Steve “Smokey” Sundra, pitcher
Toledo Mud Hens: 1934
Minneapolis Millers: 1935
born: March 27, 1910 @ Luxor, Pennsylvania
died: March 23, 1952 @ Cleveland, Ohio
Today we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the death of Steve “Smokey” Sundra who died March 23, 1952 at Cleveland, Ohio. Sundra died of rectal cancer at the age of 41. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland.
Sundra first pitched in the American Association as a 24-year-old with the Toledo Mud Hens in 1934, his first assignment in the high minors. Finishing the season with a 7-7 record, Sundra appeared in 37 games, completing 156 innings of work and compiling an ERA of 5.02.
The 1935 season found Sundra with the Minneapolis Millers who became the American Association champions that year. With a record of 4-6, Sundra pitched 102 innings with an ERA of 6.18 in 28 games. One highlight of his season came as a batter when he hit one home run.
Sundra’s last season in the minors came with the Newark Bears of the International League in 1937 when he posted a 15-4 record. He then began his nine-season major league career in earnest as a member of the New York Yankees.
Joining the US Army in in 1945, Sundra pitched in only two more games, appearing in the uniform of the St. Louis Browns.