Art Kusnyer – A Bio and Interview with the Former MLB Catcher

Art Kusnyer

Our 2023 interview with the former MLB catcher and coach!

art kusnyer with the california angels


  • Chicago White Sox, 1970; California Angels, 1971 - 1973; Milwaukee Brewers, 1976; Kansas City Royals, 1978

From Ohio to the Majors

Arthur William Kusnyer was born on December 19, 1945 in Akron, Ohio.

Art grew up in Akron and attended Buchtel High School, then he played at nearby Kent State University. 

After his sophomore year at Kent State, Art was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 37th round of the 1966 MLB draft.

He was then sent to the Gulf Coast League to play for the GCL White Sox for the rest of the 1966 season.

Art spent the next few years working his way up in Chicago's farm system.

Between 1967 and 1970, he played for five different teams between the rookie league and double-A levels.

Late in the 1970 season, Art finally got his shot at the big leagues.

The 1970 Chicago White Sox
The 1970 Chicago White Sox (note: Art does not appear in the photo)


Major League Debut 

Art Kusnyer made his MLB debut with the White Sox on September 21, 1970 in a game at Comiskey Park against the Kansas City Royals.

It was a rescheduled day game from an earlier rainout, it was on a Monday and it was the second game of a doubleheader. 

Considering this - and the fact that the White Sox had an abysmal record at the time - Art's major league debut occurred in front of just 672 fans!

Art started the game as catcher and went 0 for 4 at the plate. He went on to play three more games that season, and collected his first big league hit on September 30 against the Angels. 

That first hit was a ninth inning single to left field off pitcher Dave LaRoche.

Playing Career After 1970

Early the following season, Art was traded to the California Angels for Dave Adlesh and Steve Kealey.

He played most of the 1971 season with the Angels' triple-A affiliate, the Salt Lake Angels, where he hit .316 with 10 home runs. 

Late in the '71 season he was called back up to the big leagues, where he played in six games during the month of September.

Art served as the Angels' primary catcher in the 1972 season and he stayed at the major league level all year. 

On May 21, 1972, he hit his first MLB home run off Vicente Romo against his old team, the Chicago White Sox.

In 1973, Art spent the majority of the year in the majors, but he had a particularly bad year at the plate, hitting just .125.

However, he made it into the record books that year for a good reason on July 15, 1973.

On that day, Art was behind the plate when Nolan Ryan threw his second career no hitter - on his way to a record seven.

nolan ryan's second no hitter
Nolan Ryan and team after completing his second no hitter. Art is to Nolan's right.


A few months after Ryan's no hitter, Art was involved in a multiplayer trade to the Milwaukee Brewers. 

The trade didn't work out too well for Art. Since the Brewers had catchers Darrell Porter and Charlie Moore on the roster, Art stayed at triple-A for all of 1974, 1975, most of 1976 and all of 1977.

The Brewers traded Art in February of 1978 to the Kansas City Royals. He then spent the majority of the year with the triple-A Omaha Royals in 1978, while making nine appearances in the majors that season.

Art was released by the Royals after the season and then he quickly signed a new contract with the White Sox. 

Unfortunately, he batted just .203 that year for the triple-A Iowa Oaks and was released after the season.

It marked the end of Art's playing career.

In total, Art spent parts of six seasons in the major leagues and collected a total of 55 hits in 313 MLB at bats (.176).

art kusnyer with the milwaukee brewers
Art while playing with the Brewers


Art's Post-Playing Career

Even though he put away his catcher's gear, Art remained in the game he loved. 

After his release by the White Sox in 1979, Art stayed on with the club as the bullpen coach for the big league squad. 

The manager of the 1980 White Sox was future Hall of Famer Tony La Russa, and Kusnyer remained on his coaching staff for much of the next two decades. 

In particular, Art coached the White Sox between 1980 - 1987, then he coached the Oakland A's from 1989 - 1995 alongside La Russa and Dave Duncan, among others. 

In 1997, Art went back to the White Sox as a coach and remained there until his retirement after the 2007 season. 

Almost all of that time (between 1980 - 2007) Art served as the bullpen coach. He did a great job in that role, as seen not just by his long tenure but by the two World Series championship teams he helped lead in 1989 and 2005.

art kusnyer when chicago white sox bullpen coach
Art was a longtime White Sox bullpen coach


Q&A with Art Kusnyer

Art Kusnyer is a former professional catcher and MLB coach that has been involved in the game of baseball for multiple decades. 

He has played with - or coached - legends of the game. Players like Nolan Ryan, Frank Thomas, Carlton Fisk, and more.   

A few weeks ago I contacted Art wanting to know more about his career, and he signed his 1972 Topps rookie card and answered a few of my questions.  

art kusnyer signed rookie card
1972 Topps #213 signed by Art Kusnyer


You can read his responses to my questions below.

Question 1: Please tell me about your favorite memory from your playing career?

Answer: Caught Nolan Ryan’s No-Hitter against Detroit  7-15-1973

Question 2: In your opinion, who was the best pitcher you ever caught? Why were they the best?

Answer: Nolan Ryan. He was very competitive.

Question 3: What was your favorite memory from your coaching career?

Answer: Winning 2 World Series. 1989 Oakland A’s, 2005 Chicago White Sox

Q&A from art kusnyer

That's A Wrap!

Sharing Pro Perspectives like this one from Art Kusnyer is a blast! We love hearing from former MLB catchers and learning their stories. 

Thank you for stopping by the site, and we hope you enjoyed this article. 

If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us



  • Art Kusnyer
  • Baseball Reference
  • Retrosheet
  • SABR


Scott Perry is the owner and lead author at Catchers Home. He's a former baseball player, a current coach, a husband and a Dad. He remains as passionate about baseball today as he was as a kid.