Al Grunwald

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Alfred Henry Grunwald

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Biographical Information[edit]

Al Grunwald was a 6' 4", left-handed hitting first baseman who was with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization from 1947 to 1954 before making a conversion to pitching. Al was with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League and the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League early in the 1954 season before being sent to the Waco Pirates in the class B Big State League to work on becoming a pitcher.

He helped the 1954 Waco team win the pennant with a .292 average in 50 games at first base while going 4-1 in a dozen games on the mound. Grunwald spent 8 seasons pitching in the minors (1954-1961), with 7 different clubs, winning 41 and losing 31 in 160 appearances with a 3.96 ERA. He did well with the bat also, playing in 1,392 games with 4,322 at bats, picking up 1,275 base hits (including 111 home runs) for a minor league career .295 batting average.

He made his debut in the majors in April of 1955 in relief for the Pittsburgh club and the big southpaw from Los Angeles, CA gained the dubious honor of becoming the only pitcher in major league history to give up the cycle (single, double, triple and a home run) in his debut inning. After two more appearances out of the Pirates' bullpen he returned to the minors before reappearing briefly with the Kansas City Athletics 1959 and losing his only decision in six games. That ended his major league time as a pitcher, ending up 0-1 in 9 appearances with a 6.63 ERA. He also picked up 2 hits in 8 at bats for a career .250 batting average.

Grunwald, who went on to pitch and play some first base in Japan in the early 1960s, then lived in Chatsworth, CA, where he was a retired newspaper pressman. He died there in 2011.


Baseball Players of the 1950s
BR MILB:page

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