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Ex-Braves pitcher Camp dies

The SportsXchange

Rick Camp, a pitcher who hit one of the more memorable home runs in Atlanta Braves history, died Thursday at his Bartow County, Ga., home, the team announced.

Camp was 59 according to baseball-reference.com, but some sources listed his age as 60. Bartow Deputy Coroner Brandon Duncan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that an autopsy would be performed, but it was believed Camp died of natural causes.

After breaking in with the Braves in 1976, Camp spent all nine of his major league seasons in Atlanta. He compiled a 56-49 record with 57 saves and a 3.37 ERA in 414 games (65 starts).

Camp's best season was 1981, when he went 9-3 with 17 saves and a 1.78 ERA. He finished 20th in voting for the National League MVP.

Even so, Camp's best-known moment came with the bat. On July 4, 1985, the Braves trailed the New York Mets 11-10 in the bottom of the 18th inning. With Atlanta out of pinch hitters, Camp came to the plate and tied the game with a dramatic home run -- the only one of his career in 175 at-bats.

The Mets wound up scoring five times off Camp in the 19th inning, and New York held on for a 16-13 win. When the 6-hour, 10-minute game ended, the Braves shot off their Fourth of July fireworks above Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium -- at 4 a.m.
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