Jack Brohamer – 1981 Fleer
January 5, 2012
The Last Hurrah…
First off, I wrote something at Bugs & Cranks about the Carlos Zambrano acquisition. Read. Enjoy!
Jack Brohamer, a career barely alive.
He came into my consciousness sometime in 1975, I think. The Indians and Brewers were playing on the NBC Game of the Week, which I think was a rain game. In this game I remember Jack Brohamer and Gorman Thomas for their names, and that’s about it.
At any rate, Brohamer came up and played every day in 1972 as a rookie (moving up slowly but surely from a 34th round draft pick) and kept in the bigs thanks to his perceived steady defense and, well, why the heck else did teams keep offensive sink-holes like Brohamer in the bigs?
The big issue with Brohamer is that he played second and third. He never played short in the bigs. Not an inning. Ah, it was a different time, but he could have had some reasonable value had he been able to play short. But I guess he had good symbiosis with Frank Duffy, or something.
Brohamer was dealt to the White Sox in 1976 for the immortal Larvell “Sugar Bear” Blanks because they couldn’t fathom another season of Jorge Orta at second. And he responded with a decent season, for Brohamer (2.0 WAR). But in 1977, the Pale Hose said, “screw it”, cast defense to the wind, and went with a DP combo of Orta and Alan Bannister and thus Brohamer backed up Orta and Eric Soderholm. After that season, the Red Sox signed him as a free agent (and paid him well for the time).
Brohamer had to start the last part of the season at third because Butch Hobson’s fielding just became too much to handle. They won eight games in a row with Jack at third before the fateful game 163.
Time was running out for Jack, though. He was back on the bench in 1979 and after a few weeks in 1980, the Red Sox reunited him with Lake Erie and he closed out his career.
What is stunning about this shot is that it probably says “generic 80’s Cleveland Indians player” more than anything. The mangy hair, the scruffy beard, the look of resignation. That’s Cleveland Indians baseball, baby. Well, at least then…