Sunday, February 28, 2010
#203) LEON BROWN
Leon Brown was traded by the San Francisco Giants to the New York Mets in exchange for Bob Gallagher on March 16, 1976. The fleet-footed outfielder started the season with the Triple-A Tidewater Tides. Leon had spent ten years in the minor leagues before making his major league debut with the New York Mets on May 19, 1976. He appeared as a pinch-hitter leading off the 9th inning facing Philadelphia at Shea Stadium. Brown would stroke a double to right field off the Phillies, Gene Garber in his first major league at-bat. The charismatic reserve outfielder was often used as a pinch-runner during his single season with the Mets. A year that proved to be Leon's only one in the major leagues. He was traded along with Brock Pemberton to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Ed Kurpiel on December 9, 1976.
While in the Giants farm system Brown was married and had a notable friend capturing the ceremony. "I was the photographer with a video camera at his wedding," Dusty Baker, major league player and manager said, "No kidding, I was. Never done it before. But, he couldn't afford a real photographer so I did it. You should see all the shots of the floor and ceiling that I got for him."
After retiring from baseball, Leon became a member of the Arizona Major League Alumni Association. Serving as a committee member and infield skills instructor for the organization. He has been featured along with fellow former Met, Lou Klimchock at many schools in the Phoenix area working with local youth clinics and various other charity functions.
I created Leon Brown's card in the set from a signed item returned from an autograph request sent to his home on November 18, 2005.