Mordecai Peter Centennial “Three Finger” Brown
Born: October 19, 1876 - Nyesville, IN
Died: February 14, 1948 - Terre Haute, IN
MLB Pitching Record: 239–130
Managerial Record: 50–63
St. Louis Cardinals NL (1903)
Chicago Cubs NL (1904–1912, 1916)
Cincinnati Reds NL (1913)
St. Louis Terriers FL (player-manager: 1914)
Brooklyn Tip-Tops FL (1914)
Chicago Whales FL (1915)
One of the most dominant pitchers of the Deadball Era, “Three Finger” Mordecai Brown won at least 20 games on six different occasions and won at least 12 games over another five seasons. Brown turned a serious childhood injury to his throwing hand to his advantage, working to develop a mind-boggling curve ball that simply froze batters in their tracks. Besides earning him a nickname, Brown’s injury also allowed him to throw a very deceptive change-up that baffled batters. Brown’s battles against one of our All-Star pitchers, Christy Mathewson, were legendary.
He had a superb season in 1908 when he went 29–9 with a 1.47 ERA, and his 27 wins in 1909 led the National League. His amazing stats include leading the NL in saves four seasons running (1908–1911), shutouts twice (1906, 1910), complete games twice (1909, 1910), ERA (1906), and fielding percentage (1908). Although Brown pitched in many renowned World Series games, he always maintained that his best performance was in the one-game playoff after the Merkle debacle. As his career was winding down, Brown made a brief stop to the Federal League, managing the Terriers for part of the 1914 season, and then finished back in the National League.
After retiring, Brown pitched and managed in the minors until 1920, and later pitched in exhibition games. With 55 career shutouts, World Series Championships in 1907 and 1908, and all of those 20-plus win seasons, “Three Finger” Mordecai Brown was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1949. Unfortunately, the master of the deceptive pitch had passed away the previous year in 1948, and never got the opportunity to address his fans.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html