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www.wmfd.com - Crestline native Gates Brown, a clutch pinch hitter for the Detroit Tigers, dies at 74. }}" />

   
 
 
Gates Brown Tigers Clutch Pinch Hitter Passes at 74

Story By: Jeff Alan

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 9/29/2013

Crestline native Gates Brown, one of the most productive pinch hitters in MLB history died Friday at the age of 74. Brown had been in the hospital the past several weeks with complications from diabetes. Brown attended Crestline High School from 1954-1957 playing football, baseball and basketball. He signed his first pro contract in 1960. His first major league hit, a home run came when he was a 24 year old rookie on June 19th, 1963 in his first major league at bat at Fenway Park. Brown would go onto play 13 seasons with the Tigers from 1963-1975. His most notable year was 1968, when he hit .450 as a pinch hitter. That season he had 92 at bats in 67 games hitting .370 overall. As a team the Tigers would defeat the St.Louis Cardinals in the '68 World Series four games to three. "Gator" often batted for the pitcher in the years before the designated hitter was adopted by the American League in 1973. Brown still holds the AL record for most hits by a pinch hitter at 107 in 414 at bats. He also holds the record for the most pinch hit home runs in the AL with 16. Brown also holds the MLB record for most RBI's by a pinch hitter at 74. Gates also picked up another World Series ring with the Tigers in 1984 as the teams batting coach when Detroit stopped San Diego in five games. In 1964 and 1973 he appeared enough times to be considered an everyday player. In 2009, Crestline High School honored Gates Brown by naming the baseball and softball fields after the Detroit slugger. Over the course of his career "The Gator" had a .257 average in 1,051 games, with 84 home runs and 322 runs batted in.

There will be a memorial service for Gates Brown at Crestline High School on Saturday, October 5th. Visitation/viewing will be from 8 to 11 with the service beginning at 11. The service is open to the public. Following the service, burial will take place at Green Lawn Cemetary in Crestline.

The Gates Brown Appreciation Night will be held on Saturday, October 5th at Shenanigan's (the old American Legion)at 4 to 7pm. The dinner can be takeout or sit down. There is no cost for the meal. Donations will be accepted. A silent/live auction will begin at 5:30 with the dinner and program beginning at 7pm.

   
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