John Gelnar

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John Richard Gelnar

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher John Gelnar played five seasons in the majors. He was with the Seattle Pilots in their only season, 1969. He also had nine seasons in the minors. During parts of five seasons with the Columbus Jets, he went 31-21.

He has the distinction of having lost two games to the Minnesota Twins on consecutive days, Saturday, July 19th and Sunday, July 20th, 1969. The Saturday game went into extra innings and was only decided in the 18th inning. Gelnar came on in the 17th, after the Pilots' bullpen had been exhausted. He gave up four runs in the top of the 18th, eventually being relieved by Garry Roggenburk. The time of the game was 5 hours, 41 minutes. The next afternoon, Gelnar started against the Twins, pitching seven innings and taking the eventual loss. He allowed one run through the the first seven innings, but weakened in the 8th, giving up a lead-off home run to Cesar Tovar and a single to George Mitterwald without recording an out. Gelnar was relieved by Jim Bouton, who had been the Pilots' starter the previous day. Mitterwald eventually came around to score.

Gelnar's son, Jonathan Gelnar, was scheduled to be an assistant coach of the Frisco RoughRiders in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to Covid-19. Gelnar now works as a rancher in Hobart, Oklahoma.

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