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Don Heffner

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1966 Topps #269 Don Heffner

Donald Henry Heffner (Jeep)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Don "Jeep" Heffner was a second baseman who played eleven years in the majors and later became a major league coach and manager.

After some years in the minors with the Baltimore Orioles, he broke into the majors with the 1934 New York Yankees, in Babe Ruth's last year with the team. Heffner played in some games with the team in each of 1934-37, while Tony Lazzeri was the regular second baseman each year. Heffner did not appear in post-season play.

Heffner was traded to the St. Louis Browns in 1938, and traded a World Series winning team for a team that lost 97 games. However, Heffner became a regular, and would remain so for four years, although in 1939 he was at shortstop instead of at second base.

During wartime he struggled with the bat and his career ended in 1944.

After his playing career ended, infielder Don Heffner was a minor league manager, a longtime big league coach and briefly managed in the majors. In 1949, Heffner left the Elmira club to return home to be with his daughter. Virginia Heffner was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away September 11. He was a Kansas City Athletics coach from 1958 to 1960 and a member of the Detroit Tigers staff in 1961. In 1964 and 1965, he was a New York Mets coach. He managed the Cincinnati Reds for the first half of the 1966 season and was a member of the California Angels staff in 1967 and 1968.

  • One source says he pitched at age 19 for a team of top white players against a Negro League team, winning 1-0 in five innings.


[edit] Notable Achievements

Preceded by
Dick Sisler
Cincinnati Reds Manager
1966
Succeeded by
Dave Bristol

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1947 Aberdeen Pheasants Northern League 82-36 1st St. Louis Browns Lost League Finals
1948 Globe-Miami Browns Arizona-Texas League 80-60 1st St. Louis Browns League Champs
1949 Elmira Pioneers Eastern League St. Louis Browns replaced by John Tobin May 10 /
replaced John Tobin May 23 /
replaced by Sal Madrid August 19 /
1950 San Antonio Missions Texas League 79-75 4th St. Louis Browns League Champs
1952 Baltimore Orioles (IL) International League 70-84 6th Philadelphia Phillies
1953 Baltimore Orioles (IL) International League 82-72 4th Philadelphia Phillies Lost in 1st round
1954 San Antonio Missions Texas League 78-83 5th (t) Baltimore Orioles
1955 San Antonio Missions Texas League 93-68 2nd Baltimore Orioles Lost in 1st round
1956 Reading Indians Eastern League 80-59 3rd Cleveland Indians Lost League Finals
1957 Mobile Bears Southern Association 75-78 5th Cleveland Indians
1962 San Diego Padres (PCL) Pacific Coast League 93-61 1st Cincinnati Reds none League Champs
1963 San Diego Padres (PCL) Pacific Coast League 83-74 3rd Cincinnati Reds
1969 Denver Bears American Association 58-82 6th Minnesota Twins none


Heffner also managed the Florida Instructional League teams in 1962-63 for the Cincinnati Reds and the 1964 team for the New York Mets.

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