In 1869 Brainard was brought to Cincinnati by Manager Harry Wright to pitch for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball’s first all-professional team. Paid $1,100 for his efforts, he was reportedly a “scientific” pitcher who succeeded by changing speeds with good control. The Red Stockings toured the country, taking on all challenges in 1869 and not losing a game until the following year. After the formation of the National Association in 1871, Brainard pitched for the Washington Olympians and then the Lord Baltimores but was unable to recapture the success of his Red Stocking days. In 1874, his final season, he was 5-24. When he died in 1888, he was the first of the old Red Stockings to pass on.