|First baseman / Pinch hitter|
Born: September 26, 1967|
Died: November 19, 2004 (aged 37)|
San Antonio, Texas
|April 24, 1990, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 21, 1990, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
Brian Lee Traxler (September 26, 1967 - November 19, 2004) was a first baseman in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers during their 1990 season. Listed at 5' 10", 200 lb., Traxler batted and threw left-handed.
Traxler was born in Waukegan, Illinois, and he was an all-state outfielder for Waukegan East High School. He played college baseball at the University of New Orleans. Traxler was selected by the Dodgers in the 16th round of the 1988 MLB draft and made his MLB debut on April 24, 1990.
Additionally, he played in 1994 for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball. Later on, he returned to the Dodgers organization in 1995, and then played one season in Taiwan for the Ho-Hsin Whales.
Traxler starred for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for 1½ years, including their inaugural 1996 season. That year, Traxler was one of the top hitters in the Northern League batting .335 with 16 doubles, two triples and 16 home runs, while driving in 75 runs and scoring 73 times in 83 games. In 1997, he followed with a .298 average, 12 doubles, three homers, 37 RBI and 29 runs scored in 42 games.
He also spent six seasons with the Albuquerque Dukes Triple-A club. He is remembered as a favorite all-time player of many Dukes fans. In between, Traxler played winter ball from 1991 through 1994 in the Dominican Republic (Tigres del Licey), Venezuela (Leones del Caracas) and Puerto Rico (Indios de Mayagüez), where he became a cult figure among fans of these countries.
Traxler played in the independent Atlantic League for the Somerset Patriots in 1999 and hit 12 home runs. Though the scorecard still described him as 5'10" and 200 lbs, an author described Traxler as weighing more than 250 lbs. Following his playing days, he became a hitting instructor in the Dodgers minor league system. After the 2004 season, the Dodgers did not renew Traxler's contract, and he was planning to look for another position at the upcoming Winter Meetings.
On November 4, 2004 Traxler was taken to North Central Baptist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, with an alcohol-related liver disease. He slipped into a coma before dying 15 days later at the age of 37.
In 2011, Traxler was inducted into the Albuquerque Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.