November 18, 1938 |
|July 26, 1961, for the Washington Senators|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 30, 1962, for the Washington Senators|
|Runs batted in||31|
Marion Sylvester "Bud" Zipfel (born November 18, 1938 in Belleville, Illinois) is a retired professional baseball player. He played two seasons in Major League Baseball for the 1961-62 Washington Senators.
Upon graduating from Belleville High School in 1956, Zipfel signed with the New York Yankees as a free agent. He steadily progressed through the Yankees' minor league system over the next few years, showing some potential as a big (6'3" tall) slugging left-handed first baseman.
On December 14, 1960, Zipfel was picked by the Los Angeles Angels in the 29th round of the 1960 Major League Baseball expansion draft and was then immediately traded to the Washington Senators for infielder Ken Hamlin. The Senators sent him to the minor leagues, and he had his best statistical season in 1961 playing for Syracuse Chiefs, batting .312 with 18 home runs over 101 games.
Zipfel had an "impressive" spring training with the Senators in 1961, and after continuing his powerful hitting for a few months in the minor leagues, made his major league debut with the Senators on July 26, 1961. He remained on the big league squad for the rest of the season as a backup 1st baseman, but his hot bat cooled, and he hit .200 with only 4 home runs over 50 games.
Zipfel was drafted into the United States Marine Corps soon after the 1961 baseball season but completed his service in time to rejoin the Senators at the end of spring training in 1962. He began the season in the minor leagues and was recalled to the major league squad on June 26, 1962. Zipfel remained with the Senators for the rest of the season, splitting time between first base and left field. He again struggled to hit major league pitching, batting .239 with 6 home runs over 68 games. The highlight of his season was a 16th inning home run (the last of his major league career) that provided the winning margin in a game in which teammate Tom Cheney struck out a record 21 batters in a 228 pitch complete game on September 12.
The Senators released Zipfel at the end of the 1962 season. For the next several years, he played for various minor league affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals. He was not recalled to the major leagues, and he retired from baseball after the 1966 season.
Upon returning to his hometown of Bellevelle, Illinois, Zipfel became a successful real estate agent and developer.
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