February 18, 1950 |
|July 4, 1971, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 5, 1985, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Earned run average||3.66|
|Career highlights and awards|
Bruce Eugene Kison (born February 18, 1950) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched from 1971–85 for three teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates (1971–79), California Angels (1980–84) and Boston Red Sox (1985). He batted and threw right-handed.
When Bruce Kison pitched for Pasco High in 1968, he was already 6-foot-4½ and so slender that one manager later cracked he could look right through him. However, his size did have its advantages.
When Kison uncoiled his long right arm and stretched out to the plate, there were very few right-handed hitters who could keep both feet in the batter’s box. Kison also threw mostly sidearm back then and intimidation was as much a part of his game as his 95-mph fastball. He threw three no-hitters during his senior season at Pasco High School. Three years later, he was pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Coming out of high school, Kison had hoped to play college baseball. When no offers came, he signed with the Pirates for $1,000 after a tryout camp in Sunnyside, Washington.
Kison pitched a one-hitter June 3, 1979, losing his no-hit bid when San Diego's Barry Evans doubled down the left field line with two out in the eighth. The Pirates hit 5 home runs that game in a 7 -0 victory on their way to the MLB title.
Kison also had a no-hitter broken up in the ninth on April 23, 1980 while with the Angels. With his team leading the Minnesota Twins 17-0 at Metropolitan Stadium, Kison had the no-hit bid broken up by a Ken Landreaux double with one out; the hit was the only one Kison would allow.  The no-hitter would have been the most lopsided in modern-day Major League history; Frank Smith of the Chicago White Sox had no-hit the Detroit Tigers by a 15-0 score on September 6, 1905.
Kison was 30-9 in the minors and was called up in the middle of the 1971 season and was the winning pitcher when Pittsburgh beat San Francisco to make it into the World Series. He later became the winning pitcher in the first night game ever played in the classic.
After tearing his rotator cuff during winter ball (which was usually a career-ending injury at the time), he spent 14 more years in the majors and changed his throwing motion.
Kison also has spent time as pitching coach for both the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles. A highly respected talent evaluator, Kison has spent the better part of the past decade as a Major League Scout for the Orioles.