Each week, commenter RandBallsStu (Branding!) tracks down a former Minnesota sports figure about whom you might have forgotten. This works out well.
Also, programming note: This is probably the final post of the day as we are technically taking the day off and heading down to the X later to watch the Wild.
The Hunt Down
Name: Fred Bruckbauer
Claim to Fame, Minnesota: as noted by Parker Hageman on the latest Gleeman and the Geek podcast with area internet presence Aaron Gleeman and John “The Twins Liker” Bonnes, Bruckbauer is the only player to ever play just one game for the Minnesota Twins. His cup of coffee came on April 25th, 1961, when the righthander, a native of the New Ulm/Sleepy Eye metroplex, faced four Kansas City Athletics and retired none of them. Not only did this spell the end of his Twins career, but he would never play in another major league game. Thus, like the immortal David West’s pitching line in the 1991 World Series, Bruckbauer’s career ERA is infinity.
Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: Bruckbauer, per former Strib Twins beat writer Joe Christensen, was 16-5 as a pitcher for the Minnesota Gophers and received a big-for-its-time signing bonus of $50,000 to sign with the Washington Senators in 1959. He would go on to a long, post-MLB career with John Deere before retiring to Florida.
Where He Is Now: Bruckbauer passed away in 2007.
Glorious Randomness: the four guys Bruckbauer faced also had great, old-timey baseball names: future Royals skipper Dick Howser, Jay Hankins, Jerry Lumpe and Lou Klimchock.
Glorious Randomness 2: of the select few pitchers that can lay claim an infinite ERA, the New Ulm/Sleepy Eye area can claim two, with New Ulm’s Doc Hamann also on the list. No one else is on the list appears to be local, but would it surprise me if they were all secretly from Hanska? No. No, it would not. As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote* in The Great Gatsby, “You gotta look out for Hanska.”
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