Place of Birth:
May 10, 1914
January 21, 1995
Military Unit: US Army
Area Served: European Theater of Operations
Major League Stats: Russ Bauers on Baseball-Almanac
Russell L “Russ” Bauers was born on May 10, 1914 at
Bauers played for the
Following high school graduation, Bauers worked as a lumberjack and played semi-pro baseball with the Chicago Mills team where he attracted attention from the Philadelphia Phillies in 1935. He signed with the club that year and appeared in 10 games with the Hazleton Mountaineers of the New York-Penn League for a 3-1 record and 2.53 ERA.
In the meantime, the Chicago Mills semi-pro
complained to Commissioner Landis about losing Bauers to the
Phillies. The result being that Bauers was made a free agent and
subsequently signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates sent him
Impressed with his performance, the Pirates brought him up in August and he made his major league debut against the Chicago Cubs on August 20, 1936.
An excellent spring showing at the Pirates’ camp
Bauers remained with the Pirates through 1941, but poor performance and arm problems saw a return to the minors for 1942. He spent the season with the Albany Senators of the Eastern League where a late-season surge - which included six wins in a row and back-to-back two hitters - prompted a recall to the Pirates at the close of the season. Although he did not pitch for the Pirates in 1942, Bauers was hopeful he would make the club in 1943. Furthermore, an x-ray revealed that a growth in his shoulder had been responsible for his sore arm. A simple operation to remove the growth could restore his arm. But before the operation could be performed, he was called into military service.
During the summer of 1943, Bauers pitched for the
Playing for the OISE All-Stars during the summer of 1945, Bauers was earning glittering praise for his pitching and was selected to play for the OISE All-Stars in the ETO World Series against the Third Army in September.
Bauers appeared in the fourth game of the Series in relief of Negro League pitcher Leon Day. Despite it being a losing cause, he pitched well, allowing three hits and one run over five and two-thirds innings against the likes of Harry Walker, Benny Zientara and Johnny Wyrostek.
“We played with and against all professional players,” he told The Sporting News on January 31, 1946, “and the brand of ball was pretty fast. I pitched about 15 games and don’t believe I lost any. I also went in several times in relief.”
Sergeant Bauers was back in the
Bauers pitched for the Los Angeles Angels in the Pacific Coast League in 1947 and 1948. He joined the Baltimore Orioles in the International League in 1949 and briefly returned to the major leagues in 1950 to make a relief appearance for the St Louis Browns against the Philadelphia Athletics on May 6.
Bauers returned to the International League and
Russ Bauers passed away on January 21, 1995 in
Created January 4, 2008. Updated January 11, 2015
Copyright © 2015 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.