Donald Henry Heffner
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 155 lb.
- High School Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
- Debut April 17, 1934
- Final Game April 29, 1944
- Born February 8, 1911 in Rouzerville, PA USA
- Died August 1, 1989 in Pasadena, CA USA
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 New York Yankees in 1934, in Babe Ruth's last year with the team. Heffner played in some games with the team in each of 1934-1937, 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.
After his playing career ended, Heffner was a minor league manager, a long-time big league coach and briefly managed in the majors. In 1949, Heffner left the Elmira Pioneers to return home to be with his daughter. Virginia Heffner was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away on September 11th. 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 before being replaced by Dave Bristol 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.
|Cincinnati Reds Manager
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
Heffner also managed the Florida Instructional League teams in 1962-63 for the Cincinnati Reds and the 1964 team for the New York Mets.