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Ronnie Retton

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Ronald Lee Retton

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 160 lb.

BR minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Ronnie Retton played for six seasons in the minor leagues, reaching AA. His daughter Mary Lou Retton achieved greater fame as a US Olympic gymnast.

In college, Retton hit .417 for the 1957 WVU Mountaineers, leading the team. He was All-Conference in both 1957 and 1959 at shortstop. He also played basketball for WVU, appearing in the 1959 NCAA basketball championship. He graduated with a B.S. in Physical Education. Signing with the New York Yankees, he hit .271/.425/.386 with 90 walks, 7 triples and 24 steals in 28 tries for the 1959 Auburn Yankees. He tied for fifth in the New York-Penn League in three-baggers, tied Gus Gil for third in walks and was third in stolen bases. He fielded .933 at short. In 1960, he batted .288/?/.406 with 11 triples for Auburn. He tied three other players for the NYPL lead in triples.

During 1961, he hit .291/.412/.367 with 103 walks and 114 runs for the Greensboro Yankees and fielded .931 at shortstop. He batted .280/.407/.345 with 114 walks and 98 runs for the 1962 Augusta Yankees while fielding .951. He led the South Atlantic League in walks (16 ahead of runner-up Deacon Jones), made the top 10 in OBP and was 5th in runs, trailing Pete Rose Sr., Jones, Tommy Helms and Don Buford, all of whom would play in the majors. His 34 errors tied Helms for the most of SAL shortstops, but both were also above the league average in fielding percentage; the high error totals resulted from their playing more games than those with lower fielding percentages.

Back with Augusta the next year, he fell to .240/.359/.324 with 85 runs, 92 walks and 10 triples. He fielded .957, continuing to improve there. He was still third in the SAL in runs (5 behind co-leaders Jim Hicks and Adolfo Phillips), tied for second in triples (two behind leader Costen Shockley) and he again led in walks (9 ahead of runner-up Ernie Oravetz). With the 1964 Columbus Confederate Yankees, Ronnie hit .255/~.369/.307 as a backup infielder to end his baseball career. He hit .272 and slugged .361 in his six seasons in pro ball.

In 2010, he was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Served in the National Guard for 6 months

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