Biography of Jim Umbricht

James Umbricht (September 17, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois – April 8, 1964 in Houston, Texas) was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball. He was an effective righthanded relief pitcher who appeared in 88 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1959-61) and Houston Colt .45s (1962-63) but became known throughout baseball and the Houston area for his battle against cancer.

Umbricht underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his leg in March 1963 but was able to return to the Colt .45s to post a 4-3 won/loss record and a stellar 2.61 earned run average in 35 games that season. He succumbed to lymphoma on the eve of the 1964 campaign, at the age of 33. His uniform number (32) was immediately retired by the club (known since 1965 as the Houston Astros) and the Astros’ MVP award was named in his honor. Over his career, Umbricht, a graduate of the University of Georgia, won 9 and lost 5 with an ERA of 3.06.

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