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Jack Baldschun Passes Away – MLB Trade Rumors

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Former big league reliever Jack Baldschun passed away this week after a battle with leukemia, according to an obituary from the Malcore Funeral Home in Green Bay. He was 86 years old.

An Ohio native, Baldschun entered the minor league ranks in 1956 as a signee of the Washington Senators. He’d spent four years in the Reds’ organization thereafter before moving to the Phillies during the 1960 Rule 5 draft. That set the stage for the right-hander to make his big league debut with Philadelphia in April 1961.

Baldschun took an immediate key role on the Phils’ pitching staff. He logged 99 2/3 innings over 65 relief appearances as a rookie, leading the majors in pitching appearances. Baldschun posted a 3.88 ERA, then followed up with consecutive sub-3.00 showings. He pitched to a 2.96 ERA over 112 2/3 frames of relief in 1962, then posted a career-best 2.30 mark in 113 2/3 innings the next season.

While he didn’t quite keep his ERA below 3.00 for a third straight year, Baldschun tossed a personal-high 118 1/3 frames of 3.12 ball in 1964. He fell just shy of the century mark the following season, working to a 3.82 ERA over 99 innings.

Over the stretch between 1961-65, only Hoyt WilhelmRon Perranoski and Stu Miller absorbed a heavier workload out of the bullpen. Baldschun posted a cumulative 3.18 ERA and, while the save wouldn’t become an official statistic until the end of the decade, he’d be retroactively credited with 59 of them.

After the ’65 season, Philadelphia traded Baldschun to the Orioles. Baltimore would flip him back to Cincinnati within a matter of days, packaging him in one of the most impactful trades in MLB history. Baldschun joined starter Milt Pappas and outfielder Dick Simpson in heading to the Reds for Frank Robinson. The future Hall of Famer would go to win an MVP in his first season in Baltimore and help the club to a pair of World Series titles.

Baldschun never really found his form with the Reds, pitching to a 5.25 ERA in parts of two seasons. He signed with the Padres going into 1969 and pitched for two years there. He retired after the 1970 campaign, having appeared in parts of nine MLB seasons. Altogether, Baldschun pitched 704 innings over 457 games as one of the top bullpen workhorses of the 1960s. He posted a 3.69 ERA, struck out 555 and finished 267 contests.

MLBTR sends our condolences to Baldschun’s family, friends and loved ones.

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