Sunday, October 21, 2018

Brant Alyea (#48)

At age 77 and 317 days, Brant Alyea is the oldest living player from the 1965-70 era that I have not blogged about yet.

Alyea was a backup outfielder for the Senators, Twins, and others from 1965 to 1972.

He was signed by the Reds (I learned something today!) before the 1962 season, and was selected by the Senators in the minor-league draft after that season.

Alyea played 5 ½ seasons in the Senators’ farm system before getting a permanent call-up in the last week of July 1968. (He did have a cup of coffee in September 1965, and hit a home run on his first major-league pitch (the 9th player to do so). Despite that, he labored in the minors for another 2 ½ seasons. )

Brant made 33 starts at a corner outfield spot for the remainder of 1968, and was used as a pinch-hitter in another dozen or so games. (With Frank Howard, Cap Peterson, and Ed Stroud on hand as corner outfielders, playing time was hard to come by.)

He played one more season with the Senators (starting 56 games in 1969), then was traded to the Twins during Spring training in 1970 for pitcher Joe Grzenda.

Alyea was the Twins’ primary left fielder in 1970 (although only starting 73 games there) and hit .291 with 16 home runs.

In 1971 he only made 44 starts there because Cesar Tovar moved over from center field that season. Alyea ended up as the team’s fifth outfielder behind Tovar, Tony Oliva, Jim Holt, and Jim Nettles. He dropped so far in the space of 1 year that he was left exposed to the Rule 5 draft, and was taken by returned to the Athletics 2 months later.

After the season the A’s traded him again – this time to the Rangers for pitcher Paul Lindblad.

Brant played parts of 1972 and 1973 in the minors before retiring.

After baseball, he worked in an Atlantic City casino.

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