A righthanded-hitting shortstop born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Baumer had a highly unusual major league playing career. After reaching the majors at age 18 with the 1949 Chicago White Sox, Baumer hit .400 (four hits in ten at bats, including a double and a triple). He then disappeared into the minor leagues and would not return to MLB until, as a 30-year-old, he had a brief trial with the 1961 Cincinnati Reds before he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for first baseman Dick Gernert and returned to the minor leagues. Overall, he batted .206 in 18 games and 34 at bats, with two runs batted in.
When his playing career ended, Baumer became a scout with the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers, and became Milwaukee's director of scouting in 1974. The following season, he succeeded Jim Wilson as the Brewers' general manager. Baumer's most successful transaction during his three-year tenure as GM was his acquisition of first baseman Cecil Cooper from the Boston Red Sox following the 1976 season. However, the Brewers struggled on the field and after their eighth straight losing season in Milwaukee in 1977, Baumer was fired and replaced by Harry Dalton.
He then joined the Philadelphia Phillies as a scout, and was promoted to director of the Phils' scouting and farm system operations in 1981. Two laters later, Baumer was named a team vice president. He left the Phillies during a front-office purge in 1988.
Baumer died at age 65 in the Philadelphia suburb of Paoli, Pennsylvania.
|Milwaukee Brewers General Manager|