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A photo of Jon Rauch.

Jon Erich Rauch (born September 27, 1978, in Louisville, Kentucky) is a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball with the Minnesota Twins and is an Olympic Gold Medalist. At 6' 11" (2.11 m), he is the tallest player in the history of the major leagues.[1]

Early years

Rauch attended and graduated from Oldham County High School. He grew up in Westport, Kentucky.

College career

Rauch played baseball in college at Morehead State University, where he double majored in physics and business. He was also a member of the social fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Professional career

Chicago White Sox

He was drafted in the third round of the 1999 amateur draft by the Chicago White Sox. He debuted with the White Sox on April 2, 2002.

In 2002, Rauch's first stint in the big leagues resulted in a 6.59 ERA in eight games and six starts. He did not play in the majors in 2003, then returned to the majors in 2004 after a strong Triple-A campaign. However, against major league batters he again posted a high ERA of 6.23. In July 2004, Rauch was traded to the Montréal Expos along with Triple-A reliever Gary Majewski for Carl Everett.

Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals

On August 13, 2004, Rauch hit a home run against the Houston Astros off Roger Clemens, making him the tallest man ever to hit a home run in Major League Baseball. Despite a strong finish to the season in Montréal, Rauch was sent to the minors when the Expos moved to Washington. After putting up better numbers in the minors, Rauch finished the 2005 season with the Nationals, used mostly as a reliever, and going 2-4 with a 3.60 ERA.

In 2006, Rauch had his best season, posted a 4-5 record, a 3.35 ERA, and appearing in 85 games, second most in the NL. He was Washington's most reliable reliever on a team that finished last in the NL in ERA. He finished highest in the bullpen in games, innings pitched, strikeouts, and batters faced. He finished second only to closer Chad Cordero in saves, ERA, and ERA+.

In 2007, Rauch led the Major Leagues in appearances with 88. He finished the year with a 8-4 record, four saves, and a 3.61 ERA. His eight victories led the team in wins, a rarity in baseball.

On February 2, 2008, Rauch signed a two-year contract with the Nationals, worth a total of $3.2 million.[2] Before being traded, Rauch spent most of the year as the closer in place of injured Chad Cordero.[3]

Rauch won the first game in the history of Nationals Park.

Arizona Diamondbacks (2009)

On July 22, 2008, Rauch was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for second base prospect Emilio Bonifacio.[4]

Minnesota Twins (2009-present)

On August 28, 2009, Rauch was traded to the Minnesota Twins for RHP Kevin Mulvey.[5] He appeared in 17 games for the Twins before the end of the season, posting a 5-1 record with a 1.72 ERA.[6]

On April 2, 2010, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire named Rauch the team's closer, replacing the injured Joe Nathan.[7] On April 6, 2010 Rauch earned his first save as a Twin with a perfect ninth with two strikeouts versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a 5-3 win.

See also


External links

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