Monday, August 24, 2015

Johnny Hetki: The Price Was Not Disclosed

Johnny Hetki pitched in the majors off and on from the forties thru 1954. Mostly a reliever, he was a contact pitcher...didn't strike out a lot of batters, or walk them. He had a couple nice seasons, in 1946 with the Reds (6-6, 2.99 4 CG) and 1953 with Pittsburgh. In 1954, he had his second straight 50+ appearance season, and tied for the league lead in games finished with 46. His 4.99 ERA wasn't enough to keep him around a Pirate club desperate for anything to fall their way in the mid-fifties.

His Baseball Reference major league page keeps track of his transactions, but doesn't account for his going from the Pirates in 1954 to independent Toronto in 1955. The January 14, 1955 Indiana Gazette has that transaction:

“Johnny Hetki, 32-year-old right handed relief pitcher, was sold yesterday by the Pittsburgh Pirates to Toronto of the International League. The price was not disclosed.”

That seems kind of a quiet, sad way to sum up a major league career. Hetki played for Toronto for two years to finish out his career, he had been in Toronto in 1951 and 1952 in the Browns' organization.

So let's sum things up here on a better note: Johnny Hetki was a pretty fair pitcher in the majors and a solid minor leaguer...finishing up 101-71 in the minors, no mean feat.

Hetki pic from


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