Saturday, July 3, 2010

Part of the Family

1983 Fritsch One-Year Winners, Ray Blemker (card #112)

In 1960 the Baseball Digest said of Ray Blemker,
Throws hard, has good control for novice, but needs more experience.
On July 3, 1960, fifty years ago today, Ray "Buddy" Blemker got some experience.

In the seventh inning of a game at Fenway, Ray Blemker came in to replace Don Larsen for the Kansas City Athletics. It wasn't a great outing for Ray. He got the first batter he faced to fly out. Then he hit the second batter he faced. Walks the next batter to load the bases. Walks the next batter to push in a run. Then gives up a homer to clear the bases. In the eighth inning he threw a wild pitch, allowing a runner to advance. He pitched 1.2 innings, giving up 3 hits and 5 runs, all earned. 27 ERA. He never pitched in the majors again.

Before being called up he played for the Sioux City Soos in the 3I league. And then the Shreveport Sports of the Southern Association. The next year, 1960, he made it to AAA Dallas Fort-Worth Rangers. And then he found his way to the majors. For just that one game.

He returned to the Shreveport Sports to finish out the season. 1961 found him playing for the Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League. And then back to Shreveport. In 1962, as a 24 year old and a father of two young children, he played for the Binghamton Triplets and later for the Albuquerque Dukes. That was his last year with professional baseball.

Why am I featuring Ray Blemker today? I found out yesterday that he was the husband to my wife's 1st cousin 2 times removed. I'm interested in family history and have had Ray in my database for years. But I didn't know that he was involved in baseball until yesterday when my mother-in-law and I were talking about it.

Buddy (#45) with the 1953 Huntingburg Happy Hunters,
the 1953 Southern Indiana Athletic Conference high school basketball champions.

Ray is a member of the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame and also a member of Georgia Tech's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ray passed away in 1994 in Evansville, Indiana. I hope to get hold of some photos of Ray from his family.


  1. Very cool! Sorry to hear the family discovery came too late to ask him questions in person, but nice to see the card and read the story.

  2. Interesting. Where does his ERA put him in the ranks of the "less-than-perfect"?