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Ed Brinkman
Shortstop
Born: December 8, 1941(1941-12-08)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Died: September 30, 2008 (aged 66)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 6, 1961 for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1975 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average     .224
Hits     1,355
Runs batted in     461
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Edwin Albert Brinkman (December 8, 1941 – September 30, 2008) was a Major League Baseball shortstop. He played fifteen years in the Major League Baseball, led the American League in games played twice, won a Gold Glove Award at shortstop, and had a career batting average of .224. He was also named to the American League All-Star team in 1973.

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Youth in Cincinnati

Brinkman was a high school teammate of Pete Rose at Cincinnati's Western Hills High School. Paul "Pappy" Nohr, the baseball coach at Western Hills, described Rose as "a good ball player, not a Brinkman." (David M. Jordan, "Pete Rose: A Biography," p. 6)[1] Based on their performance in high school, scouts saw Brinkman rather than Rose as the future superstar. When he was a senior, Ed batted .460 and also won 15 games as a pitcher.[1] Brinkman was paid a large (for the time) bonus of $75,000 by the Washington Senators in 1959. Brinkman later said: "Pete always kidded me that the Washington Senators brought me my bonus in an armored truck. Pete said he had cashed his at the corner store." (David M. Jordan, "Pete Rose: A Biography," p. 7)[2]

According to retrosheet site, he was signed in 1961 as an amateur free agent by the Washington Senators, which would have been the expansion team; the team that was the Washington Senators in 1959 moved to Minnesota during the 1960-1961 offseason.

Major league playing career

He played with the Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees during his fifteen year playing career. Ed Brinkman led the American League in games played twice, won a Gold Glove Award at shortstop, and had a career batting average of .224.

Brinkman was part of an eight-player trade in 1971, which sent Brinkman, third baseman Aurelio Rodriguez and pitchers Joe Coleman and Jim Hannan from the Washington Senators to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Denny McLain, Don Wert, Elliott Maddox, and Norm McRae.

In 1972, he won the "Tiger of the Year" award from the Detroit baseball writers,[2] and finished 9th in American League MVP voting despite a .205 batting average. Brinkman earned the votes for his defensive prowess. Brinkman was awarded the Gold Glove in 1972 with a fielding percentage of .990 (23 points above the .967 league average for shortstops). In 1972, Brinkman also had 233 putouts and 495 assists in 156 games at shortstop. On August 5, 1972, Brinkman's error ended his record streak of 72 games and 331 total chances without a miscue.

He has the record for the number of seasons (seven) with more than 400 at-bats, fewer than 15 home runs, and a batting average lower than .230. Since 1930 only one player with 5000+ at-bats has a lower average. Brinkman's batting average would have been even worse if it were not for Ted Williams. Brinkman hit .266 and .262 in 1969 and 1970 while playing for Washington Senators teams managed by Williams. Excluding those two seasons, Brinkman's lifetime average was .214. He committed a then-record low seven errors in 156 games for the division-winning Tigers in 1972. Even with a .203 average, Brinkman was hailed as one of the team's most valuable players, and he won a Gold Glove that season.

Coaching career

Brinkman was a coach and scout with the Chicago White Sox for 18 years from 1983-2000. He was the team's infield coach (1983-1988) and later became a special assignment scout. He retired after the 2000 season.[3]

Brinkman died on September 30, 2008 due to complications from lung cancer.[4]

Notes

Sources

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