The Shortest Start In Rangers/Senators History: August 4, 1970
Texas Rangers beat writer for MLB is TR Sullivan. He has a column posted on the Rangers’ web site on the 50 shortest-lived Rangers in their 50-year history. You can read it here: http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110626&content_id=21064102&vkey=news_tex&c_id=tex
Most people will stick with those at the top of the list, like Cliff Lee, David Clyde and the like. My most vivid memory as a fan, though, came with the very last person on Sullivan’s list- George Brunet.
Brunet’s main claim to fame is what he did after leaving major league baseball. He pitched for a lot of years in the Mexican League and is, in fact, a member of the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame in Monterrey.
What Sullivan says is true. Brunet had a short time with the Senators, playing only in 1970. As Paul Harvey would say, now the rest of the story.
Brunet not only had one of the shortest stints with the Rangers/Senators, he also literally had the shortest start in team history. On August 4, 1970, the Senators were in Detroit to face the Tigers. Brunet was the scheduled starting pitcher. The Senators had taken a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st on a 3-run homer by Aurelio Rodriguez off Denny McLain. Ironically, Rodriguez was one of the pieces in the off-season trade that brought McLain to the Senators the following year.
In the bottom of the first, Brunet was taking his warm-up tosses when he injured his arm. I was a 14-year-old kid listening to the game on the radio at the time and I don’t remember exactly what the injury was, but I remember that, under MLB rules at the time, he had to actually appear in the game because his name was pencilled into the starting line-up. So Brunet threw one pitch to Mickey Stanley of the Tigers, then gave way to Jackie Brown.
Brown would end up going 5 1/3 innings, striking out 6 and giving up one run to get the win in relief of Brunet, who would never start another game for the Senators. After a couple relief appearances, the Senators traded him to the Pirates.