NEW YORK – On the first-ever Senior Day at Yankee Stadium on the final day of the 1947 season, 22-year-old rookie Bobby Brown looks on wide-eyed from the bench.
Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb were on the field. Joe DiMaggio was not the face of the stadium then, he was a teammate.
Suddenly, the celebration took a dark turn. Hall of Famer John Franklin home run Baker tried to get the batter out and collapsed at first base.
Brown was the only one on the block with medical training. Brown, who was quickly called to care for the 61-year-old Baker, rushed to him and gave him his best advice.
I said to him: Get up, get up! Brown reminded us of this a few years ago. I think it worked.
And for Brown, one of baseball’s most prominent players both on and off the field, it has worked out well.
Bobby Brown played for the Yankees from 1947 to 1954 and won five championships during his eight-year career. He became a crowd favorite and the president of the American League. AP Photo/Preston Stroup, File
Five-time New York Yankees champion. The highest average score in the World Series by anyone with at least 35 times on the floor. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Renowned cardiologist. President of the American League.
Brown died at age 96 on Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas, according to the Yankees. They said he was the last person to play for the team in the 1940s.
Few people who have worn the pinstripes have led such an accomplished, fulfilling and expansive life as Dr. Brown, whom our organization loved for his warmth, kindness and character, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement.
Brown played for the Yankees from 1947 to 1954, with Yogi Berra as his roommate. In total, the third baseman registered an average of 279 runs, 22 homeruns and 237 RBI. Brown was known as an excellent contact hitter, striking out just 88 times in 1863 appearances.
In the World Series, Brown has become a Bronx firebrand.
Just two days after the 1947 Old Man’s Day episode, Brown made his Fall Classic debut as a pinch hitter and scored a run against Brooklyn. Brown went 3-for-3 in the game, including a big RBI double in the 7th.
Brown hit .439 (18-for-41) with five doubles, three triples and nine RBIs in 17 World Series games with a .500 on-base percentage.
Born on the 25th. In October 1924 in Seattle, Brown attended the same high school in San Francisco as DiMaggio. He joined the Navy in 1943 and served in the United States before signing with the Yankees in 1946.
Brown continued his service when he was drafted into the Army Medical Corps in the middle of the 1952 season – when New York still had a crown – and served 19 months in the Korean War. He played in 28 games for the Yankees in May and June 1954 before quitting baseball.
After his career as a player, Brown became a cardiologist at a practice in Fort Worth. In 1974, he was president of the Texas Rangers for part of the season.
Dr. Brown was not only a great baseball player, but also a great gentleman and patriot. We were fortunate to know him, work with him and call him our friend, said former President George W. Bush, who owned the Rangers.
Brown was president of the American League from 1984 to 1994 and was also on the Hall of Fame board during that time.
Commissioner Rob Manfred called him a proud Yankee and a silent star.
Dr. Bobby Brown has lived an extraordinary life with great accomplishments on the baseball field and as a leader in our sport, he said in a statement.
Former commissioner Bud Selig praised Brown’s outstanding baseball life, both on and off the field, adding: He has been a great help to me, both in my years as a club owner and in my years as a baseball commissioner.
It’s obviously a sad day and something of a giant in our sport. There were a lot of different and special things in our game, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Brown, who played at Tulane and received his medical degree there, has continued to motivate in all areas lately. Last year, he spoke with Mark Hamilton, a former Tulane star who later went on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals. He graduated from St. Louis Medical School last spring.
Dr. Brown was my inspiration when I played Major League Baseball as a kid before I went to medical school; my father’s example was not reciprocated, Hamilton said in an email to The Associated Press.
Brown is survived by a son, Dr. Pete Brown; daughters, Beverly Dale and Cady Bailey; 11 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren. Brown’s wife of more than 60 years, Sarah, died in 2012.
The Browns have been a remarkable bunch for decades. During his last visit on Alumni Day 2019, Brown discussed their courtship and gave his future wife advice on how to describe him to her parents.
Tell your mom I’m gonna be a cardiologist. Tell your daddy I’m playing third base for the Yankees.
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