Brand was selected by the Houston Colt .45s in the 1964 rule 5 draft. He had originally been signed by the Pirates, where he played several years in the minors and one in the majors (1963). So, after spending all of 1964 on one of Pittsburgh's farm teams, he would then become an Astro. Ron and John Bateman would be the two main catchers for the Astros. Both eventually ended up being drafted by the Expos in 1968.
Ron hit a triple for the Astros first hit in the 'Dome on April 9, 1965 in an exhibition game against the Yankees.