Ed Brandt came to fame for his pitching in Spokane at a young age. As an eighth grader, he led his Grant grade school team to the city championship. He then continued his success on the diamond at Lewis and Clark. In 1922, he struck out 19 batters in two consecutive games against rival North Central.
Ed went right into professional baseball from high school. In 1923 he pitched for Aberdeen in the Class C South Dakota League. The next year he made the big jump to the Pacific Coast League, where he played for the Seattle Indians for the next four years. In 1927 he posted a 19-11 record. That got him to the majors.
On April 26, 1928, Brandt made his major league debut for the Boston Braves, pitching a 4-0 shutout against Dazzy Vance and the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was a journeyman pitcher who spent the next eight years with the Braves. In three of those years he was the opening-day pitcher for Boston.
His best years were between 1931 and 1934 with a record of 68-55. In 1931 he went 18-11, posting eight straight wins at one point. That year he received a number of votes for league MVP. Brandt was traded to Brooklyn in 1936, and then finished his final two years in the big leagues with Pittsburgh.
In 11 years, his major league record was 121-146. He started 278 of 378 games and had 150 complete games, now a rare feat in today’s pitch-count era.
Ed retired back to Spokane after his baseball days. He later owned and operated a hunting lodge in Montana, catering to big-league baseball players. He also ran a tavern in Clayton.
Late in the evening of Nov. 1, 1944, while heading back to Clayton, he and his companions were in a minor fender bender near Sprague and Browne. While discussing the incident with the other driver, Ed was struck down from behind by another car. He died within minutes of his injuries at the age of 39.
While largely forgotten today, Ed Brandt was one of Spokane’s early baseball heroes.