Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Sunday, August 8, 2010

1976 Topps #519 - Steve Brye

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  • Steve Brye was the #1 draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 1967. He played in the minors from 1967-1971 and led the Southern Association with a .307 batting average in 1970. Steve was brought up to the Twins for the last part of the 1970 season and was 2 for 11 (.182) in nine games.
  • Brye played for AAA Portland in 1971 and batted .340 in 128 games. He was brought up to the Twins at the end of the 1971 season and started in left field for most of the remainder of the season. Steve batted .224 with 3 HR in 28 games for the Twins in '71.
  • For the next two years Brye was mostly used as a fourth outfielder and pinch hitter. In 1972 Steve batted .241 in 253 AB and in 1973 he batted .263 with 6 HR in 278 AB.
  • In 1974 Brye was the starting center fielder for the Twins. He batted .283 with 32 doubles in 135 games. In 1975 Steve returned to his role as a backup outfielder (he would be a backup for the rest of his career). Brye batted .252 with a career-high 9 home runs in 246 AB in 1975. Steve batted .264 in 258 AB in 1976. On the last day of the 1976 season Brye was in left field in the bottom of the 9th inning when George Brett hit a ball that he  misplayed into an inside-the-park home run. Brett was neck and neck with teammate Hal McRae for the batting title and he won the title due to that hit. McRae flipped off the Twins bench after the game. McRae later said that he felt that Brye misplayed the ball on purpose and that Twins  manager Gene Mauch had him playing too deep. Rod Carew (who was a teammate of Brye and finished two points behind Brett) said that the racism thing was "a bunch of crap."
  • During spring training in 1977 Steve was purchased by the Milwaukee Brewers. Brye batted .249 with 7 HR in 241 AB for the Brewers in '77. 
  • Brye was released by the Brewers during spring training in 1978. He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 4 and batted .235 in 115 AB. Steve became a free agent after the 1978 season and signed with the San Diego Padres. He played with AAA Hawaii in 1979 but didn't make it back to the major leagues. Steve retired after the 1979 season.
  • Brye played senior baseball for several years in California.
  • Liked to face: Mickey Lolich (.500 in 18 AB); Woodie Fryman (.444 in 18 AB); Wilbur Wood (.372 in 43 AB)
  • Hated to face: Jim Slaton (.067 in 15 AB); Tom Murphy (.077 in 13 AB); Skip Lockwood (.111 in 18 AB)

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