Asa Brainard

From BR Bullpen

Asa Brainard.jpg

Asahel Brainard

  • Bats Unknown, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 150 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

“Asa Brainard was the pitcher, and at his shoe latches every ball fan of the period worshipped. He was adept in the art of tossing the ball to the batsman – the pitcher’s delivery was a ‘toss’ in those days, and Asa’s toss had all sorts of twists with it; twists that evaded the onslaught of the batsman and rendered him incapable of inflicting an assault on the sphere beyond pop flies.” - Harry Wright

Asa Brainard was the starting pitcher on the great 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. One of the highest-paid players on the first openly professional team, his regular occupation was listed as "insurance".

Brainard had played cricket for the American Cricket Club in 1861 and 1862, and played baseball as early as 1861 and 1862 with the Brooklyn Excelsiors and Brooklyn Atlantics. He pitched on the day that teammate Jim Creighton hit a home run and, in doing so, injured himself in a way that caused his death four days later. Creighton had been with Brainard as a teammate on both baseball clubs and on the cricket club. Brainard later pitched for the amateur Washington Nationals and came over in 1868 to join the Red Stockings.

Probably the best pro pitcher in 1869, he was not the same by the time he entered the National Association. He umpired a couple of games in the circuit, one in 1872 and the other in 1875.

After his baseball days, he held some government jobs and then worked as the superintendent of the Markham Hotel billiard room in Denver. His father-in-law had been president of the National Bank of Commerce in New York City. Asa died of pneumonia in 1888.

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