RIP to Ron Negray, an Ohio native and pitcher who spent 4 seasons in the majors. He died on November 8 after a brief illness. He was 88 years old. Negray played for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1952; 1958) and Philadelphia Phillies (1955-6).
Negray attended Kent State University and signed with the Dodgers prior to 1949. He was an immediate sensation for the Valdosta Dodgers of the Georgia-Florida League that year, with a 21-6 record and 2.17 ERA. He moved to the St. Paul Saints in 1952 and struggled a bit with a 3.95 ERA and 11-7 record. Nevertheless, he was called up by Brooklyn in September and appeared in 4 games, one of which was a start. He earned a 3.46 ERA in 13 inning with 5 walks and 5 strikeouts.
Negray was back in the minors in 1953. He stayed with St. Paul through June of 1955, when the Phillies traded for him and brought him to the majors once again. He threw a career high 71-2/3 innings for the Phils in 10 starts and 9 relief outings, going 4-3 with a 3.52 ERA. He completed 2 of those starts and fanned 30. The Phillies moved him primarily to the bullpen in 1956, and he was 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA. He did pick up 3 saves and improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio to a career-high 1.83, with 44 K’s against 24 walks.
In April 1957, Negray was traded back to the Brooklyn Dodgers and went back to the minors. Splitting time in St. Paul and the minor-league Los Angeles Angels, he won 12 games working mainly as a starter again. When the Dodgers themselves moved to Los Angeles in 1958, Negray was part of the Opening Day roster. He pitched the final 2 innings of the first-ever Los Angeles Dodgers game, an 8-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants. After a couple more outings where he was hit hard, Negray was sent to the minors and never made it back to the Show.
For his career, Negray had a 6-6 record, 4.04 ERA and 1.395 WHIP. He appeared in 67 games, with 15 starts, and struck out 81 batters. He stayed in the minor leagues until 1963, playing in Montreal, Toronto and Hawaii. He won 113 games in the minors.
After baseball, Negray sold athletic supplies for uniforms to high schools, colleges and pro sports teams.