John George Brandt Jr. (born April 28, 1934 in Omaha, Nebraska) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent before the 1953 season, and played for the Cardinals (1956), New York Giants (1956), San Francisco Giants (1958–1959), Baltimore Orioles (1960–1965), Philadelphia Phillies (1966–1967), and Houston Astros (1967).
Brandt made his major league debut on April 21, 1956 against the Milwaukee Braves at Sportsman's Park, then was traded to the New York Giants almost two months later. He had a very good rookie season, batting .298 in 125 games with 12 home runs and 50 runs batted in. In 1959 he won a Gold Glove for his stellar play as the San Francisco Giants regular left fielder, then was traded to Baltimore, where he would have his most productive years.
His best season was 1961, when he was named to the American League All-Star team. Brandt finished ninth in the A.L. batting race with a .297 average, and he had career highs in hits (153), at bats (516), runs batted in (72), runs scored (93), and on-base percentage (.371). The Orioles had a great year, winning 95 games and only losing 67.
One of the most famous games he was ever involved in took place at Memorial Stadium on September 12, 1964. He drove in the only run in a rare battle of complete game one-hitters between Orioles left-hander Frank Bertaina and Kansas City Athletics southpaw Bob Meyer. Teammate Bob Saverine entered the 0-0 game in the bottom of the 8th as a pinch runner for John Orsino, who had doubled, advanced to third on a Bertaina sacrifice bunt and then scored when Brandt hit a clutch sacrifice fly to right field.
Career totals include 1,221 games played, 1,020 hits, 112 home runs, 485 runs batted in, 540 runs scored, a .262 batting average, and a slugging percentage of .412.
As a Phillie, Brandt was the last player to bat against Sandy Koufax during a regular-season game, striking out for the final out of the 1966 season finale.
By Dean Hanley
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