Dependable 'Skinny' Brown brings stability to Hall of Fame rotation


Hal "Skinny" Brown, who provided stability during the formative years, is the latest addition to the Orioles' Hall of Fame.

A righthander, Brown compiled a 62-48 record with the Orioles from 1955-1962. He is 10th on the club's all-time list with 1,312 innings pitched.

Brown was the Orioles' most dependable pitcher during the years when Paul Richards was developing his "Kiddie Korps" in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

After going 0-4 in his first season in Baltimore, Brown had a winning record in seven of the next eight seasons. He had his best year in 1960, the first time the Orioles challenged for a pennant. Brown was 12-5 with a 3.06 earned run average that season, and he walked only 22 batters in 159 innings.

In 1961 Brown set a club record by pitching 36 straight scoreless innings. That mark still stands as a record for one season, and is surpassed only by the 41 straight scoreless innings compiled by Gregg Olson in 1989-90.

Brown, whose major-league record was 85-92, broke into the big leagues with the Chicago White Sox in 1952 and also pitched for the Red Sox before joining the Orioles midway through the 1955 season. His major-league debut was an auspicious one as he not only beat Bob Feller, but also hit a home run off the Hall of Fame righthander.

The Orioles sold Brown to the Yankees in the final month of the 1962 season. He later concluded his career with the Houston Colt 45s (forerunners of the Astros), rejoining Richards, who left the Orioles to become Houston's general manager.

Brown is the 22nd member of the Orioles' Hall of Fame, the third selected by the veterans committee. To be eligible for selection by this committee, a candidate must have ceased serving in his capacity at least 20 years prior to his nomination.


* Righthander Jeff Robinson, obtained from Detroit in the trade for catcher Mickey Tettleton, was in attendance yesterday as the Orioles previewed the 1990 World Series film.

* Outfielder Benny Distefano, who has played parts of four seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates without distinction, has been signed to a Rochester contract. A lefthanded hitter, Distefano, 29, played in Japan with the Chunichi Dragons last year, hitting only .215, with five home runs in 181 at-bats. With the Pirates in 1984-86-88-89, Distefano hit .227 in 300 at-bats.

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