Vern Ruhle was a Michigan native who was drafted in the 17th round by the Detroit Tigers in the 1972 amateur draft after starring for Olivet College. Two years later he was in the starting rotation for Detroit. Pitching for the Tigers during a stretch when the team was mediocre, Ruhle went 25-29 in four seasons and was known as a control specialist who got opposing batters to put the ball in play.
Fearing Ruhle wouldn't rebound from an injury and ineffectiveness that plagued him in 1977, the Tigers released the right-hander late in spring training in 1978. The Astros took a chance at him and it was a wise decision, as Ruhle thrived in the spacious Astrodome. He pitched seven years for Houston, posting a 3.35 ERA and starting two games for the team in the postseason.
After his pitching career ended, Ruhle was a successful pitching coach for eight years in the majors for four different teams.