Brown, Isaac - Ike


Born: April 13, 1942 in Memphis, TN
Died: May 17, 2001 in Memphis, TN

Ike Brown, a popular utilityman for the Detroit Tigers from 1969-74, was considered to be the last player from the Negro Leagues to make it to Major League Baseball. Brown was purchased by the Tigers from the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1961. He had originally signed with St. Louis for $800.

After eight years in the minors he finally made it to the majors in 1969 after batting .356 the first half of that season for Toledo and homering twice in an exhibition game against the Tigers. His first major-league hit was a home run against the Yankees.

In six years with the Tigers, Brown batted .256 in 280 games. He also went 1-for-2 with two RBI in the 1972 American League championship series.

"He was a very popular player with his teammates," said Tigers broadcaster Jim Price, who played three seasons with Brown, "A great role player and also a great fighter. He roomed with Gates Brown, who said Ike would wake up every morning saying, 'It's a beautiful day' whether it was or not. "You have to love a person with that kind of outlook.
"I also remember that Ike loved alligator shoes. He saved up all his shoe coupons that he'd get for doing post-game interviews, then went over to the store and emptied the shelves of alligator shoes.