Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Raymond Brown was a dominant pitcher for Santa Clara from '36-39

Feb. 23: On this day in 1908, Negro leagues star Raymond Brown was born in Ashland Grove, Ohio.

Brown, who played most of his career with the Homestead Grays, played five seasons in Cuba, three with powerful Santa Clara between 1936-39.

Brown is shown in this photo that was up for auction at Cuban Baseball Cards in September 2010 with his children (also dressed in Santa Clara uniforms) during the 1936-37 season. That season, he went 21-4, including throwing a no-hitter.

Despite Brown's efforts -- according to Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961 -- the Leopardos finished second, a game behind Cuban League-champion Marianao after losing a three-game playoff series. Marianao had forced the tie-breaking series by sweeping Santa Clara in the final three games of the regular season.

The next season, Santa Clara, with Brown going 12-5, won the pennant. The team followed with a second pennant in 1938-39 as Brown went 11-7.

Brown was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

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