Bob Harris

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Robert Arthur Harris

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Biographical Information[edit]

Wyoming native Bob Harris spent nine seasons in professional baseball from 1935 to 1946. He was signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1935 and was assigned to the Alexandria Aces of the class D Evangeline League. He spent both 1935 and '36 with the Alexandria team, going 12-8 his first year and 18-7 for the Aces with a 3.42 ERA in 1936. He also threw a no-hitter at the Rayne Rice Birds on May 27, shutting them down 2-0 in five innings. Harris's efforts helped the Alexandria team win both the league championship and playoff title.

He followed these two years up with two more double-digit winning seasons, winning 12 times for the Beaumont Exporters of the Texas League in 1937 and 13 times for the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association in 1938. Harris was then called to Briggs Stadium and made his big league debut with the Detroit Tigers on September 19. Bob would appear in three games on the year, pitching ten innings and winning his only decision.

Harris spent the next four seasons (1939-1942) in the major leagues. He was 1-1 with the Tigers in 1939 and on May 13 was traded to the St. Louis Browns along with Mark Christman, George Gill, Vern Kennedy, Chet Laabs and Roxie Lawson for Beau Bell, Red Kress, Bobo Newsom and Jim Walkup. Harris went 3-12 with the Browns in 1939, 11-15 in 1940, 12-14 in 1941. He was 1-5 with the Browns when they moved him to the Philadelphia Athletics on June 1, 1942 along with Bob Swift for Frankie Hayes. Harris went 1-5 for the Philadelphia club, giving him a 2-10 record for the year, his last in the major leagues. He finished up his big league time with a 30-52 record and a 4.96 ERA in 127 games.

Harris spent the next three seasons (1943-1945) serving in the Pacific Theater of War for the United States Navy during World War II. He returned to baseball in 1946, spending time with both the Toledo Mud Hens and the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association. He put together a combined 2-6 record and at the age of 31, he called it a career.

After baseball, he became an insurance adjuster until his retirement. Robert Arthur Harris died from cancer on August 9, 1989 at his home in North Platte, NE at 74 years of age.

He was the last Wyoming-born player until Dick Ellsworth debuted in 1958.

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