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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bernardo Brito played 18 seasons, saw 40 ML games, Japan

Bernardo Brito 1990 Portland Beavers cardFirst came the game-winning hit from Bernardo Brito in late June 1994, then came the trade request.

Frustrated by what he felt was a lack of opportunity in the Twins organization, and in his 14th professional season, Brito was playing at AAA. He also had little to show for a major league career, all of 35 major league games.

"If nothing happens after the all-star break, I hope they trade me or something," Brito told The Deseret News in late June. "I've been (in the minor leagues) too long."

Nothing happened and Brito wasn't traded. He did make it back to the majors, for just five games in 1994, ending his major league career.

Brito's career began back in 1980, signed by the Indians out of his native Dominican Republic. He played his first season at the age of 17 in 1981, at short-season Batavia.

He didn't make AA until 1986, at Waterbury. He did that after hitting 29 home runs the previous season at single-A Waterloo. From Waterbury, Brito stayed in AA, at Williamsport. He was then released.

Signed by the Twins for 1988, Brito stayed at AA, at Orlando. He hit .240 with 24 home runs. Brito had 19 home runs by the end of June, but then didn't hit another one for at least a month, The Orlando Sentinel wrote.

"He's a power hitter, and sometimes those guys go through these kind of slumps,'' Orlando manager Duane Gustavson told The Sentinel in late July.

Brito made AAA for good in 1989, at Portland. He stayed there until 1992, when he made the majors. He got into eight games for Minnesota that year, going 2 for 14. His first hit came Sept. 29.

"Finally, I got it. It's been a long time," Brito told reporters after his it. "I waited 12 years to get my first hit."

Brito's first big league RBI came just over a week earlier, a sacrifice fly that proved the difference in a 2-1 win.

Brito returned in 1993 for another 27 games with the Twins. He also hit four home runs. One of those home runs came in late August with two on.

As home runs go, Brito hit a total of five in the majors. In his 16 seasons in the minors, he hit 295.

After spending 1994 back at AAA, Brito got those five last major league games in 1995. He then landed in Japan, with the Nippon Ham Fighters. He spent a year there, then returned in 1998 for 24 games with independent Sioux Falls, ending his career.
1990 CMC Tally 
Cards Featured: 552/880 - 62.7%
Players/Coaches Featured:
Made the Majors: 379 - 67%-X
Never Made the Majors:

5+ Seasons in the Majors:
10+ Seasons in the Minors:


  1. I was surprised when Brito wasn't picked up in the 1992 expansion draft. The Marlins or especially the Rockies, could have greatly benefited from his bat those first couple of years.

    Check out the almost complete Bernardo Brito collection here:

    According to the Standard Catalog of Baseball cards, I'm only missing his 1987 Cleveland Indians team issue photo. I'm not even sure it exists, though. There is a great video on YouTube of Brito striking out and exploding in Japan. It's just a pity he never got his chance in the Majors.

  2. That is a nice collection. I think Brito falls in with a lot of the players from the CMC set, they're good, but they get stuck behind players who are better. In Brito's case, they mentioned in that Deseret News article that his defense wasn't very good, which obviously doesn't help.

  3. That's true, and was much the same case with Hensley Meulens, only Meulens was given a chance and didn't capitalize on it. Considering Brito came up during the time when the average DH was a .250 hitter with fewer than 20 HR, that was apparently never a route that was considered for him, which is too bad, and was a loss for both the Indians and the Twins. A modern parallel is probably Scott McClain, but he took more advantage of his international opportunities.

  4. When I was a kid, Brito played here in Salt Lake City, I used to get so pumped when he would step up for his AB's, usually he would smoke it, I think it was the 1st season in the brand new AAA Franklin Quest Stadium, He hit a ball so hard, it not only went completely out of the stadium, but across the road running in front of stadium, over the gas station across the street, and through the window of a dry cleaning service, the entire stadium went from applause to dead silent, nobody could see the ball after it left the park, but you could hear it smash the window and the buildings alarm go off, one of my fondest memorys of Brito, what a damn shame he got screwed out of major league career, all us little kids in Salt Lake wanted to be just like Brito!

    1. That's Awesome ! I got to see him play for the Portland Beavers. He hit Homers in to the streets of downtown Portland all the time.