Monday, September 16, 2013

Player Profile: Ross Baumgarten

I have nine cards of Ross Baumgarten. This one is from 1983 Fleer. 

Playing career: Ross Baumgarten pitched for the White Sox from 1978 to 1981, putting up good numbers despite poor run support. In 1980 he had a 3.44 ERA but only a 2-12 record due to the White Sox scoring 47 runs in his 23 starts. He pitched one season for the Pirates in 1982 but injuries ended up shortening his career. A fuller account of his career can be found at the 1980 Topps and 1983 Topps blogs.

Where he is now: Vice President, Private Wealth Management at Robert W. Baird; Volunteer Pitching Coach at New Trier High School; Private Baseball Instructor at Elite Baseball Training, all in the Chicago Area.

Interesting facts: In a 1986 afterord to former White Sox owner Bill Veeck’s autobiography, he recounts how Marv Samuel, a former White Sox minor leaguer working as a furniture store manager told him to sign Baumgarten, the son of the store’s owner. As a favor to Samuel they made Baumgarten the White Sox final pick in the 1977 draft. The next year he was in the major leagues.

That 1986 book calls Baumgarten “an heir to the Baumgarten Furniture Stores“.

However, a law suit last year, in re Estate of Baumgarten, shows that, though Robert Baumgarten promised his three children $1 million each in his will, Marlene, Robert’s wife of 40 years (presumably stepmother to Ross and his siblings?) ended up with sole custody of the Baumgarten fortune. The three Baumgarten children failed to win this lawsuit.

My memories: He is from before my time. Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Ross Bau, between Ross Baum, a writer, and Ross Bauer Bestowed, referring to the founder of an e-commerce company. There do not appear to be any other prominent Ross Baumgartens.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Danny Bautista.

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