By Brenda De La Cruz
East Los Angeles College alum and former Major League Baseball player Darrell Brown will be inducted into the 2022 California Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame on April 6.
During his time at ELAC Brown was noticed by a baseball scout, giving him countless opportunities that helped him pursue a professional career in the sport.
Brown, 66, transferred to ELAC from Los Angeles Valley College and continued to play ball in 1975 as a Huskie.
In order to continue being eligible to play he was required to take 19 units, all while working nights.
“It lets you know what you can do when you’re young. When they get older they find out they’re cheating themselves,” Brown said of students and athletes today who don’t put in the work.
His spark for the game began as a child playing fast pitch with his buddies and attending his first Dodger game in 1964 with his grandmother.
While he was only with ELAC for one school year, he helped the Huskies advance to the Southern California Regional Finals, where they ultimately fell to Cerritos College by one run.
During his time at ELAC, Brown, who played centerfield and occasionally short-stop, had a batting average of .411 which was the first in the school’s baseball history.
He also stole approximately 40 bases and won Metro Conference Player of the Year.
Brown recalls playing against Cal State Fullerton and this being the moment his life changed as the scout was there to watch the Fullerton baseball team, but instead noticed Brown.
He was eight for eight that game and credits ELAC for this opportunity.
“The scout called me that night and he named about five people from Fullerton. He said he was there to see them play, but that I seemed like the best player on the field to him.” Brown said about being scouted for the Felton Wilson Houston Astros. He chose to continue playing college ball.
Despite being drafted, and making headlines, Brown made sure to credit his team for all their success.
“We had a good team, though. It wasn’t only me. Because I was a first-round pick, I was getting all the publicity. But everybody played well, everyone contributed. That’s how we won,” said Brown.
He expressed excitement over being inducted into the CCCAA HOF, where he will be honored on April 6th at the CCCAA convention.
It was the idea of Lonnie Teper, Kinesiology professor at ELAC and former Campus News’ sports editor and Sports Information Director.
He says Teper initiated, and he was just thankful due to it being in the one year he was at ELAC.
Brown was drafted by the Detroit Tigers as a third-round pick in 1977 and eventually made his MLB debut on April 11th, 1981. He played for the Detroit Tigers, the Oakland Athletics, and the Minnesota Twins, winning the 1983 Outstanding Rookie award.
Brown went on to coach high school students and scouting. He now resides in Oregon with his daughter.