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Pioneers/Executives, Results

Pioneer/Executive #29, Joe Brown

Pirates, 1972I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t familiar with Joe Brown, the guy who replaced Branch Rickey in Rickey’s last GM position in Pittsburgh in 1955. I don’t believe I had heard of him either before we began this process. But Joe Brown was indeed a great general manager.

He led the Pirates for 21 years, from 1955 through the 1976 season and was the architect of the Pittsburgh dynasty that went to the playoffs five times in six years from 1970-1975. He won the World Series in 1960 and 1971, plus he had a lot of influence on the 1979 winners.

Yes, he arrived with Roberto Clemente, but much of the rest of the 1960 champs were acquired under his watch.

Results 29, Joe BrownHe signed some great amateur free agents like Willie Stargell (57.5 WAR for the Pirates), John Candelaria (35.2), Dave Parker (34.7), Manny Sanguillen (28.2), Al Oliver (27.1), Richie Hebner (22.5), Tony Pena (22.3), Bob Veale (21.2), Kent Tekulve (19.6), Richie Zisk (15.7), Doc Ellis (12.8), and Dave Cash (10.2). He traded for 1960 parts Smoky Burgess, Harvey Haddix, and Don Hoak. He signed 1971 star Bob Robertson and drafted 1971 closer Dave Giusti. And for the 1979 winners, he drafted Don Robinson and traded for Bill Robinson. He hired Danny Murtaugh four times, but he didn’t do a great job overall hiring managers.

Oh, and one more thing. When his successor Pete Peterson was fired early in the 1985 season, he was brought on as the interim GM and oversaw the 1985 amateur draft. That’s when the Pirates signed Barry Bonds (50.1 WAR in Pittsburgh).

Joe Brown is now #29 out of 30 in our Pioneer/Executive wing. Two weeks from now, we’re going to finish things off, at least until the Hall elects another.




4 thoughts on “Pioneer/Executive #29, Joe Brown

  1. Great work guys, wondering if harry Dalton will be the next gm up, or maybe he was setup so well in Baltimore that he will fall a bit short.

    Posted by Ryan | April 21, 2017, 11:52 am
    • You’re correct about the second part. That plays a huge role in our decision. While Dalton wasn’t one of our final two, he is certainly close enough that we’ll consider him the next time an Era Committee elects a Pioneer or Executive.

      While I don’t want to give away the 30th entry, I will remind you that the Pio/Exec category is quite broad.

      Thanks for reading!

      Posted by Miller | April 21, 2017, 12:01 pm
  2. A Hoax by any other name would …..

    A couple of name things: one a correction, the other a question. First, the correction: that would be Don Hoak, not Don HoaX, Pirates’ infielder of the 60s. Secondly, the question: In your answer to my comment re the closers’ qulaifications for the Hall, Howard referenced a Red Holtzman. Are you sure of that name? The only Red Holtzman I know of is the Knicks’ coach who guided the team to its only two NBA championships. I know of no one by that name involved in baseball.

    Just sayin’. But keep up the stimulating and good work.

    Gerry Monroy

    Posted by Gerry Monroy | April 21, 2017, 12:25 pm

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