Just some thoughts:
I find it interesting how some can take what would appear a handicap and turn it into an asset.
He was born not too far from where I lived and grew up. I often heard of him but never really paid much attention. He had a funny nickname. While some called him Brownie, some Mort and some called him Three Fingers Brown.
As a young man he suffered two separate farm accidents to his right hand. One was when he was feeding material into a farm’s feed chopper and got his hand caught in the chopper. With that accident he lost three fingers and then later he fell and broke several finger bones that were never set properly.
As a young man he had a fondness for baseball but hey who can play that game, he was damaged goods. In 1898 he was playing on a semipro team as a third baseman. His team’s pitcher failed to show and his manager put him in to pitch. Very quickly it was noticed he could do something with the spin of that baseball that made it very hard to hit. “It didn’t only curve, it curves and dropped at the same time.”
Well he went on to play in the majors as his most productive years were 1904 to 1912 with the Chicago Cubs. How good was he? Get these stats:
*He won 20 or more games 6 times
*Was part of two World Series championships
*Finished his major league career with a 239-130 record
*2.06 lifetime ERA (Third best ERA in Major Leage history among those in Hall of Fame)
Following his retirement from the majors he returned to his home in Terre Haute, Indiana where he continued to pitch in minor leagues and exhibition games. If fact he last pitched three innings at the age of 51. I was told by locals that for twenty-five years after he left baseball he ran a filling station in Terre Haute that served as a town gathering place.
He died in 1948 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Upon the trips my son and I would make to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown I would always make it a point to find and read his plaque.
Isn’t it interesting how some people just learn how to do more with less. Ole Three Fingers Mordecai Brown certainly did.
“Hey he can’t pitch, he’s only got three fingers.”
July 3, 2018
Posted August 24, 2018