Ron Blackburn

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Ron Blackburn
Born: (1935-04-23)April 23, 1935
Mount Airy, North Carolina
Died: April 29, 1998(1998-04-29) (aged 63)
Near Morganton, North Carolina
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
1958 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
July 28, 1959 for the Pittsburgh Pirates

Ronald Hamilton Blackburn [Blackie] (April 23, 1935 – April 29, 1998) a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1958 and 1959 seasons.


Blackburn batted and threw right handed. He stood at 6' ½" and 160 pounds at the height of his career. He spent 11 seasons in the minor leagues and played two consecutive seasons for the Pirates.

His major league debut was on Opening Day 1958 against the Milwaukee Braves. The first batter he faced was Hank Aaron, who hit a single off of Blackburn, but he managed to keep the next nine batters off base for his first victory.

On the road for his two years with the Pirates his roommate was Bill Mazeroski. During these two years, he also was a teammate of legendary outfielder Roberto Clemente.

Blackburn played his last game for Pittsburgh on July 28, 1959.

Year Age Team League Level
1953 18 Burlington-Graham Pirates Carolina League B
1953 18 Fond du Lac Panthers Wisconsin State League D
1954 19 St. Jean Canadians Provincial League C
1955 20 Phoenix Stars Arizona-Mexico League C
1955 20 Burlington-Graham Pirates Carolina League B
1956 21 Williamsport Grays Eastern League A
1956 21 New Orleans Pelicans Southern Association AA
1957 22 Columbus Jets International League AAA
1958 23 Pittsburgh Pirates National League MLB
1959 24 Columbus Jets International League AAA
1959 24 Pittsburgh Pirates National League MLB
1960 25 Columbus Jets International League AAA
1960 25 Salt Lake City Bees Pacific Coast League AAA
1961 26 Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers American Association AAA
1961 26 Macon Peaches Southern Association AA
1963 28 Columbus Jets International League AAA
1964 29 Columbus Jets International League AAA
1964 29 Asheville Tourists Southern League AAA


Born on April 23, 1935 in Mount Airy, North Carolina, Blackburn was raised in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He studied at Catawba College, where he met his wife Sandra Lower.

Following his playing retirement In 1964, he became a teacher and baseball coach at Western Carolina University, where he also attended school. He had his first son Ron H. Blackburn jr. in 1961 and second son Rick S. Blackburn in 1964. The family moved to Cullowhee, North Carolina a few years later before relocating back to Morganton, North Carolina, where he worked as recreation director at the Western Correction Center.

Blackburn died on April 29, 1998 from health issues at age 63. He is buried in Carolina Memorial Park, Concord, North Carolina.