Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bob Bruce (#24)

Some years ago, I posted Bob Bruce's final card as part of a group post, but without any mention of his career. Now it’s time to give him the full treatment.

Bruce began his career in the Tigers' organization in 1953. He missed the 1957 season due to military service, but returned the following season, and made his Tigers’ debut in September 1959.

Bob played all of 1960 (34 games, 15 starts) and part of 1961 with the Tigers.

He was traded to the Houston Colt .45s a few months prior to their inaugural 1962 season, and along with Turk Farrell was one of the team's top starting pitchers from 1962-65.

In April 1964 he stuck out the side on NINE pitches, one day after Sandy Koufax had done the same. Bob is one of 12 pitchers to have done that.

Bruce was the opening day pitcher in 1965, the first regular-season game played in the Astrodome.

After an off-year in 1966, and with the emergence of Larry Dierker and Mike Cuellar, Bruce was traded to the Braves prior to the 1967 season (with outfielder Dave Nicholson) for 3rd baseman Eddie Mathews, infielder Sandy Alomar, and pitcher Arnold Umbach.

Bob only pitched 12 games for the Braves in his final season, the last coming on June 24th. He played the 2nd half of the season with the Braves' AAA team, before retiring.

Bruce passed away in March 2017 at age 83.