- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 175 lb.
"He was the idol of Jamestown PONY League baseball fans two seasons ago. . . His death brought the war home with tragic emphasis to baseball fans for he was the first player in a Falcon uniform to pay the supreme sacrifice." - Dunkirk Evening Observer in 1945
Ernie Hrovatic was a minor league star who was killed in World War II.
Hrovatic signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1942 and then played in the Pennsylvania State Association, hitting .261 with 5 home runs and 42 RBI for the Washington Red Birds. In 1943 he hit .336 with 88 runs and 96 RBI for the Jamestown Falcons in the PONY League. He was second in the league in average among players with 400 or more at-bats. He led the circuit in both doubles (37) and triples (12) and his five home runs were a decent total for wartime baseball. He had an OBP around .443 and slugged .519. He had 13 outfield assists, third in the league.
Although he had previously been rejected for high blood pressure, in December 1943 he was called up and allowed to choose whether to serve. He was slated to join the Sacramento Solons in 1944, but chose to go to war.
He was killed in action in the Battle of the Bulge. Ernie's younger brother Carl also played minor league ball.