Glancing Back, and Remembering George Brunet
George Brunet was a journeyman southpaw who finally got his chance to start regularly with the California Angels in the mid-1960s. He was a consistently effective pitcher for struggling Angels teams, and his record as a starter for California reflected his team’s struggles more than his own abilities.
Prior to the 1955 season, Brunet was acquired by the Kansas City Athletics from Seminole in the Sooner State League. He made his major league debut with the A’s in 1956, appearing in only 10 games over the next two seasons. He was traded to the Milwaukee Braves in 1960, winning both decisions in only 17 appearances. He pitched in only 22 games for the Braves over two seasons, and then was dealt to the Houston Colt .45s, where he was 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 17 games, including 11 starts. In 1963 he moved from Houston to the Baltimore Orioles, where he was 0-1 in 16 relief appearances. From 1956 to 1963, playing for four different major league teams, Brunet had compiled a record of 4-11 in only 73 appearances.
His break came in 1964 when he was purchased by the Los Angeles Angels and was put into the Angels’ starting rotation, going 2-2 with a 3.61 ERA over the last six weeks of the 1964 season. He made 26 starts for the Angels in 1965, going 9-11 with a 2.56 ERA and three shutouts. He was 13-13 in 1966 with a 3.31 ERA, pitching eight complete games with a pair of shutouts.
When Dean Chance was traded to the Minnesota Twins prior to the 1967 season, Brunet took over as the team’s workhorse, pitching 250 innings in 37 starts. His record was 11-19, leading the American League in losses in 1967 despite a respectable 3.31 ERA. He followed in 1968 with a 13-17 record on a 2.86 ERA, with eight complete games and five shutouts.
During the 1969 season, Brunet’s contract was purchased by the Seattle Pilots, and he compiled a combined record of 8-12 with a 4.44 ERA. He split the 1970 season between the Washington Senators and the Pittsburgh Pirates, going 9-7 with a 4.21 ERA. In January of 1971, he was traded with Matty Alou to the St. Louis Cardinals for Nelson Briles and Vic Davalillo. He was released by St. Louis after seven appearances, and retired.
Brunet finished his 15-year career with a 69-93 rhttps://baseball1960s.leadpages.co/top-10-pitchers-chance/ecord and a 3.62 ERA.