Mordecai Brown (Nyesville, Indiana; October 19, 1876 - February 14, 1948) was a Major League Baseball pitcher at the turn of the 20th century. Due to a farm-machinery accident in his youth, Brown lost parts of two fingers on his right hand and eventually acquired his nickname as a result. He was also known as "Miner", having worked in western Indiana coal mines for awhile before beginning his professional baseball career.
After a spectacular minor league career commencing in Terre Haute of the Three-I League in 1901, Brown came to the majors rather late, at age 26, in 1903, and lasted until 1916 when he was close to 40. His pitching was aided significantly by his mangled hand, which allowed him to throw an early version of what is now coincidentally called the split-finger fastball. His most productive period was when he played for the Chicago Cubs from 1904 until 1912 when he was among the best pitchers in the league. During this stretch, he won 20 or more games six times and was part of two World Series championships. His most important single game effort was the pennant-deciding contest between the Cubs and the New York Giants on October 8, 1908, at New York. With the great Christy Mathewson starting for the Giants, Cubs starter Jack Pfeister got off to a weak start and was quickly relieved by Brown, who held the Giants in check the rest of the way as the Cubs prevailed 4-2, to win the pennant. The Cubs then went on to win their last World Series (as of 2005). Brown also played in the Federal League with the St. Louis Terriers, Brooklyn Tip-Tops and Chicago Whales.
Brown finished his career with a 239-130 record, 1375 strikeouts, and a 2.06 ERA. He was selected posthumously to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949. He died and is buried in Terre Haute, Indiana.