Ollie Brantley , born September 16th, 1931 near Marianna, AR, was a professional baseball player from 1950-1969. He played three seasons in the Negro leagues from 1950-1952 and 17 seasons in the minor leagues from 1953-1969.
Brantley was the son of sharecroppers James Brantley and Essie (nee Saxton) Brantley.1 He grew up near Lexa, AR and attended high school near West Helena, AR.
Brantley was a tall right-handed pitcher with a long career in professional baseball. He was scouted in high school by Goose Curry, manager of the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro American League.2 Brantley attended Curry's Negro Delta Baseball School in Jackson, MS as an 18-year old in the spring of 1950 and was signed by Memphis soon afterward.3 Brantley began the season with the Memphis Red Caps of the Negro Southern League, striking out 19 batters in the team's league opener.4 He was shifted to the Memphis Red Sox by June and finished the NAL season with a 2-1 record and a 3.29 ERA.5 After two more seasons with Memphis, Brantley was sold to the Chicago White Sox in late 1952.6 He went on to pitch 17 minor league seasons in the White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins organizations. Though he worked as both a starting and a relief pitcher during his younger years, he was used primarily out of the bullpen in later seasons. He retired following the 1969 season with a 156-117 career win-loss record in the American minor leagues.
Brantley lived much of the rest of his life in Marianna, AR and worked for the Lee County Sheriff Department for many years. He died on April 5th, 2020 in Dallas, TX.7
"The Memphis Red Sox seventeen-year-old rookie find, Ollie Brantley, has just about hit this stride. He is carrying the record of seven victories and one defeat. Rival players are beginning to talk about his curve ball and his fast ball. When they talking, they fear that particular pitcher. By the way Brantley is 17 years of age, weighs 172 pounds, and is six feet, one inch and hails from Lexa, Arkansas. This is good news for young ball players. He is from Good Curry's Negro Delta Baseball School. We all are pulling for Ollie' continuous sensational pitching. He is one of the, main factors in the [Memphis Red] Sox great winning streak."8
Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.