Fred Bruckbauer,a Sleepy Eye, Minn., native who became one of the better pitchers at the University of Minnesota before making one ill-fated appearance for the Twins in 1961, died last weekend at his home in Naples, FLa.  He was 69.

Bruckbauer went 16-5 in two years with the Gophers and received one of the bigger signing bonuses of its time, about $50,000 from the Washington Senators in 1959.  When the Senators moved to Minnesota for the 1961 season, becoming the Twins, Bruckbauer had a chance to pitch in his home state, but a shoulder injury had robbed much of his promise.

He began the 1961 season with the Twins and made one appearance on April 25th vs the Kansas City Athletics.  He faced four batters, allowing three runs and did not record an out. To this day he is one of only 19 pitchers in major league history with a career earned run average of infinity.

He was sent to the Chiefs on May 4th and spent the rest of the season in Syracuse.  With the Chiefs, who lost 98 games that season Bruckbauer went 7-10 with a 4.84 ERA. During that season he pitched a two hit shutout vs Jersey City on June 11th and a three-hit shutout vs Charleston on July 30th.

The next season he appeared in eight games for Charlotte in the South Atlantic League before ending his career.

Bruckbauer is survived by his wife Kathy and four children and 13 grandchildren.  After his baseball career ended he spent 34 years working for John Deere Company.

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