For more great baseball stories like this one, 'like' us on Facebook -

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mickey Brantley saw 4 ML seasons, moved on when missed fifth

Mickey Brantley 1990 Calgary Cannons cardIt had been a frustrating year for Mickey Brantley. He had spent parts of the previous four with the big club in Seattle and had success there. But when sickness came and Brantley was later overlooked for a call-up, Brantley walked away.

"I know well what I did, what I'm doing and I know it looks like a drastic decision," Brantley told The Seattle Times in May 1990, after leaving the AAA Calgary Cannons. "But to me, it was simple. I was at a crossroads in my career."

Brantley would soon return to the club and the Mariners would soon grant his request to be traded. But his time in the major leagues was done.

Brantley's career began seven years earlier, taken by the Mariners in the second round of the 1983 draft. He made AA Chattanooga in 1984 and AAA Calgary later that year. It was in 1986 that he made Seattle.

When he made Seattle in August 1986, Brantley started off slowly, but heated up by late in the month. Despite his slow start, Brantley used his second major league hit, a home run, to tie an early August game. In another game late in the month, Brantley had two hits, including a double in one game.

"I'm getting comfortable now," Brantley told the Associated Press. "I'm just relaxing and starting to hit. I wanted to get a good start, but I began poorly and started pressing."

Brantley spent much of 1987 up with Seattle, hitting an inside-the-park home run in an August game. The next month, he was back with the regular home runs, three in a single game. On Sept. 14, Brantley hit those three home runs while going 5 for 6 and knocking in seven in a losing effort. Later that month, he went 4 for 4 with another home run, a triple and two singles.

Mickey Brantley autographed 1990 Seattle Mariners cardBy 1988 Brantley was with Seattle full-time as the starting left fielder. And he was confident, getting two hits against Roger Clemens in a May game at the Kingdome.

"When you have success against the best in the game, it gives you confidence," Brantley told reporters afterward. "Then you can relax and do your job."

Brantley also showed off his glove in 1988, credited with a superb defensive play, racing to back up an errant throw.

Brantley played a total of 149 games that year, but that dropped to just 34 in 1989 before he was sent down to Calgary.

Then 1990 came. Brantley was expected to platoon in right field, at least until Jay Buhner returned from injury, according to an AP report. But then Brantley got the chicken pox. By May, he'd walked away and then returned. In June, he was traded to the Brewers. Brantley played on at AAA with the Brewers, Reds, Astros and Giants systems through 1993. He also played a year in Japan, ending his career.

Brantley has continued as a coach, starting in 1995 at class-A Burlington. He made the Blue Jays as a coach in 2005 serving there through 2007.

Brantley's son, Michael Brantley, has since followed his father to the major leagues, playing 44 games with Cleveland so far this year.

In an interview with The Cleveland Plain Dealer in February, the younger Brantley credited his upbringing with his success.

"It comes from being baseball-raised," Michael Brantley told The Plain Dealer. "It came from my father talking to me and helping me through it to all the players making me comfortable in the locker room. That was a really big help for me."
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 242/880 - 27.5%
Players/Coaches Reviewed: 247
Made the Majors: 166 - 67%
Never Made the Majors: 81 - 33%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 73
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 75

No comments:

Post a Comment