Leaguer of the Month
first baseman Buck Leonard was injured in the first two games of
the series so Brown played first, fielded flawlessly and belted
Born: February 23, 1908 in Ohio
Died: 1968 in Ohio
Ht: 6'-2"", Wt: 210
Batted both and threw right.
Positions: pitcher, outfield, pitcher
Teams: Homestead Grays, Detroit Wolves, Mexico, Canada
Ray Brown was one of the most versatile players in the Negro Leagues,
and during the 1930s was often mentioned as one of a handful of
players to be considered in integrating the Majors. Baseball writers
in Washington D.C. often wondered in print how much the hapless
Senators would improve with the addition of Homestead Grays
players Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard and Brown.
Brown was first and foremost a great pitcher, the ace of the Homestead
Grays of the 1930s and 40s, and usually among the lead leaders
in wins. Brown had a great fastball and sharp curve, comparable
to Bert Blyleven.
Brown was doubly valuable because he could hit for average and
power from both sides of the plate.
Brown married the daughter of Homestead Grays owner Cum
Posey in the early 1930s, and it was with the Grays that Brown
stayed most of his career.
Brown pitched in the 1935 and 1940 East-West games, allowing two
earned runs in 7 innings*.
In 1936, Candy Jim Taylor chose a Negro National League All-Star
team to enter the Denver Post Tournament, and he picked Brown
on a pitching staff with Sam Streeter, Satchel Paige, and Big
Bob Griffith, and position players Buck Leonard, Double Duty Radcliffe,
Josh Gibson, Sammy T. Hughes, Chester Williams, Felton Snow, Vic
Harris, Cool Papa Bell, Jack Marshall and Wild Bill Wright.
The Negro League stars cruised through the tournament without
losing a single game.
When not pitching, Brown played first base and outfield. Brown
was a key reason the Grays won 9 Negro National League pennants
in a row.
The Grays won the 1943 Negro League World Series versus the Birmingham
Black Barons, and in '44 they repeated the feat with Brown playing
a major role.
game four, Brown took the mound and tossed a one-hitter, the only
blemish being a single to Double Duty Radcliffe.
Brown was a husky player, with great power to all fields, and
in his prime, he usually exceeded 20 wins and 20 homers a season.
Mexico, Brown was a star and in Cuba he won 46 of 66 decisions,
a .697 winning percentage!
information gathered from "Black Baseball's Showcase,"
by Larry Lester. Check
the link on the home page to purchase book.