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|Born: April 23, 1935|
Mount Airy, North Carolina
|Died: April 29, 1998 (aged 63)|
Near Morganton, North Carolina
|April 15, 1958, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 28, 1959, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Earned run average||3.50|
Nicknamed "Blackie", he batted and threw right handed. Blackburn stood at 6 feet (1.83 m) and 160 pounds (73 kg) at the height of his career. He spent 11 seasons in the minor leagues and played two consecutive seasons for the Pirates.
His major league debut was on Opening Day 1958 against the Milwaukee Braves. The first batter he faced was Hank Aaron, who hit a single off of Blackburn, but he managed to keep the next nine batters off base for his first victory.
Blackburn played his last game for Pittsburgh on July 28, 1959.
|1953||18||Burlington-Graham Pirates||Carolina League||B|
|1953||18||Fond du Lac Panthers||Wisconsin State League||D|
|1954||19||St. Jean Canadians||Provincial League||C|
|1955||20||Phoenix Stars||Arizona–Mexico League||C|
|1955||20||Burlington-Graham Pirates||Carolina League||B|
|1956||21||Williamsport Grays||Eastern League||A|
|1956||21||New Orleans Pelicans||Southern Association||AA|
|1957||22||Columbus Jets||International League||AAA|
|1958||23||Pittsburgh Pirates||National League||MLB|
|1959||24||Columbus Jets||International League||AAA|
|1959||24||Pittsburgh Pirates||National League||MLB|
|1960||25||Columbus Jets||International League||AAA|
|1960||25||Salt Lake City Bees||Pacific Coast League||AAA|
|1961||26||Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers||American Association||AAA|
|1961||26||Macon Peaches||Southern Association||AA|
|1963||28||Columbus Jets||International League||AAA|
|1964||29||Columbus Jets||International League||AAA|
|1964||29||Asheville Tourists||Southern League||AAA|
Following his playing retirement In 1964, Blackburn became a teacher and baseball coach at Western Carolina University, where he also attended school. He was the father of two sons: Ron H. Blackburn Jr. (born 1961) and Rick S. Blackburn (born 1964). The family lived in Cullowhee, North Carolina from 1964-1969 before moving to Morganton, North Carolina, where he worked as recreation director at the Western Correctional Center.
Blackburn died on April 29, 1998, from cancer at age 63. He is buried in Carolina Memorial Park, Concord, North Carolina.