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Jiří Víšek

From BR Bullpen

Jiří Víšek

Jiří Víšek was a top Czech hitter of the 1990s and held the league's all-time home run mark for a span.

Jiří starred for the Czech national team in the 1997 European Championship, their first international event. He hit .435, slugged .739 and drove in 10 runs. He was 9th in the tourney in slugging and tied José Arza, Pavel Budský and Roman Talda for second in RBI behind Raymond Hofer.

Víšek hit .357/.417/.642 with 32 RBI and 30 runs in 84 AB for Sokol Krč in 1999, the first Czech season for which complete statistics are presently available online. From 1995-1999, he ranked 2nd in the Extraliga in hits (193), 4th in steals (62), 7th in average (.392), 4th in slugging (.758) and first in RBI (188). He had held records for RBI in a season (50 in 1996, broken in '98) and homers in a season (11 in 1996, broken by Roman Talda in 1997). He went 6 for 20 with a double, 2 triples, 3 walks and 6 RBI in 5 games in the round-robin phase of the 1999 European Championship.

In 2000, the slugger set several new Czech records. He hit .509/.594/1.255 with 20 homers, 62 runs and 58 RBI in 31 games. He broke the old record (held by future major leaguer Roger Deago) with 56 hits, but only tied for second in the Extraliga. He tied for second in average, shattered the home run record by seven, led with 138 total bases, set a new slugging record, tied for 3rd with 20 walks, led in OBP, set a new RBI mark and was second in runs scored.

Víšek produced at a .510/.601/1.067 rate in 2001 with 15 homers, 26 walks, 64 RBI and 53 runs in 31 contests. He was 4th in hits, second in average behind Talda, tied with Talda for second in homers (one behind former minor leaguer Budský), tied Talda for second with 111 total bases (behind Budský), was second to Budský in slugging, led in walks, led in OBP, led in RBI, tied for 4th with 13 steals and ranked third in runs.

He remained productive in the 2001 European Championship, hitting .333/.471/.704 with 3 homers, 8 runs and 8 RBI in eight games. He was second in the event in slugging behind longtime international player David Sheldon, tied for 5th in RBI, tied for 5th in runs and led in home runs. He was left off the All-Star team as the outfielders picked were Remy Maduro, Roberto De Franceschi and Brad Marcelino.

In 2002, Víšek moved to powerhouse Draci Brno and they won the title as usual, but he fell to .292/.452/.538, tied for 5th with just 4 homers and did not make the top 10 in any other category. He still remained the all-time Czech homer king with 105, five ahead of Budský. He was also second for the 1995-2002 period with 321 career hits, 4th with a .416 average, second with 89 steals (trailing Tomáš Ovesný), 1st with 77 homers, second with a .852 slugging (behind Budský) and first with 339 RBI.

Jiří was just 4 for 14 with 4 walks and a home run in 2003 to end his career. In '22, he was inducted into the Czech Baseball Hall of Fame.