Robert Ramsay (baseball)

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Robert Ramsay
Born: (1973-12-03)December 3, 1973
Vancouver, Washington
Died: August 4, 2016(2016-08-04) (aged 42)
Moscow, Idaho
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 27, 1999, for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 2000, for the Seattle Mariners
MLB statistics
Win–loss record1–3
Earned run average4.19

Robert Arthur Ramsay (December 3, 1973 – August 4, 2016) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched parts of two seasons, 1999 and 2000, for the Seattle Mariners, then battled brain cancer for nearly fifteen years.[1][2]

Early years[edit]

Born and raised in Vancouver, Washington, Ramsay graduated from its Mountain View High School in 1992. He then attended Washington State University in Pullman,[3] where he played college baseball for the Cougars for four seasons, through 1996.[4]

During his junior year in 1995, WSU won the Pac-10 northern division,[5][6] and Ramsay was the starter in the first game of the championship series against southern division winner USC at Los Angeles.[3][7]

Pro career[edit]

Following his senior season at Washington State, Ramsay was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the seventh round of the 1996 draft.[8][9] The Red Sox traded him to the Mariners for Butch Huskey on July 26, 1999.[9][10] After the 2000 season with Seattle, Ramsay spent 2001 at Triple-A Tacoma, then was diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme) in early 2002.[11] After surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment, he attempted a comeback in 2003 with the San Diego Padres organization,[12][13][14][15] but it ended his baseball career.[16]

After baseball[edit]

Ramsay lived in Pullman in the off-season during his pro career,[13] and spent some of his retirement coaching and teaching in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho,[16] his wife Samantha's hometown.[17][18]

The family moved back down to the Palouse at Moscow, where Samantha, a former Penn State and WSU volleyball player (setter),[17][18] became an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Idaho in 2010.[19] While she completed her doctorate in education at UI, Ramsay earned a master's.[2]


Ramsay died at age 42 in Moscow in 2016 after suffering a seizure, a complication related to previously diagnosed brain cancer.[16][20][21] He had survived over 14½ years since the initial diagnosis.[2]

Less than a year later, Samantha died in July 2017 in Switzerland, struck by lightning while mountain climbing in the Alps, near the summit of the Matterhorn.[21][22] The couple was survived by their two sons, ages twelve and nine.[23][24]


  1. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (August 8, 2016). "Ramsay's life not measured by stats". Major League Baseball. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Robert A. Ramsay". Short's Funeral Chapel. (Moscow, Idaho). (obituary). August 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Miedema, Laurence (May 16, 1995). "Ramsay draws opening assignment at USC". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). p. 1C.
  4. ^ "Washington State University Baseball Players Who Made It to the Major Leagues". Archived from the original on August 12, 2004. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  5. ^ Miedema, Laurence (May 15, 1995). "Cougars headed to playoffs". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). p. 1C.
  6. ^ "Pac-10 North standings". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). May 11, 1995. p. 3D.
  7. ^ "Cougars squander lead, fall to USC". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). May 19, 1995. p. 1B.
  8. ^ Miedema, Laurence (June 6, 1996). "Arizona picks WSU's Ryan in 26th round". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). p. 1D.
  9. ^ a b Robert Ramsay page at Baseball Almanac
  10. ^ "Huskey to Boston for ex-WSU pitcher". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. July 27, 1999. p. C1.
  11. ^ Newhan, Ross (February 23, 2003). "Ramsay is taking it one pitch at a time". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Berkow, Ira (March 17, 2003). "Baseball: For pitcher, a spring to appreciate". New York Times. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Andriesen, David (March 3, 2003). "Rob Ramsay's game of his life". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  14. ^ "Ramsay navigates long road back". Kitsap Sun. (Bremerton, Washington). Associated Press. March 2, 2003. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  15. ^ Kelley, Steve (January 28, 2004). "Ramsay again talks baseball, not cancer". Seattle Times. Retrieved September 12, 2007.
  16. ^ a b c "M's remember former reliever Rob Ramsay, who also pitched at WSU". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). August 8, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Cd'A's Spink will transfer to Cougars". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). January 5, 1997. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "U of I professor killed in Alps had Cd'A connection". Coeur d'Alene Press. (Idaho). August 1, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "Samantha A Ramsay". University of Idaho. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  20. ^ "Robert Arthur Ramsay, 42, of Moscow". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. August 4, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  21. ^ a b Boren, Cindy (August 7, 2017). "She found peace in climbing after husband's death; year later, she died on the Matterhorn". Washington Post. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  22. ^ Quinn, Shannon (August 1, 2017). "University of Idaho professor killed by lightning strike in Swiss Alps". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). (Moscow-Pullman Daily News). Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  23. ^ Wilkinson, James (August 1, 2017). "University of Idaho professor and mother of two is killed after being struck by lightning while climbing in the Swiss Alps, a year after her former pro baseball player husband died of brain cancer". Daily Mail. (London, England). Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  24. ^ "Samantha Ramsay". Idaho Argonaut. (Moscow). University of Idaho. Retrieved September 12, 2017.

External links[edit]