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Bobby Coombs

Bobby Coombs

Position(s):
P
Born:
February 2, 1908
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 9"
Weight:
160 lbs
Major League Debut:
6-08-1933 with PHA

 

Raymond Franklin "Bobby" Coombs (February 2, 1908–October 21, 1991) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. The 5'9½", 160 lb. right-hander played for the Philadelphia Athletics (1933) and New York Giants (1943). His career was unusual in that he went almost ten years between major league appearances.

"Bobby Coombs, who loved to tell how he struck out Ted Williams with a spitball, also held the distinction of having given up the longest home run Babe Ruth ever hit." - from a biography of Bobby Coombs

Bobby Coombs played in the majors in 1933 and then years later in 1943. He also was in the minors for a decade, winning 122 games.

He was the nephew of former major league pitcher Jack Coombs, who also served as his baseball coach at Duke University.

Coombs was born in Goodwins Mills, Maine and attended private high school Phillips Exeter Academy. Another source says he was at Kennebunk High School and struck out 26 batters in a game. He was at Duke from 1931-33 and made his major league debut in June 1933.

Coombs made his major league debut in relief on June 8, 1933 in a home game against the New York Yankees at Shibe Park. Coombs appeared in 21 games for the 1933 Athletics, a team which went 79-72 that year. He was the same age as first baseman Jimmie Foxx.

While his 7.47 ERA was not impressive, it was a lively ball era and the team ERA was 4.81. Several of the starters had ERA's above 5.00, and Tony Freitas, another pitcher on the team who got 9 starts in addition to some relief work, had an ERA of 7.27.

Thereafter, Bobby spent 1933-43 in the minors. He usually won in double figures, and with Jersey City went 17-11 in 1942 and 10-9 in 1943. He was called up by the 1943 Giants, and pitched in nine games for manager Mel Ott. His final game, almost ten years later at the age of 35, was in a doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field (June 6, 1943).

After his playing days he coached at Williams College from 1946-1973, where there is now a Bobby Coombs Field. Coombs died at the age of 83 in Ogunquit, Maine.

 

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