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The fascinating career of George Brunet

Former Angels pitcher was a pro for 33 years, at least

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Only 15 pitchers in the 59 seasons of Angels baseball have pitched 1,000 innings for the team. The second one to reach that milestone was left-hander George Brunet, who was profiled by Mike Petriello at MLB.com quite accurately as “the most interesting player you’ve never heard of.”

There are so many incredible factoids about Brunet’s career chronicled by Petriello, including Brunet’s record 33 seasons (at least, as some reports have him pitching even longer) pitching professionally. Brunet pitched for at least 35 teams in the majors, minors, Mexican and Venezuelan Leagues, and is in the Mexican League Hall of Fame despite never pitching in the league until he turned 39.

Brunet in his 15 major league seasons wore 15 different uniform numbers, tied for the most in MLB history. Per Petriello:

Still, there’s plenty of weirdness in there. For example, when he was sold from the Angels to the Pilots on July 31, 1969, he took No. 39, which had already been worn that year by Gary Bell, who was traded to the White Sox in June, and Garry Roggenburk, who had somehow cycled through three numbers — 39, 44, and 46 — in six weeks with the team before walking out on baseball entirely, which was why the Pilots acquired Brunet in the first place. But then Brunet ended up moving on to No. 57, which Bucky Brandon had worn before being sent to Minnesota in June. Why? Absolutely no idea.

Of all his major or minor league teams, Brunet stayed with the Angels the longest, pitching for them in parts of six seasons from 1964-69. In addition to pitching 1,047⅓, innings with the Angels (73 percent of his career total), the only time he led a major league in any category came with the Angels. He led the majors with 19 losses in 1967 (still tied for most in Angels history) and led the AL with 17 losses in 1968.

But it wasn’t all bad. Brunet was 54-69 with a 3.13 ERA with the Angels, with an above average 102 ERA+. He was 34 years old when he left the Angels, but Brunet still pitched for at least 15 more seasons, which only adds to his legend.

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