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Friday, January 15, 2010

Adam Brown, Albuquerque Dukes - 416

Check out the revisited Adam Brown feature from October 2011: Adam Brown, Felt Invincible

Even though this set came out four years before baseball would return to labor strife, the set is rife with players whose stories would be intertwined in the strike. While the high-priced major leaguers took to the picket lines, minor leaguers, some of them who would never see the majors otherwise, had the choice: take the paycheck and the chance to play in the big leagues, or say no and go home.

Adam Brown was one of those who declined.

Brown signed with the Dodgers in 1986, drafted in the fourth round. He had injuries from the outset. The catcher batted .301 for rookie league Great Falls, but by that off season he was under the knife, getting Tommy John surgery. He missed all of 1987, returning the next year. By 1990, he was briefly at AAA Albuquerque, playing five games.

After two years in the Cubs' system, Brown found himself with the Reds in 1995. As the strike ground on, teams began signing up replacement players, offering big money, relatively, for those who crossed.

"I'm not only thinking about myself," Brown told the Dayton Daily News as spring training began in March 1995. "I have a 9-year-old son, Scott, who is a very good baseball player for his age. If I cross the line and play, how will he remember me?"

"What does money mean to me? A lot," Brown told the reporter later. "I ain't got none. One day we're all going to have to step back and find a job. But this isn't it, not being a scab."

Brown expected to go back home to Georgia when his playing days were done and work as an electrician. But the strike ended by early April 1995 and Brown returned. He played 77 games for AA Chattanooga in 1995, his ninth season in the minors. It was his last.
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 19/880
Major Leaguers: 8
Never Made the Majors: 11
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 3
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 7

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