Gene Covington Vance (born in Lamar, Colorado, USA) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. Drafted in the second round (behind Steve Garvey, first round) he pitched in 30 games in the 1970s for the Los Angeles Dodgers, including 21 starts and 2 complete games. In his first year as a rookie with the Dodgers, he was voted "Dodger Rookie of the Year" for that season with a 7–7 record and the lowest ERA on the Dodger pitchers starting staff. Arm injuries during the 1971 season (2-1 record) eventually forced an early retirement from baseball at age 26 in 1973.
He went to school at Stanford University, graduating "with distinction" (top 15%) with a subsequent graduate degree from California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona) in Land Planning and Landscape Architecture. While a pitcher at Stanford, he compiled a 32–3 win-loss record in his freshman, sophomore, and junior years, with a perfect 15–0 record (including 4 post season wins in Regional and College World Series play) in his sophomore year, a school record that still stands unbroken. He was subsequently voted into the Stanford Baseball Hall of Fame.
He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with a 30-year career in land planning and landscape architecture. He is currently a Senior Manager/Planner/Landscape Architect at Kimley-Horn and Associates, a national multi-disciplinary consulting and design firm in land use, urban planning, civil engineering, traffic/transportation planning, as well as landscape architecture. He designs and lays out new communities and development projects throughout California and in other parts of the world. He continues to give pitching lessons in his spare time to local teens. He and his wife, Dee—owner of Carefree Moves, an all-women move coordinating company—have three children, Ryan (Internet TV executive), Erik (Science Journalist), and Heidi (Senior Marketing Manager at Sailthru).
By Dean Hanley
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