Hector Harold Brown (born December 11, 1924), nicknamed "Skinny", is a former pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1951 through 1964 for the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, and Houston Colt .45s. He batted and threw right-handed; nicknamed by his parents because he was a chubby child, Brown weighed 180 pounds (82 kg) and stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall during his active career.
A knuckleballer with an outstanding control, Brown pitched both as a starter and a reliever. He reached the Majors in 1951 when the White Sox purchased his contract from the Triple-A Seattle Rainiers. He spent two years with them before moving to the Red Sox, the team that had originally signed him to a pro contract in 1946. Brown enjoyed a good season with Boston in 1953, going 11–6 in 25 starts. He joined the Baltimore Orioles in 1955 midseason, winning 34 games for them from 1956 to 1959. His most productive season came in 1960, when he had a 12–5 mark with a career-low 3.06 ERA. The next year he ended 10–6 and 3.19, pitching 36 shutout innings to set a team record.
Brown pitched briefly for the Yankees in 1962, then was purchased by the Colt .45s at the end of the season. It was the third time that Houston general manager Paul Richards, who managed Brown in Seattle in 1950, had acquired the right-handed pitcher — he had done so in 1951 when Richards managed the White Sox and in 1955 when he was both general manager and field manager with the Orioles.
With Houston in 1963, Brown was a victim of poor run support, as he walked just eight batters in 141 innings and posted a 3.31 ERA, but tallied just a 5–11 record. In 1964, his last major league season, he finished 3–15 despite a decent 3.95 ERA.
In a 14-season major league career, Brown posted an 85–92 record with a 3.81 ERA in 358 appearances, including 211 starts, 47 complete games, 13 shutouts, 11 saves, 1,680 innings pitched, and a 1.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio (710-to-389). He collected only 14 hit by pitches and 37 wild pitches.
By Dean Hanley
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