As I was doing some historical research for this site the other day I was saddened to find out that former Twins catcher Bud Bulling had passed away this past March 8th in Salem, Oregon at the age of 61.
Terry Charles “Bud” Bulling was born on December 15, 1952 in Lynwood, California and was drafted as a catcher by the Minnesota Twins in the 14th round of the June 1974 amateur draft. Ironically the only other player drafted by Minnesota that year that went on to play for the Twins was another catcher that the Twins drafted in the second round, Butch Wynegar.
Bulling worked his way up through the Twins farm system and got his first call to the big leagues at the age of 24 to back up the Twins starting catcher who was none other than Butch Wynegar. Bulling made his big league debut on July 3, 1977 in the Twins 6-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park. In his only at bat that day Bud struck out against knuckleballer Wilbur Wood. Bud spent the remainder of the 1977 with Minnesota as the back-up catcher and appeared in 15 games hitting .156 in 32 at bats while knocking in 5 RBI with his 5 hits. Bulling spent the 1978 season with AA Orlando. In March of 1979 Bulling was purchased from the Twins by the Seattle Mariners.
Bulling spent the 1979 and 1980 seasons in the minors with the Spokane Indians before returning to the bigs in 1981. He caught Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry‘s 300th win in the Kingdome on May 6, 1982 going 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored and an RBI in the 7-3 win over the New York Yankees. After spending all of 1981 and 1982 with the Seattle Mariners Bud started the 1983 season hitless in 5 at-bats and was sent down to the AAA Salt Lake City Gulls where he played out his final season in pro ball. After leaving pro ball Bulling enjoyed spending time and traveling with his mother Iada.
Bud Bulling passed away on March 8, 2014 in Salem, Oregon at the age of 61 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was survived by his mother Iada Bulling, his son’s Casey and Joshua and his three mullions (nieces) Sheri, Kandi, and Kerri.
Thank you for the memories Bud Bulling and may you rest in peace. We at Twins Trivia and Twins fans everywhere would like to pass on our condolences to the Bud Bulling family and their friends.
I spent a few minutes today talking with Bud’s teammate Mike Cubbage and he shared a story about Bud with me that you can listen to here.
Follow up – Mike Cubbage was kind enough to give his bat to the Bulling family so they can treasure it as a family keepsake. What a wonderful thing to do! Here is a nice photo after the family received the bat, the smiles tell you all you need to know.