LIVINGSTON, Ala. - Richard Rundles, pitching coach for the University of West Alabama, passed away Monday from natural causes. Arrangements are pending.
The son of UWA head coach Gary Rundles and Joan Rundles, Richard was set to begin his third season as pitching coach for the Tigers. He is also survived by sisters Megan and Alley.
Richard joined the West Alabama staff as operations manager and pitching coach in the fall of 2017 after serving for a season on the UWA baseball staff as a volunteer assistant coach.
Drafted in the third round (88th overall) by the Boston Red Sox out of Jefferson County (Tenn.) High School, Rundles pitched in the Red Sox organization through July 2001. He made the South Atlantic League All-Star team before being traded to the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals at the 2001 deadline.
He climbed as high as Double A Harrisburg before joining the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 2006, where he played half the season wth AA Springfield and then half the season for the New York Mets Double A affiliate Binghamton.
Rundles was in the Cleveland Indians organization from 2007-09, playing the 2007 season in Double A Akron and Triple A Buffalo. In 2008 he was the lone player from Buffalo to play in the AAA All-Star Game before being called up to the Major Leagues in September 2008 with the Indians.
He split time between the big league Indians and AAA Columbus in 2009 before injuries began to wreak havoc on his playing career.
Rundles signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2012 before being signed with the Baltimore Orioles in June, staying in the big leagues during the second half of the 2013 season. He also spent time in Norfolk, the Orioles AAA affiliate.
He appeared in nine Major League games, posting a 1.50 earned run average. Through 836 minor-league innings, Rundles compiled a 3.39 ERA.
Rundles gained his first coaching experience with the Barnstormers from 2014 to 2016, serving as the pitching coach. He also served as interim manager for two months during the 2016 season.