Gates Brown passed away today at the age of 74.
William James Brown was born on May 2, 1939. He played with the Tigers for 13 years - 1963-1975. He was the first African-American to play for the Tigers. He played outfield, first base and DH. He batted left handed and threw right handed. His lifetime average was .257.
On June 19, 1963, Gates became the 11th American League player to hit a home run in his first at bat. He was best known for his pinch hitting. He holds the American League record for the most pinch hit at bats. In 1968, his average as a pinch hitter was .450. He led the AL twice in pinch hits in '68 and '74. On September 7, 1968, he decided to get two hot dogs when he was called to pinch hit. He put the hot dogs down his shirt. He hit the ball and slid into second with a double. He got up to find he had mustard, ketchup and hot dogs all over him.
He was instrumental in teaching the art of the baseball game to Willie Horton. In 1984, he was the hitting coach for the Tigers as they won the World Series that year.
Edited by: PATTYKLAVER at: 9/27/2013 (18:06)
God grant me the serenity to change the things I can, to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.
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