Rauch with the Washington Nationals
|Born: September 27, 1978|
|April 2, 2002, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 17, 2013, for the Miami Marlins|
|Earned run average||3.90|
Jon Erich Rauch (born September 27, 1978) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. At 6 feet 11 inches (2.11 m), he is the tallest player in Major League Baseball history. He is also an Olympic Gold Medalist in baseball.
Rauch attended and graduated from Oldham County High School. He grew up in Westport, Kentucky. Rauch played college baseball at Morehead State University, where he double majored in physics and business. He was also a member of the social fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon, Kentucky Zeta Chapter.
In 2002, Rauch's first stint in the big leagues resulted in a 6.59 ERA in eight games and six starts. He did not play in the majors in 2003, then returned to the majors in 2004 after a strong Triple-A campaign. However, against major league batters he again posted a high ERA of 6.23. In July 2004, Rauch was traded to the Montréal Expos along with Triple-A reliever Gary Majewski for Carl Everett.
On August 13, 2004, Rauch hit a home run against the Houston Astros off Roger Clemens, making him the tallest man ever to hit a home run in Major League Baseball. Despite a strong finish to the season in Montréal, Rauch was sent to the minors when the Expos moved to Washington. After putting up better numbers in the minors, Rauch finished the 2005 season with the Nationals, used mostly as a reliever, and going 2-4 with a 3.60 ERA.
In 2006, Rauch had his best season, posted a 4-5 record, a 3.35 ERA, and appearing in 85 games, second most in the NL.
In 2007, Rauch led the Major Leagues in appearances with 88. He finished the year with an 8-4 record, four saves, and a 3.61 ERA. His eight victories led the team in wins, a rarity in baseball for a relief pitcher.
On February 2, 2008, Rauch signed a two-year contract with the Nationals, worth a total of $3.2 million. Before being traded, Rauch spent most of the year as the closer in place of injured Chad Cordero.
Rauch won the first game in the history of Nationals Park.
On April 2, 2010, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire named Rauch the team's closer, replacing the injured Joe Nathan. On April 6, 2010 Rauch earned his first save as a Twin with a perfect ninth with two strikeouts versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a 5-3 win. Rauch served as the team's closer through August, when the Twins acquired Matt Capps. During his time as closer, he saved 21 games in 25 opportunities.
After the Twins acquired Capps, Rauch returned to his previous role as a set-up man and long reliever.
On January 17, 2011 the Blue Jays signed Rauch to a one-year deal worth $3.5M that included a club option for $3.75M in 2012.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell suffered a dislocated jaw while attempting to restrain Rauch from going after umpire Alfonso Marquez during a game on July 2, 2011. Both Rauch and Farrell were ejected from the game.
After pitching in a game against the Seattle Mariners on August 15, 2011, Rauch was taken to a Seattle hospital for an emergency appendectomy. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 16, 2011. At the time of injury, Rauch led the Blue Jays in appearances (with 51), posting a 5-4 record with a 4.47 earned run average and 11 saves.
On December 6, 2011, Rauch agreed to a one-year 3.5 million contract with the New York Mets. On May 1st, 2012, Rauch faced Houston Astros 2nd Baseman José Altuve, The 18-inch (460mm) height difference is believed to be the biggest between pitcher and batter with exception of a 1951 publicity stunt in which a 3-foot-7-inch (1.09m) Eddie Gaedel had one plate appearance for the St. Louis Browns. 
On February 5, 2013, Rauch agreed to a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins. Rauch was designated for assignment on May 18. At the time of his designation, Rauch had a 1-2 record with an earned run average of 7.56. He was released on May 23, 2013.
On June 1, 2013, it was announced that the Orioles had signed Rauch to a minor league contract. On July 3, Rauch opted out of his minor league contract. He went 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 10 appearances over 9.1 innings, striking out 10.