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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Rich Buonantony's dad pledged retirement if he made majors

Rich Buonantony 1990 Reading Phillies card

Rich Buonantony's father pledged to retire if his son ever made the majors, according to The New York Times in 1983.

That's because Buonantony's father worked in a Las Vegas sports book and the gambling connection to a major leaguer would be awkward, to say the least.

"To me, that's absolutely incredible because it is his livelihood, he's been doing it so long and it's a part of his life,'' Buonantony said of his father, according to The Times. "Imagine, if I'd ever get to the big leagues, he couldn't even ask me how I feel because of his position, he'd be finding out some information he wasn't supposed to know and some information I wasn't supposed to tell him."

Whenever Buonantony's father retired isn't clear. What is clear is that the end of the father's career didn't come with his son making the majors. Buonantony played as a pro for a dozen seasons, but he never made the bigs.

Buonantony's pro career began in 1980, taken by the Cubs in the 14th round of the draft out of Western High School in Las Vegas.

Buonantony played his first two seasons in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He had a 4.00 ERA his first year and a 5.06 in his second. He pitched a complete game for a win in an August 1980 game. In June 1981, he picked up a 10-6 victory, one of two wins he got in 13 outings that year.

He broke out somewhat in 1982, going 12-4, with a 3.91 ERA in 26 starts at single-A Quad City. He then played 1983 between single-A Salinas and AA Midland.

For 1984, Buonantony was included in a trade to the Brewers for Steve Lake. He played that season between single-A and AA again, he then moved to the Cardinals system for the next four seasons.

He made AAA for the first time in 1986, at Louisville. He went 7-6 in 23 outings, 16 starts that year. He picked up a May 12-7 win, then took a perfect game into the seventh inning of an August victory.

Buonantony stayed with the Cardinals into 1989 before moving to the Phillies. He played a shortened 1990 between AA Reading and AAA Scranton, then got five starts at high-A Reno in 1991, ending his career.
Rich Buonantony 1990 Reading Phillies card

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,113
Made the Majors: 913-43.2%
Never Made Majors:1,200-56.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 388
10+ Seasons in the Minors:227-X

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