Monday, April 18, 2011

#33 Jackie Brandt

#33 Jackie Brandt
Alright! Seems like a while since I've posted one of my Orioles. This is one of three O's in the batch that allowed me to complete the team set. In searching for information about Jackie Brandt, I found this great cover photo from the April 10, 1961 issue of Sports Illustrated. I love the Internet.

Fun facts about Jackie Brandt:

-A native of Omaha, NE, Jackie signed with the Cardinals at age 18 in 1953.

-He breezed through the St. Louis farm system in three years, making the major league roster in the spring of 1956 after hitting .305 with 62 extra-base hits at AAA Rochester. He held his own in limited playing time, batting .286 for the first two months of the season. Frank Lane, the notoriously deal-happy Cards' GM, traded him to the Giants that June as part of a nine-player deal. Given a larger opportunity to play, he hit .299 with 11 home runs in 98 games with San Francisco.

-Brandt missed 1957 and most of the 1958 season thanks to military duty. He hit .270 with a dozen home runs as the Giants' left fielder in 1959 and won a Gold Glove.

-He found himself in new environs again in 1960 following a trade to Baltimore. He would be an everyday player for five of his six seasons as an Oriole, and enjoyed a career year in 1961: .297 AVG, .371 OBP, 93 R, 16 HR, 72 RBI. He was selected to the All-Star Games that summer.

-Jackie set personal bests with 29 doubles, 19 homers, and 75 RBI in 1962.

-His teammates called him "Flakey". Popular anecdotes abound: once in New York he claims to have convinced some of his pals to take an hourlong cab ride to an ice cream parlor so he could get a more exotic flavor than the standard hotel fare. Once he got there, he couldn't decide, so he got vanilla. Other examples can be found in this article.

-As his production dipped around age 30, the O's replaced Brandt with the younger Paul Blair. Jackie finished his big league career with short stints in Philadelphia and Houston in 1966-1967. In parts of 11 big league seasons he hit .262 with 112 home runs and 485 RBI.

-He dabbled in the Astros' minor league system through the 1970 season, even pitching in a few games. From 1971-1974 he was a minor league manager for Houston and San Diego.

-After his baseball career ended, he returned home to Omaha and became a driver for UPS.

-Jackie claimed in an interview that he once played 36 holes of golf with some friends who were visiting from out-of-town, and proceeded to go 7-for-8 in a doubleheader that same evening (2 2B, 2 HR, 3 1B)! This sounds like a case for the Baseball-Reference game logs. I checked his home run log to see which home runs came in doubleheaders. He hit a homer in each end of a doubleheader on August 7, 1960, but went "only" 4-for-11. Likewise, there was a two-homer game in the nightcap of an April 22, 1961 twinbill against the Yankees, but overall he was 4-for-8 on that day. An August 8, 1961 two-fer against the A's looks promising: 2-for-2 with a pair of longballs and a pair of walks in the second game. The first brings us a 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and a sac fly. Overall: 4-for-5, but he reached base 7 times in 9 trips with 4 runs scored and 4 RBI. These are the only three occasions in which he had two homers in a doubleheader. If the story has any merit, the August 8 games against Kansas City would be our best match.
#33 Jackie Brandt (back)


  1. As a person who is a golfer, I find the 36 holes story; fishy. I think completing 36 holes full size regulation would take 8-9 hours at least to complete unless it was a pitch and put par 3 course. Factor in other variables of getting to course and ballpark, waiting, eating something, taking BP I just don't think he could get it in.

  2. The cover photo is great. I love the spareness of the cover and the plain graphics in contrast to the garishness of such things today. Also, note that the magazine was 25cents.

    The Internet makes liars out of a lot of people.

  3. Anon - I figured as much. It's a harmless story anyway.

    Marc - Heck, when I started buying packs of Topps in 1993, they were 15 cards for 79 cents. Simpler times.