Pitcher Joe Bauldree Dies at Age 25
05/29/02 23:04 EDT
.c The Associated Press
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Joe Bauldree, a starting pitcher for the Allentown Ambassadors in the independent Northern League, died in his sleep Wednesday. He was 25.
An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday to determine the cause of death, team spokesman Sean Aronson said. Bauldree had a history of an irregular heartbeat, but it was not known whether that was a factor in his death, Aronson said.
Bauldree, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound right-hander from Raleigh, N.C., made his first start of the season Friday and was scheduled to pitch Thursday. The team postponed a doubleheader Wednesday following Bauldree's death.
Bauldree, who began his professional career in 1995 in the Atlanta Braves' organization, was in his second season with the Ambassadors.
``I knew when I gave him the ball every fifth day I had a guy on the mound who would give me his all,'' Allentown manager Darrell Evans said. ``I could see he was a guy that wasn't afraid to battle.''
Atlanta pitcher Jason Marquis was a teammate of Bauldree's at Class A Macon of the South Atlantic League and remembered him as a ``fun guy who liked to laugh and joke around.''
``He was part of my life,'' Marquis said Wednesday night after the Braves' 4-3 loss to Montreal. ``You never want to lose anybody like that. He was a pretty good player. You don't get to play professionally unless you've got some talent.
``It's hard to believe something like that could happen. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.''