Don Minnick

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Donald Athey Minnick

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Biographical Information[edit]

Don Minnick was a 6' 3" right-hander who pitched his team to the American Legion baseball national championship in 1948. He then entered pro baseball when he was signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent before the 1949 season. The eighteen-year-old was farmed out to the Pittsfield Indians of the Canadian-American League and went 7-2 with a 3.99 ERA in 12 appearances. In 1950, Don wemt 2-3 for the Dayton Indians of the Central League and then in 1951 he won 14 and lost 11 with a 3.12 ERA for the Wichita Indians of the Western League. The United States Military then called and Don spent the next two seasons (1952-1953) in the armed services during the Korean War.

On his return, Minnick spent the next two seasons with the Reading Indians of the Eastern League, going 7-9 in 1954. Then in 1955 with the same outfit in the same ballpark, he won 20 and lost only 4 with a 2.78 ERA while pitching 223 innings. His 20 victories led the league, put him on the All-Star team and no doubt helped his team to the Eastern League pennant. After a very poor 1956, when he went 8-11 with a 5.45 ERA with the Mobile Bears and the Indianapolis Indians, he was released by Cleveland. He was picked up by the Washington Senators on May 8, 1957.

Following his move to the Senators organization, he spent most of 1957 with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern Association, going 17-6 with a 3.09 ERA in 204 innings. This got him a late-season call from the Senators and he lost his only decision in two appearances. He made his debut in a two-inning relief stint with vice-president Richard Nixon on hand during Roy Sievers Night. He allowed just one baserunner, Ted Williams, who walked to extend his record consecutive on-base streak to 15 at-bats. This was Don's only shot at the majors, finishing at 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA, pitching just 9 1/3 innings.

Minnick went back to Chattanooga for the next two seasons, going 10-10 in 1958, but fell to an early 0-4 in 1959 and decided to move on to greener pastures. He finished up his nine-year minor league run with an 85-60 record with a 3.70 ERA while appearing in 254 outings.

Minnick then entered the trucking business in the early 1960s, becoming an independent contract hauler and made his home in Rocky Mount, VA where he died in 2016.


Baseball Players of the 1950s

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