With a tip from Warren Spahn, Brewer developed a screwball in 1964, and became one of the most successful relievers in the NL. He averaged better than 19 saves a season for the Dodgers in the years 1968-73, with a career-high 24 in 1970. In 1972 his ERA was 1.26, and he averaged an outstanding 4.69 hits per nine innings. Dodger manager Walter Alston said, “We’ve had a lot of great relief pitchers, but I’ve never seen one better than Brewer.”
In 1960 as a Cub rookie, the even-tempered lefty was the victim in a much-publicized mound altercation. Cincinnati’s Billy Martin accused Brewer of throwing at him, charged the mound, and punched Brewer, breaking his jaw.
Brewer died at the age of 50 in an auto accident.