Former Tiger Gates Brown dies at 74

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Gates Brown, an outfielder who played his entire 13-year major league career with the Detroit Tigers, has died. He was 74.

The team confirmed Brown's death Friday.

Brown, jailed for armed robbery in Ohio before starting his baseball career, played on Detroit's 1968 team that won the World Series, and was part of another title with the Tigers in 1984 as a batting coach.

Brown never played more than 125 games in a season, but he made a nice contribution during the title year of `68, when he hit .370 in 67 games. He ended up playing 1,051 games in his career, finishing with a .257 average and 84 home runs.

His career with the Tigers began in 1963, a few years after his prison term. He'd been helped by a prison guard who had noticed his ability.

He hit a career-high 15 home runs in 123 games in 1964 and was known for his pinch-hitting ability. In 1968, he hit two walk-off homers as a pinch-hitter against Boston. That feat -- two pinch-hit, walk-off homers against the same team -- was matched this year when Cleveland's Jason Giambi did it against the Chicago White Sox.

Brown still holds the Tigers' all-time record for hits by a left-handed pinch hitter with 18.

Earlier this season, Brown was among the group of players who gathered at Comerica Park for a 45th anniversary celebration of the 1968 championship.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Print this article Back to Top