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Joe Bauman

Born: April 16, 1922 in Welch, Okla.
Died: Sept. 20. 2005 in Roswell, N.M.

Joe Bauman never played a game in major league baseball, but, in 1954, he hit 72 home runs in a minor league season. That stood as a professional baseball record until it was broken by Barry Bonds with 73 in 2001.

Bauman died Sept. 20, 2005 in Roswell, N.M. from pneumonia. He was 83.

His spectacular season came in 1954. Bauman was playing in the Class C Longhorn League when he hit 72 home runs for the Roswell Rockets. Bauman was 32 at the time and he hit .400 in 138 games that season.

The following season, in 1955, he hit 46 home runs and he retired as a player following the 1956 season. He hit 337 home runs in nine seasons in the minor leagues.

In 1948, while in the Boston Braves organization, he played for Milwaukee of the American Association. The following year, according to his obituary, Bauman decided to play semipro baseball and to run a service station in Elk City, Okla.

He returned to minor league baseball in 1952.

Bauman served in the Navy for four years during World War II.

Following his career in baseball, he ran a service station and worked for a beer distributor until his retirement in 1984.