The greatest Indians manager of them all, Lou Brown, dies at 70

By Joe L. Brown

CLEVELAND — Lou Brown, the gravelly voiced manager who led the Cleveland Indians to their first pennant in more than 40 years in 1988 has died after an ongoing battle with cancer. He was 70.

Brown, whose belief in calisthenics, sound un-flashy glove work and downright loathing of contract squabbles, kept him at the helm of the Toledo Mud Hens for 30 years, was hired for the job by General Manager Charlie Donovan, who had been promoted after the death of owner Donald Phelps.

Un-beknownst to Brown and Donovan, owner Rachel Phelps had intended to produce a team worthy of re-locating to Miami, but it was Brown’s daring managerial style and an eclectic mix of veterans and unknown talent like Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano and Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn that led the Indians to the AL East title for the first time since 1954.

Brown’s Tribe defeated the New York Yankees in a playoff game on a bunt by catcher Jake Taylor, which meant the team finished with a 93-70 record in his dream season. Brown told reporters that “there are two or three potential all-stars” on his roster, but it was his managing of that talent that was vital for the Tribe’s success. One example? Brown discovered that Vaughn’s wildness was a result of poor eyesight, propelling the former California Penal Leaguer into one of the game’s greatest success stories.

Brown often admitted that he wasn’t “one for inspirational addresses” and he was known for wasting sports writers’ time when they irked him. One of his great thrills in life was a simple one, grilling burgers.

Ok, enough of that … all that needs to be said is that the greatest manager of them all, Lou Brown, aka James Gammon, has died at age 70.

Read all about Gammon’s career for real by clicking here.

All right people, we got 10 minutes ’til game time, let’s all gather ’round. I’m not much for giving inspirational addresses, but I’d just like to point out that every newspaper in the country has picked us to finish last. The local press seems to think that we’d save everyone the time and trouble if we just went out and shot ourselves. Me, I’m for wasting sportswriters’ time. So I figured we ought to hang around for a while and see if we can give ’em all a nice big shitburger to eat!


“We’re outta towels and I’m too old to go diving into lockers.”

“It’s my kinda team, Charlie. It’s my kinda team.”

“Come on Dorn, get in front of the damn ball! Don’t give me this olĂ© bullshit!”

“I dunno… let me get back to you Charlie. I got a guy on the other line about some whitewalls.”

“Forget about the curveball, Ricky. Give ’em the heater!”

“Shut up, Dorn!”

“Nice catch Hayes, don’t ever fucking do it again.”

“You may run like Mays, but you hit like shit.”

Additional stories:

The Los Angeles Times Obituary

The Los Angeles TimesBlog item — Obituary

Yahoo! Sports — Big League Stew

Other links:

James Gammon on IMDB

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