Gary Roenicke

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Gary Steven Roenicke

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Biographical Information[edit]

The brother of Ron Roenicke, Gary Roenicke was a 1st-round pick (8th overall) by the Montreal Expos in the 1973 amateur draft. The scout was Bob Zuk. Originally a shortstop, he moved to the outfield in the minors. He debuted with the Expos in 1976 but spent the 1977 season in the minor leagues, as the Expos were loaded with good young outfielders at the time, including Andre Dawson, Warren Cromartie, Ellis Valentine and Jerry White. Acquired by the Baltimore Orioles in a six-player trade, he was recalled by the club during the 1978 season and became a regular in 1979. That year, he was part of the highly successful left field platoon with John Lowenstein that Orioles manager Earl Weaver established during the pennant-winning season. He excelled as a right-handed hitter against lefty tossers in the American League, a good example being Jerry Koosman who Roenicke bashed to the tune of 10 for 18 (.556) with 7 extra-base hits (4 2B, 3 HR).

Roenicke's Orioles career was erratic, as his standout 1979, 1982, and 1983 seasons were mixed in with subpar years in 1980 and 1981. He was hit in the face by a pitch from Lerrin LaGrow early in the 1979 campaign and returned to the lineup as one of the first players to wear a helmet with a protective device attached, much like the double-bar facemasks that football quarterbacks wear, though Roenicke only had half of one to protect the left side of his face.

Roenicke was outstanding in the Orioles' American League Championship Series victory over the Chicago White Sox in 1983, going 3 for 4 with 5 walks. He slumped in 1984 and 1985 and was traded to the New York Yankees. Roenicke left the Yankees after the 1986 season and concluded his major league career as a fourth outfielder and pinch hitter for the Atlanta Braves in 1987 and 1988.

In 1990, Roenicke, along with his brother Ron, played for the San Bernardino Pride of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. He played in 21 games and was batting .303 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI when the league folded.

Following his playing career, Roenicke became a scout for the San Diego Padres and Baltimore Orioles.

Roenicke's son, pitcher Josh Roenicke, was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2006 amateur draft and reached the major leagues. Another son, Jason Roenicke, was drafted in both 2007 and 2008. A third son, Jarett Roenicke, played professionally from 2000 to 2003. His nephew, Lance Roenicke, also played professionally.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Related Sites[edit]