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Bobby Coombs

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Raymond Franklin Coombs

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"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 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 to 1933 and made his major league debut in June 1933.

Bobby appeared in 21 games for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1933, a team which went 79-72 that year. Bobby 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 to 1943 in the minors. He usually won in double figures, and with the Jersey City Giants went 17-11 with a 1.99 ERA in 1942 and 10-9, 2.50 in 1943. He was called up by the New York Giants in 1943, and pitched in nine games for manager Mel Ott.

After his playing days he coached at Williams College from 1946-1973, where there is now a Bobby Coombs Field.

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