Gates Brown

Brown never knew why his mother called him “Gates,” but he preferred it to Billy, and the nickname stuck. In his first ML at bat (6/19/63), he hit a pinch homer, a fitting beginning for one of baseball’s most successful pinch hitters. The squat, popular Brown had limited defensive skills and couldn’t break into the regular Tiger outfield, but he collected 107 career pinch hits and 16 pinch homers. In both 1968 and 1974 he led the AL in total pinch hits.