Victor Cole

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Victor Alexander Cole

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Biographical Information[edit]

Victor Cole is the only major leaguer born in the Soviet Union and the most recent native of Mother Russia to play Major League Baseball. He had a 15-year career in pro ball. His son Victor Cole Jr. has played for the Russian national team.

Cole was drafted in the 14th round by the Kansas City Royals. He pitched in the Royals' organization until 1991 when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Carmelo Martinez. He saw his only major league action with the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates. Called up in June, he appeared in 8 games and pitched 23 innings to a 5.48 ERA. He spent his first four games as a reliever, but was moved into the rotation later in the month. He pitched his last game just over a month after his first. Cole played in the Milwaukee Brewers organization in 1994 and the San Diego Padres organization in 1995 and 1996. He then went to play in the Taiwan Major League for Kaoping Fala in 1997. He returned to the affiliated minors in 1998 and 1999 with the Chicago Cubs. He spent 2000 with the Memphis Redbirds, a AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, and the SK Wyverns of the KBO. Cole spent 2001 and 2002 with the KBO's Doosan Bears before retiring. In his ten seasons in the minor leagues, he had a record of 37-36 with an ERA of 3.70.

In 2003, Cole joined the Russian national team. He also joined the team on its tour of the North American-based independent Northeast League. Cole was with the team again in 2007. He did not play in the European Championship either year as he did not have a Russian passport but was still on Russia's roster for the 2003 European Championship.

Cole was pitching coach for Collierville High School in 2019 and Christian Brothers University in 2022.

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