Former professional baseball player Bill Brakeley ’86 was elected into the Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted at Frawley Stadium on June 14 before that day’s Blue Rocks game.
Brakeley is considered one of the most accomplished baseball players in St. Andrew’s program history. He was a three-time All-State selection and amassed 20 career wins and 287 strikeouts. The left-handed flame-thrower struck out 18 batters in a game on two separate occasions and remains the only Saints pitcher to strike out 10 consecutive batters in a game. In addition to his baseball accolades, Brakeley was named the St. Andrew's basketball team MVP his senior year and won the Henry Prize for outstanding contribution in athletics.
“Simply put, I loved playing baseball at St. Andrew’s,” says Brakeley, “and that is entirely due to Coach Colburn.”
Brakeley continued his career at the University of Delaware, where he earned All-East Coast Conference honors in 1989 after recording a 3.09 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 64 innings. That summer, he was selected in the 4th Round of the MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, opting to forgo his senior year and begin his professional career.
For the next three seasons, Brakeley pitched for the Helena Brewers of the Pioneer League in Montana and for the Beloit Brewers in the Midwest League. With Beloit, Brakeley put up solid numbers, posting a 3.78 ERA over 123.2 innings. He was one of 18 pitchers to notch 10 wins, while his 116 strikeouts were top-20 in the league.
One of the highlights of Brakeley’s career came during the summer after his senior year at St. Andrew’s. A committee of high school baseball coaches from the tri-state region decided to hold a tournament at Veterans Stadium called the Carpenter Cup, a single-elimination tournament composed of the best players in the area. As the ace of the Delaware team, Brakeley started and won two games, helping the team win the first-ever cup over South Jersey. He faced future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza and got him to ground out.
To this day, Brakeley praises his high school coach, Bob Coburn, for his mentorship.
“Coach has been my biggest fan and supporter,” says Brakeley. “He motivated me and has provided guidance and advice from my time at St. Andrew’s up to this very day. He and the coaching staff at St. Andrew’s maximized the potential out of each player they coached. I was blessed to have played with a number of players that loved the game.”
He now resides in Danbury, Connecticut and has two children, Paige (20) and Reid (22). He works at New Canaan School as a teaching assistant and also coaches basketball and baseball.
The Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame was founded in 1994 and is operated by the Delaware High School Baseball Coaches Association.