Robert James Bruce
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.
- School Alma College
- High School Highland Park (MI) High School
- Debut September 14, 1959
- Final Game June 24, 1967
- Born May 16, 1933 in New York, NY USA
- Died March 15, 2017 in Plano, TX USA
“As a member of the original Colt .45s team, Bob Bruce will always have a special place in the history of our organization, playing a significant role in several milestone moments. He was a popular player both on and off the field and helped solidify the Astros as a Major League franchise in the early years.” - Houston Astros, March 2017
Before 1953, Bob Bruce signed as an amateur free agent with the Detroit Tigers. He was sent to the Class D Wausau Timberjacks for seasoning and went 18-8 with a 3.20 ERA. 1954 found him with the Class B Durham Bulls, with a 13-8 record and a 3.42 ERA. It would take until 1959 before he got a chance to show his stuff in the major leagues. He first arrived with his hometown Tigers for a couple appearances late that season after leading the American Association in strikeouts with 177 for the Charleston Senators. He was back with Detroit in 1960, going 4-7 in 130 innings, and also in 1961 with a 1-2 record in 45 innings. On December 1st, Bruce, along with Manny Montejo, was traded to the Houston Colt 45s for Sam Jones.
Bob was part of the Colt 45s/Astros rotation for five seasons from 1962 to 1966. He logged his best year in 1964, going 15-9 with a 2.76 ERA, 9 complete games, 4 shutouts and pitching in the last game at Colt Stadium and the first game at the Astrodome. Following a tough luck, 3-13, 5.34 season in 1966, Bruce was traded once more, this time along with Dave Nicholson, to the Atlanta Braves for Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, Arnold Umbach and Sandy Alomar. 1967 would be his last year in baseball, going 2-3 with the Atlanta team and finishing the season with the AAA Richmond Braves at 7-2 with a 1.87 ERA.
Bruce pitched 14 years in pro ball from 1953 through 1967, nine years in the major leagues. He finished 49-71, appearing in 219 games, pitching 1,122 innings, giving up 1,146 hits and 340 walks for a major league career 3.85 ERA. While in the minors, Bob appeared in 194 games, going 76-55, pitching 1,130 innings, allowing 989 hits and 537 walks for a career 3.93 ERA.
- 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (1964)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1964 & 1965)