DETROIT (AP) _ The Detroit Tigers announced Wednesday the signing of former major league outfielder Vada Pinson as batting instructor for the defending World Series champions.

He replaces Gates Brown, who resigned after some 20 seasons in the Tigers' organization as player and coach.

''I'm excited, I've always wanted to work for (Manager) Sparky Anderson,'' Pinson said. ''I know (coaches) Alex Grammas and Dick Tracewski and I coached Chet Lemon and Rusty Kuntz when we were with the White Sox. It's not like I'm coming to a strange place. I'm really looking forward to working with a bunch of good people.''

Pinson was a veteran of 18 big league seasons between 1958 and 1975, mostly with the Cincinnati Reds. He played for St. Louis in 1969 before coming to the American League.

Pinson also played for Cleveland in 1970 and 1971, California in 1972 and 1973 and Kansas City in 1974 and 1975.

Pinson joined the coaching staff of the Seattle Mariners in 1977 and had been with the Mariners' organization since, with the exception of 1981 when he was a coach for the Chicago White Sox.

Pinson had a career batting average of .286 with 256 home runs and 1,170 runs batted in.

During his career, Pinson twice led the National League in at-bats, hits, doubles and triples and in runs one year.