Thursday, June 2, 2011

'56 of the month: Jim Brady

Another month has flown by without a '56 of the Month post. It's just the way things are lately. I can't get much accomplished.

The next two weeks -- which are usually among the busier weeks of the year -- will be even busier thanks to my place of employment adopting an entirely new computer system. A smashing time for a complete overhaul. I tell ya, I cannot wait for 8 a.m. training sessions and 12-hour shifts. Bring it on!

So, if you're waiting for a card package from me. Sit tight. It's going to be awhile. If you've made a trade proposal, sit tighter. It's going to be even longer. Also, believe it or not, I am probably going to have to make posts short and to the point for the next week plus. I know you don't think that is humanely possible for me. I tend to doubt myself on that, too.

But this may an indicator of what's to come. Presenting a shockingly brief post:

Today's '56 of the Month is of a player who managed just six games in the major leagues, all in 1956. His career earned-run average is a staggering 28.42. That instantly makes me wonder what the all-time highest ERAs are in major league baseball. But I have no time to look it up.

The thing that made this card stand out to me when I first obtained it back in the early '80s is the back of the card.

How unusual to see a mention of no experience in organized baseball on a card featured in a set expressly intended for players in organized baseball!

I know for people who grew up on a steady diet of Bowman, this is no big deal. But this was the height of ridiculousness back in the day. The '56 set was a set of 340 cards and the assumption was that they were all players who currently competed in the majors (except for team cards and the occasional league president, of course).

Looking back, I can see why Brady was included. He was signed as a bonus baby by Detroit, meaning he was with the major league team the entire 1955 season. He just didn't play. After the 1956 season, he was sent to the minors and never came back, playing in the minors through 1961.

The mention of Notre Dame in the cartoon is appropriate because Brady would go on to receive three degrees at Notre Dame, and later work in the economics department at Notre Dame. He was also the department chair at Old Dominion, was a dean at Jacksonville University, and served as Jacksonville's president from 1989-96. The school says Brady is now an arbitrator.

OK, maybe that wasn't so short. There was more to this Brady guy than I thought.


  1. He was 26 years old - he had to be playing somewhere, didn't he?

  2. Wait - that's not '52, it's 56. He was a 30 year old bonus baby?

  3. Ye gads, I need coffee. Thought he was born in '26, not '36.

  4. It's pretty close, but one other pitcher appeared in at least 6 games and had a higher ERA.

    Steve Dixon, 28.80 career ERA

    To Steve's credit, he pitched well enough as a AAA reliever, once saving 20 games in a season. It just never translated to the bigs.

  5. a couple years ago, 2007, Jeff Ridgway of Tampa Bay had an ERA of 189.00. 3 games, 7 earned runs in 1/3 an inning. But he threw a few more games in 2008 with Atlanta and it brought his career ERA to a easier 9.90.

  6. He tore a ligament in his elbow, which is why he didn't pitch in 1955. He also was the baseball coach for ODU in 1970 btw.