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O's pitcher Wally Bunker

The Baltimore Sun

Wally Bunker, 62, the ex-Orioles pitcher and one of the heroes of the 1966 World Series, is living in Lowell, Ohio, where he makes earthenware pottery and writes children's books with his wife, Kathy. He had a sale yesterday morning -- three pots "decorated with flowers and wreaths," as he described them.

"It's no big deal. I'm pretty much retired," he said yesterday.

In 1966, the Orioles won the World Series in a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In Game 3, Bunker pitched a six-hit, 1-0 shutout in between other shutouts by Jim Palmer and Dave McNally. He left the Orioles after the 1968 season and later pitched for Kansas City.

Bunker's children's books -- dealing with a character called Tulip the Flying Turtle -- are being handled by his literary agent, who is trying to find a publisher.

"My wife and I used to paint and decorate a lot of furniture while I was living at Palm Key, S.C.," he said. "It's beautiful there, and all the birds gave us an idea. We made up names for them, and one thing led to another. Soon the stories for the books emerged."

After leaving the major leagues in 1971, he returned to the Seattle area, where he was born, and remodeled houses.

"It felt good to go back to Seattle. We had tons of cousins," he said.

He lived for years on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, where he raised his children.

Then he and his wife entered a new business. They made and marketed refrigerator magnets.

"We had like 10 full-time employees," he said. "We had animal things, bears, pigs and flowers."

From Seattle, he moved to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which he calls "the most beautiful country in the world." More recently, he found a house he liked in Ohio, where he's lived for 10 years, but he is in the process of going back to Coeur d'Alene.

As to baseball, the end of his pitching came many years ago during a neighborhood slo-pitch game in Seattle. He pulled a hamstring and never went back to the diamond.

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