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Wally Bunker

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Wallace Edward Bunker

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Pitcher Wally Bunker played nine seasons in the majors and is best remembered for his very successful rookie campaign.

Signed by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school, Bunker made his pro debut in 1963 with the Stockton Ports, going 10-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 14 starts. That performance earned him a September call-up to the majors, and he made one start, giving up 6 earned runs in 4 innings against the Detroit Tigers on September 29th and taking the loss. As a 19-year-old, he earned a spot in the O's rotation in 1964, and in his first outing that year, on May 5th, he threw a one-hitter against the Washington Senators. He won his first 6 starts, and overall, he went 19-5 with a 2.69 ERA for Baltimore. He finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting to Tony Oliva.

Bunker won 10 games in both 1965 and 1966 and hurled a shutout in Game 3 of the 1966 World Series, as the Orioles swept the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, he won only 5 games over the next two seasons before being taken by the Kansas City Royals in the 1968 expansion draft. He won a dozen games in the team's inaugural season, leading the pitching staff, but only recorded 4 more big league wins after that. He was out of baseball before his 28th birthday.

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