Harvey Donald Riebe
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9½", Weight 175 lb.
- Debut August 26, 1942
- Final Game September 17, 1949
- Born October 10, 1921 in Cleveland, OH USA
- Died April 16, 2001 in Cleveland, OH USA
Catcher Hank Riebe was signed as an amateur free agent in mid-summer of 1939 after his graduation from Euclid Shore High School in Cleveland, OH by the Detroit Tigers. Riebe spent his first season in pro baseball appearing in only three games with the Alexandria Aces of the class D Evangeline League, getting two hits in ten at-bats.
He spent the next three seasons (1940-1942), also in the minors, and after a good showing with the Beaumont Exporters of the class A Texas League in '42, hitting .274 with five home runs in 80 games, Hank received a late August Call from the parent Detroit Tigers and made his major league debut on August 26, of this season, and finished out the year with the Briggs Stadium team, appearing in eleven games and hitting at a .314 clip.
As things go Riebe was inducted into the United States Army in late 1942, serving in the Euorpean Theater of Operations, during World War II, mustering out in time for the 1946 season. He spent the '46 year in a split season affair with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League and the Texas League Dallas Rebels, hitting just .235 in 105 games. Hank appeared in 40 games, hitting .287 for the Memphis Chickasaws of the Southern Association in the 1947 season and again finished out the season with the Detroit Tigers, appearing in just eight contests and picking up no base-hits in seven plate appearances.
Riebe would spend both the 1948 and 1949 seasons with the Briggs Stadium club but was used mainly as a back-up and late innings player and appeared in only 42 games during the two seasons. This would mark the end of his four year major league career and he finished out with a .212 batting average in just 61 games. Hank dropped back into the minors and played one more season with the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association hitting just .237 in 30 games. Hank had no where else to go and made 1950 his last appearance in pro baseball. He finished out a seven year up and down minor league career with a .272 batting average and 22 home runs in 456 games.
After baseball Hank returned to his native Cleveland, OH, where he became the purchasing agent for the Cleveland Brass and Copper Company, until his retirement in 1977. Harvey Donald Riebe died on April 16, 2001 at 79 years of age.
SABR has a biography of Hank Riebe.