Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Friday, April 2, 2010

1976 Topps #401 - Ken Brett

  • Ken Brett pitched for ten teams from 1967-1981. He is one of four brothers to play pro baseball -- the most famous one is obviously his younger brother George. Ken was drafted in the first round (4th overall pick) by the Boston Red Sox in 1966. He was brought up in September 1967 and allowed one run in two innings in his only outing. An injury to Sparky Lyle allowed Ken to be part of the World Series roster for the Red Sox. Brett pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in two games and is still the youngest pitcher ever to appear in a World Series.

  • Brett missed spring training and the first part of the 1968 season while serving in the Army Reserve. Ken was left in his first game back for nine innings and developed arm trouble which limited his effectiveness. He pitched in nine games in AAA in '68.

  • Ken started the 1969 season with the Red Sox but was sent to AAA after getting hammered (12.91 ERA) in three starts. He came back in September and pitched in five games, including 9.1 innings of shutout ball against the Yankees on September 24. In 1970 Brett was a swingman. He appeared in 41 games (14 of those were starts) and was 8-9 with two saves and a 4.07 ERA.

  • Ken had a few 2-3 week periods in which he didn't pitch in 1971. He ended up 0-3 with 1 save and a 5.34 ERA in 29 games (2 starts) in '71. After the 1971 season Brett was included in a big trade in which he was traded by the Red Sox with Billy Conigliaro, Joe Lahoud, Jim Lonborg, Don Pavletich and George Scott to the Milwaukee Brewers for Pat Skrable (minors), Tommy Harper, Lew Krausse and Marty Pattin.

  • In 1972 Brett was mostly a starter for the Brewers. He went 7-12 with a 4.53 ERA. After the 1972 season Ken was traded by the Brewers with Jim Lonborg, Ken Sanders and Earl Stephenson to the Philadelphia Phillies for Bill Champion, Don Money and John Vukovich.

  • Brett's best season was probably the 1974 season. He was the only representative for the Pirates to the 1974 All Star Game, which is hard to believe considering they won their division that year and had a lot of great players on their club. Ken pitched the 4th and 5th innings without giving up any runs and ended up earning the win. Brett was 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA for the Pirates in '74. Ken also batted .310 during the season, which was higher than six of the eight starting Pirate position players. He pitched 2.1 innings in the NLCS and allowed two runs for a 7.71 ERA.

  • Ken missed a month (late May - late June) of the 1975 season and ended up pitching in only 23 games (16 starts). He went 9-5 with a 3.36 ERA. After the 1975 season Brett was traded to the New York Yankees with Willie Randolph and Dock Ellis for Doc Medich. Ken pitched in only two games for the Yankees before being traded with Rich Coggins to the Chicago White Sox for Carlos May. Ken started 26 games for the White Sox and went 10-12 with a 3.32 ERA.
  • In 1977 Brett started with the White Sox and went 6-4 with a 5.01 ERA in 13 starts. On June 15 he was traded to the California Angels for John Flannery, Don Kirkwood, and John Verhoeven. Ken went 7-10 with a 4.25 ERA in 21 starts for the Angels to finish the 1977 season.
  • Brett was a swingman for the Angels in 1978. He pitched in 31 games (10 starts) and went 3-5 with 1 save and a 4.95 ERA. Ken was released at the end of spring training in 1979. On April 30 the Minnesota Twins signed Brett. Ken had a 4.97 ERA in nine games when he was released on June 4. The injury-riddled Los Angeles Dodgers signed Brett on June 11. He pitched in 30 games for the Dodgers and went 4-3 with two saves and a 3.45 ERA.
  • Ken found humor in all of the moves he made while playing. He did a Miller Lite commercial in which he couldn't remember which town he was in. He finally said at the end, "Utica?" The ad led to a managerial job at Utica in 1985. He then did some broadcasting for the Seattle Mariners (1986) and the Angels (1987-1994). After his time as a broadcaster Ken did some college coaching and was the co-owner of minor league hockey and baseball teams. He also owned a sporting goods company with his brothers in Spokane, WA. Ken Brett died of complications from brain cancer in 2003.
  • Liked to face: Jim Wynn (.000 in 12 AB); Bake McBride (.053 in 19 AB); Darrell Evans (.091 in 22 AB)
  • Hated to face: Hal McRae (.611 with 4 HR in 18 AB); Carmen Fazone (.500 in 18 AB); Al Cowens (.438 in 16 AB)

1 comment:

  1. During his 1 season with the Phillies, Brett was used as a pinch-hitter many times. He had 4 HR and 16 RBI that season.