Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20, 1945: Tommy Brown Becomes The Youngest Player To Go Boomskis In The Major Leagues

     On August 20, 1945, Brooklyn's Tommy Brown became the youngest player in the history of Major League Baseball to park one in the seats, during a 7-1 loss at Ebbets Field. The shortstop who was on the roster because of Pee Wee Reese's service in the military was just 17 years and 257 days old when he tallied the lone Brooklyn run of the game. Brown's seventh inning big fly was served up by Preacher Roe who would make a name for himself as a member of those Brooklyn Dodgers just a few years later. Roe gave up eight hits in the ballgame, with Brown's historic big fly being the only one that truly counted. On the other hand Preacher had an 11 hit attack working for him as he sailed to victory. The big highlight of the day for the Bucs was a two run shot by Babe Dahlgren in the first who set the tone for the day. While the Bucs cruised to victory the 17-year-old was presented with a box of cigars by one of the local sponsors. It had become a custom for them to give a box to any rookie that had hit his first big fly. When his skipper Leo Durocher caught wind of it he confiscated the cigars stating that the kid was too young to smoke. As one paper put it... only Leo... Brown's home run did not grab the headlines, as it was looked at as just a rookie going deep during a blowout. However it was truly historic as no one younger has yet to put one over the fence as a major leaguer. With the current structure of baseball, and the fact that players do not get called to duty, I do think it is safe to say that is one record that will stand the test of time.

     Brown spent a total of nine years on the big league diamond. He was just 16-years-old when he made his debut. By the age of 26 his days in the majors were behind him. According to his SABR bio he played minor league ball for a number of years, before going to work for a factory that made glass for Ford where he worked 35 years before retiring. He is retired now, and calls Brentwood, Tennessee home. I bet he has quite a few tales worth telling from his days on the diamond. Check out the bio here:
http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/7913ae6c

Check out the box score here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BRO/BRO194508200.shtml

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