C. O. Brown Memorial Scholarship

C. O. Brown Memorial Scholarship

C. O. Brown is best known in Battle Creek as a baseball legend. His real name is Cooper Othneil Brown. People started calling him “oatmeal” in school and rather than fighting the nickname, he decided to go with it and it stuck with him for the rest of his life.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the son of a railroad dad and a school teacher mom, Mr. Brown was involved with theater and helped organize the Chattanooga Little Theatre. He moved to Cairo, IL then to Covington, KY where he graduated high school as salutatorian.

Amateur sports became a hobby of Mr. Brown’s even though he went pro football for a year with the Ohio Spartans and another year with the Detroit Lions. During college he earned money at the Chattanooga Times beginning in the pressroom and later becoming a reporter. Mr. Brown graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. from the University of Chattanooga.

Following college he coached in Chattanooga and Cincinnati while earning master’s degrees in physical education, psychology, and chemistry from the University of Cincinnati. In the mid 20’s he was drafted to the Dixie Highway Association for promotional work, then the Cincinnati Recreation Department and became the broadcaster for the Cincinnati Red’s baseball games.

Mr. Brown continued his career by joining the Athletic Institute in 1935 and married Catherine E. Madden. He served as the physical education director for the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II (1942-1946). Following World War II, he moved to Battle Creek and became the executive director of the Battle Creek Health and Recreation Association while supervising the growth of the American Amateur Baseball Congress.

C. O. Brown became the first president of the AABC and was quoted “I will say this, however, the AABC is what it is because a vast army of volunteers has done so much to make the organization the most respected in amateur baseball.”


Lincoln Hackim, who was the national vice president of the American Amateur Baseball Congress said “His devotion and dedication, measured in sweat and tears, plus hours upon hours and days upon days of tireless effort, made the AABC the world’s largest amateur baseball organization beyond junior age and there is no choice but to continue his heritage.”