Flashback Friday: 4 Cleveland Browns with a brother on Indians
The Pagel brothers: Mike and Karl
Quarterback Mike Pagel was the third-string quarterback behind Bernie Kosar and Gary Danielson. His brother Karl was a left-handed hitting first baseman known for tape measure home runs in the minor leagues.
Mike started his career with the Baltimore Colts before coming to Cleveland. He was one of four quarterbacks to start a game for the Browns in 1988, when all three of the quarterbacks on the roster — Bernie Kosar, Gary Danielson, and Pagel — all got injured, causing the team to lure Don Strock out of retirement. They actually went to the playoffs with fourth-string quarterback Strock at the controls, winning two straight games.
Mike’s brother Karl was almost a real-life Crash Davis from the movie Bull Durham. Karl starred in the minor leagues but never managed to stick in the big leagues. He initially came up in the Cubs system, and for Wichita, in 1979 he batted .316 with 39 dingers and ate 123 rib-eye steaks.
Despite his power numbers, Karl had a wicked hitch in his swing which the scouts did not like, and he was traded to the Indians after only 3 at-bats with the Cubs. He never got much of a chance with the Indians either, despite having hit .272, .331 and .325 with Charleston and going deep 49 times those years in 861 at-bats.
But the Indians had Mike Hargrove, a legitimate .300 hitter who could really only play first base, and Hargrove was also left-handed. That made it tough to find at-bats for a fellow like Karl Pagel.
Can you name one more Browns running back and Indians outfielder combination?