Today’s Leading Off with True Blue LA podcast looks back at one of the more unheralded newsmakers in Dodgers franchise history.
Tommy Brown made his major league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944, during World War II, at the tender age of just 16 years old. He’s the second-youngest player in major league history, and the youngest position player.
Brown struggled mightily during his first two seasons, but again he was super young in the majors. He hit two home runs in 1945, and remains to this day the only player in National League or American League history to homer before turning 18.
After serving a year in the Army in 1946, Brown proved to be a valuable reserve for four more years with Brooklyn, including a three-homer game seemingly out of the blue in September 1950. Brown hit 15 home runs in his six years with Brooklyn.
- Bill Traugher’s interview with Brown at SABRgraphs
- Brown’s SABR bio, written by C. Paul Rogers III
- Eddie Basinski, who like Brown was one of many shortstops the Dodgers tried in the three years Pee Wee Reese was in the Navy, was profiled in a previous Dodgers rewind in January
Episode link (time: 16:33)