Ted Cieslak

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Thaddeus Walter Cieslak

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Biographical Information[edit]

Wisconsin native Ted Cieslak played fourteen seasons of professional baseball after signing with the Rayne Rice Birds of the Class D Evangeline League in 1938. He spent most of his first five years (1938-1942) in the minors until joining the United States Army in mid-1942 and serving until early 1944 during World War II. Before going to war, Ted's best season came in 1939, a split season affair with the Rayne Rice Birds and the Oklahoma City Indians of the class A1 Texas League, when he hit .309 in 118 at bats.

Mustering out of the service in early 1944, Cieslak joined the Philadelphia Blue Jays for the opening of the 1944 season. He made his big league debut on April 18, 1944 and was with the club the entire season, appearing in 85 games at both third base and the outfield. Ted hit .245 with 54 hits in 220 at bats. This was Ted's only chance in the major leagues. He spent eight more seasons in the minors (1945-1952), with four of those coming in the class A1 Southern Association: three with the Atlanta Crackers, where he hit .364 in 1945, .353 in 1946 and .317 in 1947. He finished his fourth year in the league with the Nashville Volunteers, hitting .303. In 1949, Ted dropped to the Class B Florida International League for the next four seasons, hitting .324 for the Fort Lauderdale Braves with nine homers in '49 and .332 for the Lakeland Pilots, again with nine homers, in 1951. Ted finished his career with Lakeland in 1952, having appeared in 1,516 games and hitting .308 (1,770 for 5,754) with 65 home runs.

After baseball, Ted returned to Milwaukee, passing away on May 9, 1993 at 81.

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