Kevin Brown knew he had it going on during Game 6 of the 1997 NLCS, an elimination game.
— Marlins Historian (@MarlinsHistory) October 29, 2020
The tall right-hander spent a lot of time in the majors and put together an impressive career.
He was consistently one of the best pitchers in an era of inflated offenses.
Brown was also the ace of two different franchises that made it to the World Series.
What ever happened to the former dominant arm and why is he forgotten?
Here is a look at Brown’s career and what he is doing today.
A Rangers Draft Product
Brown was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round of the 1986 MLB Draft.
— Georgia Tech Baseball (@GTBaseball) June 15, 2017
That same season, he made a single start in the MLB.
In five innings, he gave up just two runs.
However, he was then kept in the minor leagues over much of the next two seasons.
He finally established himself as a major league arm in the 1989 season.
In 28 starts, he went 12-9 with a 3.35 ERA.
While he was a solid arm over the next few seasons, he didn’t stand out until the 1992 season.
He led the league with 21 wins and a 3.32 ERA, earning the first All-Star appearance of his career.
After never matching those numbers with the Rangers, the team elected to part ways with Brown.
He became a free agent after the 1994 season and decided to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.
After a short stint with the team, he was once again a free agent after 1995.
However, Brown would soon break onto the scene as one of the league’s best arms.
Brown Becomes Elite
Prior to the 1996 season, Brown signed a three-year, $12.6 million contract with the Florida Marlins.
It was there that he truly blossomed into an ace.
He wasted little time acclimating to his new team, as Brown dominated in 1996.
In 32 starts, he went 17-11 with a league leading 1.89 ERA.
This was a purely dominant year as Brown finally took the next step into the upper echelon of MLB pitchers.
He earned his second All-Star appearance and finished second in the N.L. Cy Young award voting.
This started a string of dominant seasons from Brown.
In 1997, he went 16-8 with a 2.69 ERA.
He was also the ace of a Marlins team that won the World Series.
Following that season, he was traded to the San Diego Padres where he once again stood out.
He went 18-7 with a 2.38 ERA as he led the Padres to a World Series appearance.
Brown also added 257 strikeouts on top of that.
Kevin Brown struck out 2️⃣5️⃣7️⃣ hitters, setting a Padres single-season record in 1998 💪 #SDGreatsOf98
We’ll announce a winner shortly! pic.twitter.com/ao5JF00cBu
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) November 3, 2017
That offseason, he signed a contract with the Dodgers and continued being one of the MLB’s best.
In 2000, Brown led the league with a 2.58 ERA as he earned another All-Star appearance.
Over the final five seasons of his career, Brown would have varying levels of success.
While he had two years with an ERA well below three, he also posted ERAs greater than four in three seasons.
He was an aging star at this point, reaching his late-30s.
Finally, after an unsuccessful season with the New York Yankees in 2005, he decided to retire.
This left a legacy of success on the field as Brown had an impressive resumé.
For his career, Brown went 211-144 with a 3.28 ERA, 3,256.1 innings pitchers and 2,397 strikeouts.
Retirement and Controversy
Later in his career, Brown’s name was tarnished by a steroid controversy.
He was named in the infamous Mitchell Report that said he used performance enhancing drugs beginning in 2000 or 2001.
This left a difficult mark on his integrity, as he was treated with dismay.
His involvement with PEDs likely hurt his Hall of Fame chances, as he earned well under five percent of the vote when on the ballot.
Remember boys and girls, Kevin Brown, who was a better pitcher than Jack Morris, has similar postseason numbers and better regular season numbers, yet he isn’t in the Hall of Fame.
— Connor Looker (@HotStoveStats) September 9, 2020
Now, Brown remains relatively reserved and to himself.
He resides in Macon, Georgia, where he was in the news for holding two mail thieves at gunpoint.
Brown is also an assistant baseball coach at Tattnall Square Academy, a private high school located in Macon.
While he seems to stay away from the spotlight today, it is hard to deny that Brown was one of the best pitchers in his generation.
Though he never won a Cy Young, he put together some dominant seasons on the mound.
He will also go down as one of the best players left out of the Hall of Fame.