Former MLB pitcher Jim Poole dead at 57 after battle with ALS

Former MLB pitcher Jim Poole dead at 57 after battle with ALS

Former MLB relief pitcher Jim Poole died Friday at age 57, according to his alma mater, Georgia Tech.

Poole was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2021.

He played for eight MLB clubs in his 11-year career, primarily with the San Francisco Giants and Baltimore Orioles, but he probably is best known for a moment when he was with Cleveland.


Manager Brandon Hyde of the Baltimore Orioles speaks with former pitcher Jim Poole, center, prior to a game between the Seattle Mariners and the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards June 2, 2022, in Baltimore. (Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Pitching in the 1995 World Series against the Atlanta Braves, Poole allowed the series-winning home run to David Justice. That was the only run the Braves scored in that game as Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers combined on a one-hitter in the 1-0 win.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Cleveland Indians 1995 World Series pitcher Jim Poole,” the Guardians said in a statement posted to social media. “Our thoughts are with the Poole family.”

Poole had a career 4.31 ERA. The left-handed reliever also had stints with the Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers and Montreal Expos before his retirement after the 2000 season.

Jim Pool at Wrigley

San Francisco Giants pitcher Jim Poole throws a pitch during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel/Allsport)


He starred at Georgia Tech, where he still holds the school record with 22 saves. He was a strikeout machine in college, punching out 263 batters in 188 innings.

“It broke my heart this morning to learn of Jim Poole’s passing,” Georgia Tech baseball coach Danny Hall said in a statement. “He was a first-class husband, father and teammate. He loved Georgia Tech and was dedicated to serving our coaches and players for many years. He epitomized the meaning of a Tech man. God rest his soul.”

Jim Poole with family

Former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Poole, center, poses for a photo with his wife, Kim Poole, left, and their son, Hayden Poole, prior to a game between the Orioles and the Seattle Mariners June 2, 2022, in Baltimore. Poole, who pitched in the big leagues 11 seasons and surrendered the deciding homer to Atlanta’s David Justice in the 1995 World Series, died of complications from ALS Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. He was 57. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

After being diagnosed with ALS in 2021, Poole worked to raise awareness for the disease. He hosted an ALS Awareness Day during the 2022 baseball season with the Yellow Jackets wearing Jim Poole shirts and both teams wearing honorary wristbands. 

Georgia Tech has since assigned his No. 21 to the player who exemplifies self-determination, a strong academic work ethic and high character on and off the field.


Poole is survived by his wife, Kim, three children and two grandchildren.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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