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Jack Bruner

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Jack Raymond Bruner

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Jack Bruner left high school to join the Navy during World War II. In January 1944, he was knocked from his gun turret in a "JBU" attack on his ship, cracked his head and tumbled into the sea. He was rescued and when his ship made port in India was taken to an Army hospital where he was found to have a broken back. The first and second vertebrae were fractured. He was returned to the States and by August of that year was pitching for the Ottuma (IA) Naval Air Station.

Discharged in October 1945, he finished high school and enrolled at the University of Iowa where he compiled a record of 21 and 10 and earned All-American honors. Bruner signed with the Chicago White Sox on June 13, 1949 and then spent the biggest part of the year with the Waterloo White Hawks, winning 13 and losing only 4 with a 2.44 ERA and finished out in the majors winning one of his three decisions; the victory came in a relief role against the New York Yankees.

Jack was with the White Sox at the start of the 1950 but he only appeared in 9 games, pitching 12 innings with no decisions before he was traded to the St. Louis Browns on July 1st. He had a 1-2 record in 13 games for the Browns, mostly out of the bullpen, and ended his look in the major leagues with a combined 2-4 record in 26 games, 55 innings pitched and a 4.91 ERA.

It was back to the minors where he spent the next three years and saw action with seven different teams through 1954. The high point in his minor league travels came on April 30, 1952; while pitching for the Western League's Wichita Indians he threw a no-hitter at the Lincoln Athletics, winning 7-0.

Jack spent only five years in pro ball, most of it in the minors, and worked hard to get an overall winning record. His minor league record shows he appeared in 93 games, winning 33 and losing 31, pitching 487 innings, giving up 426 base hits and 306 base on balls and winding up with a career 4.16 ERA.

After baseball, Jack, who was a native of Waterloo, IA, was with the police department there before spending 26 years as a claims adjuster for Western Mutual Insurance Company. He retired in Lincoln, NE, where he died on June 24, 2003, at the age of 78.

[edit] Sources

Baseball-Reference.com
Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page
The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Third Edition

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