Pitcher, Baseball Player
1909 – 2002
Who was Mace Brown?
Mace Stanley Brown was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a relief pitcher. From 1935 through 1946, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox. Brown posted a 76–57 record with a 3.46 ERA and 44 saves in 387 appearances.
Brown was also a javelin thrower who attended the University of Iowa on a track scholarship. He started his professional baseball career after college. In 1934, he won 19 games for the Tulsa Oilers of the Texas League and was purchased by the Pirates in November.
Brown was one of the first full-time relief pitchers in major league history. In 1938, he led the Pirates with 15 wins, led the National League with 51 games pitched, and became the first reliever to play the All-Star Game. In 1943, with the Red Sox, he also led the American League in games pitched with 49.
However, he is also known for giving up the Homer in the Gloamin', the home run that cost the Pirates their lead in the 1938 National League pennant race. On September 28, 1938, the Pirates were playing the Chicago Cubs, who trailed the Pirates by just one-half game in the league standings. Brown entered the game with the teams tied 5–5 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Darkness was falling fast, and the Cubs' Wrigley Field had no lights, meaning the game could end in a tie. But Gabby Hartnett soon smacked a pitch from Brown over the left-center field wall, giving the Cubs the victory and propelling them into first place. The Pirates proceeded to lose four of their final five games, securing the Cubs' hold on the pennant.
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