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Joe Jachym

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Joseph John Jachym (Jake)

BR Minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Pitcher Joe Jachym had a four-year minor league career in the 1930s.

Jachym went to the University of Notre Dame from 1927 to 1929, in the days of legendary football coach Knute Rockne, who he got to know quite well. He was the captain of the basketball team and a star pitcher, compiling a 14-6 record overall. He then was an assistant coach in both basketball and baseball after graduation, before signing a professional baseball contract in 1930.

In 1930, he was 12-7 with a 4.39 ERA and hit .250 for the Class C Wheeling Stogies of the Middle Atlantic League. He had a top season in 1931 when he went 18-9 with a 2.45 ERA for the Stogies and was 0-2 for the Evansville Hubs. He was 5th in the Middle Atlantic League in ERA and tied for 6th in wins. He split 1932 between two Texas League clubs, with a composite record of 9-9, 4.79. In 1934, he was 4-3 with a 5.52 ERA for the Wilkes-Barre Barons. Overall, his record in the minors was 43-30.

He then made it to the major leagues as a batting practice pitcher for the Detroit Tigers in 1939, although he was never activated as a player.

He was hired by the Tigers because he had become a friend of their manager, Del Baker, while Baker was his skipper with the Beaumont Exporters in 1932. He was hired when Charlie Eckert, the previous batting practice pitcher, was named to manage the Fulton Tigers in May, leaving the big league team short of arms. With the Tigers, Joe was issued uniform number 16, which would be worn immediately after him by future Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser and then retired. He got the uniform because he was the same size as George Gill, who wore it immediately before him and was traded to the St. Louis Browns a week before Jachym was hired by Detroit. Newhouser also was of the same built as Jachym, so got the same uniform when he joined the team in September of that year. Jachym was Hank Greenberg's roommate while traveling with the Tigers; the two had been teammates in Beaumont as well, and became lifelong friends.

After his stint with the Tigers, Jachym returned to his hometown of Westfield, MA where he coached Westfield Vocational Technical High School's baseball team for many years. He also taught physics, history and physical education at the school, retiring in 1972. The school's baseball diamond is named after him. He was inducted in the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame in 1974.

Joe's son Jim Jachym pitched briefly in the Houston Astros organization in 1972. He had two other children, daughter Ann and son Tom. The last name is pronounced yah-kim.

[edit] Further reading

  • Herm Krabbenhoft: "Who Wore Uniform Number 16 for the Tigers - before Prince Hal?", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 39, Number 2m (Fall 2010), pp. 13-16.

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