CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball mourns the loss of alumnus Jim Poole, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 57 after a two-year battle with ALS.
Poole was a member of the 1987 Collegiate National Team, which earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games with an 8-1 record. During his time with Team USA that year, he made 29 appearances out of the bullpen and compiled a 2.61 ERA, along with a pair of wins and 50 strikeouts, in 41.1 innings pitched.
Poole played collegiately at Georgia Tech from 1986-1988, and helped the Yellow Jackets win three of four consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships. He was selected in the ninth round of the 1988 MLB Draft to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and played 11 years in the major leagues in which a majority of his time was spent with the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and San Francisco Giants. In 431 appearances, he finished with 22 victories and a 4.31 ERA, as well as 256 strikeouts and four saves. During his stint in Cleveland, he helped the Indians secure two American League Championship Series titles (1995 and 1988) and earn a trip to the World Series in 1995.
Following his retirement, Poole returned to Georgia Tech to serve as a fundraiser and supporter of the baseball program. He also served as the pitching coach at Johns Creek High School in suburban Atlanta.
After being diagnosed with ALS in 2021, Poole worked tirelessly to raise awareness for the disease. He served on numerous MLB ALS boards and worked with his alma mater to host an ALS Awareness Day in 2022.
“This is a sad day for the game of baseball and for those who knew Jim,” said USA Baseball CEO Paul Seiler. “Jim was a first-class player who gave it his all on and off the field. He was a tremendous pitcher who represented Team USA so well, and in such a short amount of time made a tremendous impact on the fight to find a cure for ALS. Our hearts and thoughts are with Jim’s family and friends whose lives they touched.”