From BR Bullpen
Dennis Jerome Bair
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 215 lb.
- Schools Northeast Louisiana University, University of Pittsburgh
- High School Taylor Allderdice High School
Dennis Bair went 40-31 in a minor league career that covered 7 seasons, with a two-year interruption due to injuries.
Bair was chosen in the 8th round of the 1995 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs, out of Northeast Louisiana University. He split a great first year between the Williamsport Cubs (2-3, 1.60, 31 K:2 BB in 39 1/3 IP) and the Rockford Cubbies (4-2, 1.51, 40 K:6 BB in 53 2/3 IP). Had he qualified, he would have led both the New York-Penn League and Midwest League in ERA.
In 1996, Dennis had a 9-8, 3.67 record for the Daytona Cubs, striking out 127 and walking 42 in 174 IP. He led the Florida State League in starts and only teammate Kerry Wood struck out more batters among Cubs farmhands.
Bair injured his throwing shoulder in the spring training of 1997 and would eventually have three operations. He missed the entire 1997 and 1998 seasons, derailing his career.
Bair returned to the field in 1999 with the independent Allentown Ambassadors, but he was just 1-3 with a 6.94 ERA in five games. He split 2000 between Allentown (3-1, 8.33 in 7 games) and the Canton Crocodiles (3-1, 3.26 in 5 games).
The Cincinnati Reds signed Bair in 2001 but he did not pitch for them and returned to the independent leagues. He split the year between Canton (8-5, 3.51) and the Schaumburg Flyers (0-1, 6.59 in 5 games). While with Canton, he was involved in a project where the club signed about 2,000 photos of a missing girl from the Louisville, KY area; she was found soon thereafter. It would inspire Bair in similar work after his playing career ended.
In 2002, Bair again was signed by a major league team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, only to return to the independent leagues once more. He was 4-6 with 4 saves and a 4.63 ERA in 42 games for the Newark Bears. Bair's last season was with the 2003 Shreveport Sports. He had a 6-1 record with a 4.87 ERA and a team-leading 7 saves in 31 games.
Bair enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh to study nonprofit management. He developed a program called BairFind along with Mike Veeck of the Charleston RiverDogs to circulate pictures of missing children. The first person BairFind sought to locate was Tanya Kach of McKeesport, PA, who was found a year later.
In 2007, Bair was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Western Pennsylvania.
Currently teaching High School and Coaching at Highland High School in Gilbert, Arizona .
Sources: April 12, 2007 edition of the Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh and "Jewish Pittsburgher uses baseball promo to find missing kids" in the June 16, 2005 edition of the Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh