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Paul Hinrichs

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Paul Edwin Hinrichs (Herky, Pitchin' Parson)

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Paul Hinrichs was the son of a minister, and was also a ministry student himself. During his years in baseball, Paul was known as the "Pitchin' Parson." After starring in both baseball and basketball at Concordia University in St. Paul, MN, Paul signed as an amateur free agent with the Detroit Tigers on June 10, 1945. He was assigned to the Lubbock Hubbers of the West Texas-New Mexico League in 1946 and the right-hander threw a 10-6 record with a 2.76 ERA at the league. He was back with Lubbock in 1947, letting them know he was for real, and won 19 while losing only 6, and pitching 214 innings with a 3.36 ERA.

Hinrichs was declared a free agent in 1948 by Commissioner Happy Chandler, who ruled the Tigers had too many players under contract. Paul signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees on November 15, 1948. One matter should be brought to light here, that when Commissioner Chandler ruled Paul a free agent the Yankees paid him a $60,000 bonus for signing with their organization at that time. This has long been rumored around the league, but never substantiated.

The "Pitchin' Parson" would be with the Kansas City Blues of the American Association in 1949 and 1950, winning nine games but losing fourteen in his two-year stop with Kansas City. Paul looked good enough for the Boston Red Sox and they drafted him from the Yankees in the 1950 Rule V Draft.

He would go to the mound four times early in 1951 for the Red Sox, pitching only 3 1/3 innings and developing a 21.60 ERA, which will get you sent elsewhere. In this case, it was to the Pacific Coast League, with the San Francisco Seals where the 25-year-old went 0-3 and bid good-bye to baseball. Hinrichs finished out his six-year minor league run at this time with a 47-40 record and a 3.86 ERA.

After baseball, Parson Hinrichs spent 36 years as a Lutheran minister throughout the country in South Carolina, Missouri, Illinois and California before retiring in Madisonville, KY.

See also: Baseball Players of the 1950s

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