Meet the Players :: Cleophus Brown

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Name: Brown, Cleophus
DOB: November 25, 1933
Birthplace: Pinson, Alabama
Louisville Clippers - 1955

Position: first base, pitcher Bats: left Throws: left

Cleophus was born in Pinson, Alabama in 1933. As he looks back to his childhood days, he remembers the example of goodness that his father, Thomas, and mother, Alberta worked so hard to provide their family. Thomas worked hard inside the coalmines. Cleophus looked up to his dad. Alberta worked in the home, keeping the household business in order. She was a kind and gentle woman, whose priority was working with her husband to raise their four children. She was committed to teaching them to respect and care for each other - characteristics that each would carry with them for life. Cleophus had developed a love for baseball at a very young age. He challenged himself to pursue a dream of playing ball at a professional level. This would be quite a challenge for a young boy whose only experience would be on the playground of his one-room schoolhouse in the rural town of Bradford, Alabama. Alberta wholeheartedly supported his love for game and showed him this by attending nearly every baseball game Cleophus played.

Brown entered the US army in 1950. He was stationed in Fort Polk, Louisiana and Munich Germany. While fulfilling his assignment here, Cleophus was given an opportunity to try out for the post baseball team. He made the team and started at first base. It was not that long after, that Brown would climb the mound to pitch for them as well. His love of the game remained strong throughout his military career. Though he was grateful to be part of a team, he was committed to the meeting his personal challenge of playing professional baseball. His military service came to an end in 1953 and Cleophus was headed home to begin the post military phase of his life.

In 1955, the left-handed hitter would make his professional baseball debut in the Negro Leagues, joining the roster of the Louisville Clippers. He once again played first base and would soon after be given the chance pitch for a good part of the season. Cleophus mixed his pitches a bit, tossing a slider now and then, but it was his fastball that would keep him hurling for the Clippers. When the '55 season came to an end Brown packed his spikes and glove and returned to Alabama, where he and his wife raised their family.

In 1956, during his post-Negro League years, Cleophus Brown worked in a steel mill. His career here would last 17 years. He went to work for the U.S. postal service in 1980 and more than twenty years later is still a dedicated employee. Though his professional baseball career lasted but one year with the Negro Leagues, he continued to play competitive baseball with the young men of the Industrial Leagues. In 1996, at the age of sixty-two, he retired his glove.

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