Lafayette Drillers Flashback: Jake Brown
The Lafayette Drillers, a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, called Lafayette, Louisiana their home for two years, from 1975-1976.
The Drillers, who played their home games at Clark Field, were co-champions of the Texas League in 1975 with the Midland Cubs, finishing 72-57, before going 58-76 in 1976, the last year of affiliated professional baseball in Lafayette.
A number of outstanding players, who eventually made it into Major League Baseball ranks played at Clark Field in 1975 & 1976, including five former Lafayette Driller players.
All summer long, we’re taking a look back at some of the former players for the Drillers.
Brown was a first baseman/outfielder for the Drillers during parts of the the 1975 and 1976 seasons.
A native of Sumrall, Mississippi, Brown attended Wheatley High School in Houston, Texas, where he was taken in the 33rd round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins in 1967.
Electing not to sign with the Twins, Brown went on to play college baseball at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, before being drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the first round, in the secondary phase, of the 169 Major League Baseball Draft.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Brown made a minor league stops in Decatur, Georgia, Fresno, California, Amarillo, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona before joining the Drillers in 1975.
With Lafayette, Brown had a brief stint with the team in 1975, hitting a .307 with two home runs, and 14 runs batted in in only 19 games
In 75 at-bats, Brown, a right-handed hitter, collected 23 hits, including five doubles, and two stolen bases, along with six walks and seven strikeouts.
Defensively, Brown played four games at first base.
1975 was also the year that Brown appeared in the Major Leagues, hitting a .209 with no homers and four RBI’s in 41 games with the San Francisco Giants, after making his big league debut at the age of 27.
Brown returned to Lafayette for another brief stint in 1976, hitting a .261 with no homers and 12 RBI’s in 44 games, while splitting time between first base and the outfield.
His time in Lafayette in 1976 proved to be the last stop of his professional career, as he retired following that season.
Brown compiled a .279 career batting average, along with 50 home runs and 300 RBI’s in 633 minor league games, covering seven seasons, along with his 44-game stint with the Giants.
Sadly, Brown died of leukemia in 1981, at the young age of 33.