Gene Brabender (Eugene Matthew Brabender)

Gene Brabender

Gene Brabender (August 16, 1941 – December 27, 1996), nicknamed “Lurch”, was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent before the 1961 season. He pitched for the Baltimore Orioles (1966–1968), Seattle Pilots (1969), and the Milwaukee Brewers (1970). During a 5-year baseball career, Brabender compiled 35 wins, 440 strikeouts, and a 4.25 earned run average. He stood 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) and weighed 225 lbs. Gene Brabender, described by pitcher Steve Barber as “a hard-throwing right-handed country boy”, made his Major League debut in relief on May 11, 1966. He entered a tie game against the Chicago White Sox in the top of the 10th inning at Memorial Stadium and gave up a run in the 11th, resulting in a 3–2 Orioles loss. He was part of the 1966 World Series champion team, but did not appear in a World Series game. Brabender was 16–14 during his time in Baltimore. The best game of his career was on August 7, 1967 against the Cleveland Indians, pitching a four-hit shutout and striking out 12. He was traded to the expansion Seattle Pilots on March 31, 1969. Gene Brabender led Seattle with 13 wins in their only season in the Pacific Northwest. His finest effort for this infamous team came on June 21, 1969 at Sick’s Stadium as he hurled a three-hit shutout against the Kansas City Royals, striking out five. The Pilots moved to Milwaukee during 1970 spring training and became the Brewers, and in what would be his final season, Brabender compiled a 6–15 record with a 6.02 ERA. He died from a heart attack at the age of 55.

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  • August, 16, 1941
  • USA
  • Madison, Wisconsin


  • December, 27, 1996
  • USA
  • Madison, Wisconsin

Cause of Death

  • heart attack


  • Saint Barnabas Cemetery
  • Mazomanie, Wisconsin
  • USA

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