John Toncoff

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John J. Toncoff

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher John Toncoff played minor league baseball from 1936 to 1942 and from 1944 to 1949. He spent considerable time in the New York Giants system, though he never played for them at the major league level. He spent two years at the highest tier of the minors (then labeled AA).

In 1936, his rookie season, he hit a career-high 12 home runs with the Dothan Boll Weevils. He hit .287 and slugged .437 that year. He was fourth in the Alabama-Florida League in dingers. The next year, with the Greenwood Giants, he hit a career-high 14 triples in perhaps his best season (unadjusted for league) - during that campaign, he hit .310 with 111 hits (also a career-high) and a .444 slugging percentage. He ranked 6th in the Cotton States League in three-baggers.

Toncoff spent 1938 with the Fort Smith Giants and won honors as the Western Association All-Star catcher. He had hit .276/.366/.372 while fielding .973. For the next three years, he was with the Clinton Giants, his offensive numbers falling each time while his fielding percentage rose. In 1939, he hit .294/?/.431 and fielded .973, followed by .252/?/.375 and .978 in 1940 and .192/?/.255 and .986 in 1941. He hit .266 and slugged .402 for the 1942 Jacksonville Tars.

The Illinois native got his crack at AA in 1944 with players leaving for military service. With the Jersey City Giants, he hit .267/.357/.314 in 28 games as the the backup to Andres Fleitas and threw out of 11 of 25 attempted base-stealers. In '45, he fell to .194/.266/.234 in 62 games for Jersey City. He was still in AA for part of 1946 but due to the reclassification of the minors, there was now a AAA above it. He was 17 for 84 with a double, triple and homer for the Shreveport Sports while hitting .308/.374/.419 for the class D Palatka Azaleas.

Toncoff was Palatka's player-manager in 1947 and part of 1948. He hit .268 and slugged .338 in '47 then put up nearly identical numbers (.266, .338 SLG) between Palatka and the Daytona Beach Islanders a year later. He ended his playing career in 1949 with the Sanford Giants, going 13 for 68 with a double.

He later coached Ketterlinus High School to a state championship in 1954.

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1947 Palatka Azaleas Florida State League 64-75 6th none
1948 Palatka Azaleas Florida State League 5-8 -- none Replaced Ray Ryan (5-11) on May 1
replaced by Charlie Bowles (21-26) on May 14