Known as Vancouver’s “Mr. Baseball”, Bob Brown’s contribution to the sport span sixty years in the Pacific Northwest. He was a successful athlete at Notre Dame University in the 1890s, and a pro ball player from 1900-09 in Montana, Oregon, and Washington, the latter where he led the Spokane Indians to the Pacific Coast League pennant win in 1908. He became the owner manager of the Vancouver Beavers who after several metamorphoses over the years, have become the successful Vancouver Canadians. Brown was also responsible for the first night games played under lights in Canada. Brown was the first to be inducted into the BC Baseball Hall of Fame.
Brown moved to Vancouver in 1910 and became the owner/playing manager of the Vancouver Beavers, who captured a pennant in Brown’s second season as owner in 1911.
He opened Vancouver’s Athletic Park, after physically clearing the site himself with pickaxe and dynamite. Athletic Park burnt down twice over the years in 1927 and 1946. Opening day saw a crowd of over 6000. Under Brown, the Beavers won the pennant in 1911, 1913, and 1914 and in a new league (Western International League), won again in 1922, their last season.
In 1939, with the help of Capilano Brewery, Brown purchased the Vancouver Capilanos from Con Jones. In 1945, he sold the ball club but stayed on as vice-president and general manager.
Brown served as president of the Western International League from 1938-53.
The Capilanos’ last playing season was 1954 and in 1956 a new franchise named the Vancouver Mounties (minus Brown) joined the PCL playing out of Capilano Stadium. He served as honourary president of the Vancouver club during the Mounties’ period.