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Heinie Heltzel

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William Wade Heltzel

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Infielder Heinie Heltzel spent thirteen seasons in professional baseball from 1935 to 1947. Heinie got two short looks at the Major Leagues, the first coming with the Boston Braves when he made his debut on July 27, 1943. He appeared in 29 games at the third base position, getting 86 at-bats with 13 base hits for a .151 average.

Heltzel was back in the Major Leagues the following season with the Philadelphia Phillies, played eleven games at the shortstop position, picking up four base hits in 22 at-bats for a .182 average. He played his final game in the Big Leagues on August 4, 1944. He ended his time in the big leagues with a .157 batting average and fielded at a .880 percentage.

During his thirteen seasons in the game, Heinie had just two seasons hitting over the .300 mark. The first came in 1940 for the Reading Brooks of the class B Interstate League, when he hit for a .303 average with 139 base-hits in 458 at-bats. In 1946 for the York White Roses of the same Interstate League, he hit at a .327 number in 309 at-bats.

In all probability Heinie's best season came in 1945 with the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association when he hit at a .252 clip in 496 at-bats and fielded the shortstop spot at a .932 percentage, with just 46 errors in 141 games.

Heinie left the game after the 1947 season at the age of 33. His thirteen season totals show he appeared in 1,261 minor league games with 4,495 at-bats and had 1,131 base-hits that included 19 home-runs for a minor league career .252 batting average.

Heltzel died at his home in York, PA on May 1, 1998 at the age of 84.

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