The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


June 16, 2013

Love of the game

Ashtabula’s Roy Brashear didn’t spend much of his long career in the majors, but baseball was his life


Oh, brother

Ironically, as was the case in following Burns to the majors, Brashear also followed his brother, his younger brother Norman, to the show.

Norman Brashear, known as “Kitty,” was not born in Ashtabula, though, coming into this world on Aug. 27, 1877 in Mansfield.

Almost the same size as Roy, Norman as a 5-11, 205-pound right-handed pitcher. He made his major-league debut as a 21-year-old on June 25, 1899 for the Louisville Colonels — the same team of which Roy would later play four seasons of minor-league ball. The Colonels were then a major-league franchise, playing in the National League.

Norman lasted just more than a month in the majors, making his final appearance on July 30, 1899.

Appearing in three games, he went 1-0 with a 4.50 earned run average, working eight innings, allowing eight hits, seven runs (4 earned), striking out five and walking two.

Baseball must have been in the blood of the Brashear family as Norman followed the lead of his older brother and spent almost two decades kicking around the minors, playing 2,065 games — 27 fewer than his brother — over the span of 16 seasons, the majority of which were for teams based west of the Mississippi.

Tough times

Though he made a life for himself with baseball, Roy Brashear went through more than his share of difficult times.

He and his wife, Grace (Wyman) had just had their first child, Roy Jr., in late 1907. The couple built a new home in Los Angeles and appeared to be ready to live the American dream.

However, two days before Christmas 1908, Grace Brashear died. Crushed by losing his wife and being on the road so much as a baseball player, Roy knew he could not raise his son.

So Roy Jr. was sent to live with and be raised by Grace’s parents, who still resided in her home town of Vinton, Iowa.

One day before the 26th anniversary of Grace’s death, tragedy struck again.

Roy’s younger brother, Norman “Kitty” Brashear, died on Dec. 23, 1934 at age 57. Cause of death was listed as a ruptured duodenal ulcer.

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