? in Texas
Ht:5-10", Wt: 170
Batted right and threw left.
Teams: Dallas Black Giants, Chicago American Giants, New York
Lincolns, Gilkerson's Union Giants, Little Falls (MN), Bertha
Fisherman(MN), Pipestone Black Sox (MN)
are a lot of question marks regarding Dave Brown's life and career:
Did he kill a man in the 1920s? Did he play under various names?
When did he retire? When and how did he die?
facts regarding Brown, however, are not in dispute. He was one
of the finest lefthanders the Negro Leagues ever produced, good
enough to be voted the 6th greatest pitcher in Negro League history
in a 1952 Pittsburgh Courier poll, trailing only Joe Williams,
Satchel Paige, Bullet Rogan, Bill Foster and John Donaldson (only
Donaldson is not in the Hall of Fame!)
had a blazing fastball, a knee-bending curve and pinpoint control.
Brown won nearly 75% of his decisions in the early 1920s with
the Chicago American Giants and New York Lincolns, and was a top
pitcher in Cuba.
He was very popular with his teammates, but also seemed to be
able to find trouble wherever he played.
reportedly was involved in robberies and a deadly bar fight, afterwhich
he became a fugitive from justice and played semipro ball in the
Midwest for years, always a step ahead of the law.
played under the name "Lefty Wilson" for various town
teams, usually integrated, in Minnesota, including Pipestone,
Wanda, Ivanhoe, Bertha and Little Falls.
Against semipro teams, it was not unusual for Brown to strike
out 12-15 batters without a walk. At the same time, John Donaldson
also pitched for several Minnesota semipro teams and games in
which they faced each other are still stuff of legend! As many
as 5000 people packed into small town ballparks to watch two of
the greatest black lefthanders in history (scroll down to see
the Bertha ballpark).
suggest that Brown died under strange circumstances in the early
1930s in the Denver area.
is a fine article called THE
PIPESTONE BLACK SOX by Alan Muchlinski and David Muchlinski about
Lefty Brown and Minnesota semipro baseball.