Jim Magnuson

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James Robert Magnuson

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Biographical Information[edit]

Jim Magnuson holds the record for lowest season earned run average (min. 40 IP) in the history of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). In 1966, pitching for Wisconsin-Oshkosh, he put up a 0.19 ERA for the season.

He was the first player to make the major leagues out of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a Division III NAIA school. Six other fellow alums have since made it to MLB through 2006, including Jim Gantner and Gary Varsho.

The Chicago White Sox took him in the third round of the 1966 amateur draft. He debuted that year for their Fox Cities Foxes farm team, going 5-4 with a 2.04 ERA. He had qualified, he would have ranked sixth in the Midwest League in ERA. In 1967, Jim was with the Lynchburg White Sox and was 6-2 with a 2.56 ERA. He would have been fourth in the Carolina League in ERA had he qualified.

Jim served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.

In 1968, Magnuson was with the Evansville White Sox, posting a 3-4, 4.35 record. The next year, he had a 5-12, 3.79 mark with one save for the Columbus White Sox. He led the Southern League in losses that year. In 1970, the 23-year-old hurler had a 5-5, 1.94 record in 13 starts for the Mobile White Sox, allowing only 14 walks in 88 innings, earning him a call-up to the majors. Magnuson had a 1-5, 4.84 record for the Chicago White Sox in 1970.

Jim started 1971 with Chicago but only made sporadic appearances for the club throughout the year, going 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 18 games. He also spent time with the Tucson Toros, where he was 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA in three outings.

The New York Yankees claimed Magnuson in the 1971 Rule V Draft. He spent all of 1972 with the Syracuse Chiefs, having a 9-7, 3.48, 3 save record for them. He was 10th in the International League in ERA and led his club. He finished his career in 1973, going 7-4 with a 4.04 ERA for Syracuse and 0-1 with a 4.28 ERA for the 1973 Yankees.

Overall, Magnuson had a 40-39 record in the minors and a 2-7 record in the majors. His MLB ERA+ was 82.

He was found dead of alcohol poisoning in his girlfriend's apartment in Green Bay, WI on May 30, 1991. He was 44. Some reports had him listed as a suicide.

Sources include WIAC records, SABR Veteran Committee, 1967-1974 Baseball Guides

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