Monday, June 5, 2017
no. 666 - gene brabender
Who is the man: Gene Brabender pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970 (it explains his appearance here in Yankee Stadium as many of the Brewers were photographed in Yankee Stadium for this set). He struggled tremendously, posting a 6.00 ERA in 29 games.
Can ya dig it: This is the fourth straight card with an airbrushed cap and once again we have the bright blue-red painted combination that was some artist's idea of a logoless Angels cap.
Right on: Brabender never pitched for the Angels. He didn't make the club out of spring training in 1971 and again in 1972.
You see that cat Brabender is a bad mother: Brabender, known as "Lurch" for his 6-foot-5 hulking stature, is featured often in Jim Bouton's "Ball Four". When the Seattle Pilots players were thinking up nicknames for the jovial Brabender, catcher Larry Haney mentioned how he saw Brabender bend in half the stakes that were used to pound in bases. Pitcher Gary Bell then suggested they call Brabender "Sir".
Shut your mouth: Both Brabender and his Orioles teammate Brooks Robinson liked to tell a story about when some players went out to dinner and were served by an obnoxious waiter in New York. The players didn't leave much of a tip and the waiter confronted the players about it. Brabender put his hand on the waiter's shoulder and said, "How far do you want to get tipped?"
No one understands him but his woman: Brabender was the first Wisconsin native to play for the Brewers.
(A word about the back): Brabender's expansion victories record of 13 was equaled in 1977 by the Blue Jays' Dave Lemanczyk and then surpassed in 1998 by both the Diamondbacks' Andy Benes and the Devil Rays' Rolando Arrojo when each won 14 games.