Jess Pike

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Jess Willard Pike

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Jess Pike spent fourteen years in professional baseball from 1937 to 1952. The Oklahoma native spent his first six seasons (1937-1943) in the minor leagues, with his best year coming in 1943, when he played in 107 games for the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association, hitting at a .318 clip with seven home runs.

Pike spent the 1944 and most of the 1945 season in the United States Navy during World War II, returning in time to finish out the '45 year with the Indianapolis team again, appearing in 22 games and hitting at a .333 average. This led to his one and only chance in the major Leagues.

Jess made his debut with the New York Giants on April 18, 1946. he appeared in 16 games for the Giants and picked up just 7 hits in 41 at-bats for a .171 average. He played in his last big league game on May 18, 1946, just one month after his arrival. He spent the rest of the '46 year with the Jersey City Giants of the International League, hitting .258 with 9 homers.

Pike spent six more years in the minor leagues, from 1947 to 1952. In four of those seasons, he hit for double-digit home run counts. Jess led the class C California League with 37 round-trippers, runs scored at 167 and RBI with 156 and also hit at a .320 clip for the league champion Bakersfield Indians in 1949.

Pike would leave the game after the 1952 season at the age of 36 after playing in 1,299 games and hitting for an estimated .285 batting average with 155 home runs. After baseball, he became a horseman in the race horse industry for thirty years. He died on March 28, 1984 from acute adenocarcinoma and multiple organ carcinomatosis at Mercy Hospital in San Diego, CA.

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