Ruffin teamed with Roger Clemens, Greg Swindell, and Calvin Schiraldi to help the University of Texas win the 1983 NCAA baseball championship. He had a splendid rookie season in 1986, going 9-4, 2.46 after a mid-season promotion from Double-A Reading, but control problems began to hinder him in 1988, when he issued 80 free passes in 144 1/3 innings.
Ruffin suffered through double-digit losses in each season from 1987 to 1990, and didn't post a winning record until 1993, when he rebounded from a horrible 1992 season with the Brewers (1-6, 6.67) to establish himself as one of the most reliable relievers on the expansion Colorado Rockies. The following year he pitched well enough to wrest the closer's job from the struggling Darren Holmes, and saved 58 games over the next four seasons in Denver before his wildness returned. (SG/JGR)
Contribute your recollections of Bruce Ruffin by clicking here.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»June 25, 1986:
The Phillies give 41-year-old Steve Carlton his unconditional release and call up Bruce Ruffin to take his place in the starting rotation.
»September 6, 1990: The last-place Phils top the first place Cubs 9–1 behind Bruce Ruffin's first complete game in three seasons. With the Cards beating the Mets, Chicago leads St. Louis by 1/2 game in the National League East.