Saturday, September 28, 2013

RIP - Gates Brown

1960s Detroit Tigers' pinch-hitter extraordinaire Gates Brown passed away on 9/27/2013 at age 74 from a heart attack. He had been suffering from diabetes and heart trouble.

Brown had a 13-year playing career (1963-75, all with the Tigers), and was Detroit's hitting coach following his playing career.

Gates batted .370 during the Tigers' 1968 championship season (.450 as a pinch-hitter), and appeared in the World Series. He was also a coach for the team during their 1984 World Series season.

From the Detroit News story linked below:

Brown contributed one of the Tigers’ great all-time moments in 1968. Usually manager Mayo Smith called on him to pinch hit in the seventh inning or later. But on this occasion Smith needed a pinch hitter in the fifth inning and called upon Brown, who had received his nightly stash of hot dogs from the clubhouse boy. He quickly got up and stuffed the hot dogs in his jersey.
Brown hit a double and after sliding into second base he had hot dog and mustard all over his uniform as teammates howled. Smith fined Brown $100.
“What the hell are you doing eating on the bench?” Smith howled. “I was hungry,” Brown replied. 
Story from The Detroit News

New York Times obituary

USA Today obituary