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Joe Szekely

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Joseph Szekely

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Biographical Information[edit]

Joe Szekely served with the United States Army during World War II and then enrolled at Baylor University from 1946 to 1949. Beginning in 1949 he played minor league ball after signing as a free agent for the Texarkana Bears in the class B Big State League, posting a .353 batting average with 6 home runs in 28 games.

Joe was with the Texarkana team again in 1950, hitting .326 with 18 homers in 142 games, helping his team to both the league and play-off titles. The hard-hitting outfielder stayed with them again in 1951, this time hitting for a .356 average with 20 home runs in 147 games.

The Shreveport Sports acquired Joe late in 1951 and the AA Texas League watched him hit .301 with 11 homers in 161 games in 1952. The 1953 season saw Joe with Shreveport again, falling off in his average somewhat, hitting .273 with 20 home runs in 151 games. He was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds on September 5, 1953.

Szekely made his debut with the Reds on September 13th. Joe appeared in only 5 games with the Reds in 1953, picking up just 1 base hit in 13 at-bats. But Szekely recalls his one big league hit coming against Warren Spahn, the winningest left-hander of all time.

The re-named Redlegs club sent Joe to the Tulsa Oilers of the Texas League for the 1954 season and the 29-year-old made it his last year in pro ball, hitting .261 with 16 home runs in 146 games. This ended his six-season minor league run with a career .307 average and 91 homers in 775 games.

When he retired from baseball, he became manager of the cable company Midwest Video, and served there for 12 years. He also was a sales representative with Share Corporation until retiring in 1987. In retirement, he worked at the pro shop at the Paris Golf and Country Club.

Joe was past president of the Paris Lions Club, had been involved in Boys Baseball and Teen League as a coach and commissioner. He received the Distinguished Service Award and Optimist Man of the Year. He served on the Paris Junior College Board of Regents from 1963 through 1968.

Szekely's son Joe has had a long career as a minor league player and coach [1].

Joe Szekely passed away in Paris, TX, on October 16, 1995 at 70 years of age.


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