Russell Collier Saunders
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 205 lb.
- Debut September 24, 1927
- Final Game October 2, 1927
- Born March 12, 1906 in Trenton, NJ USA
- Died November 24, 1967 in Trenton, NJ USA
Rusty Saunders was an outfielder six years (1927-1932), all in the minors except for a cup of coffee in 1927. Saunders was born on Monday, March 12, 1906, in Trenton, NJ. He broke into Organized Baseball at age 21 in 1927 with Chambersburg in the Blue Ridge League. Purchased from the Class D club, Saunders was 21 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 24, 1927, with the Philadelphia Athletics. He appeared in five games, all but one in the outfield and played his final MLB game on October 2, 1927 at age 21.
He returned to the minors with Portland in the New England League (1928); Dallas in the Texas League (1928); Portland in the New England League (1929-1930); Elmira in the New York-Pennsylvania League (NYP) (1930); Elmira and Scranton (NYP) (1931); and Ft. Wayne in the Central League (1932); ending his baseball career at age 26.
In 1929, his best year in the minors, he had 14 home runs and 145 RBI at .399. Overall in the minors, he had 35 home runs and 321 RBI.
After his major league career, Saunders played a handful of games in the NBL, a predecessor to the NBA. He was a forward for Brooklyn (1925-1926); Washington (1926-27) and (1927-28); Brooklyn and Fort Wayne (1928-31); and Fort Wayne in the ABL (1940-41), Detroit (1945-46) and Indianapolis in the NBL.
He was a corrections officer at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton from 1939 until his death. Saunders served in the U.S. Navy during World War II (BN). He died at age 61 at Community Memorial Hospital in Toms River, NJ on November 24, 1967 and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Trenton.
Principal sources for Rusty Saunders include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (none) (WW), old Baseball Registers (none) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) and The Texas League in Baseball, 1888-1958 by Marshall D. Wright and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.