Johnny Van Cuyk

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John Henry Van Cuyk

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Everything. There is nothing I don't love about baseball. That never gets out of your blood." - the 83-year-old John Van Cuyk, when asked what he loved most about baseball

Johnny Van Cuyk, who had cups of coffee with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947 to 1949, was on the cover of Baseball Digest in April 1947 as a possible rookie of the year. Baseball Digest cover .

He was signed to play with the Appleton Papermakers in 1939 but didn't get into any games; the scout was Tom Downey. He then pitched with Appleton in 1940 and 1941. He was serving in the infantry and military police from 1941 to 1945.

He was with the Fort Worth Cats in 1946, going 18-8. From 1947 to 1949, he was with the Montreal Royals, in addition to a stint in Brooklyn each of those three seasons.

Van Cuyk was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two games for Cienfuegos in the 1949-1950 Cuban Winter League.

He was bought from the St. Paul Saints by the Oakland Oaks in 1952, and went 9-3 for the Oaks as a reliever in 61 appearances. In 1953 he was sold to the San Diego Padres.

After baseball he worked in sales of real estate and cars.

He is mentioned in a joke in the book The Funniest People in Sports and Neighborhoods: 500 Anecdotes. Umpire Tom Gorman once got mad at the Dodgers for riding him, and yelled that Van Cuyk was out (Van Cuyk had pitched the night before, so he would not be in the game that day anyway). Manager Chuck Dressen supposedly said "you'll have to yell a little louder because I sent him to the Texas League last night." Since Van Cuyk was apparently with Montreal in 1947-1949, it seems like the story's accuracy is questionable, unless, of course, Dressen's wise crack was part of the gag. Johnny only had played in the Texas League in 1946, prior to his big league debut.

He is the brother of Chris Van Cuyk.

Van Cuyk died shortly after his 89th birthday on July 10, 2010 in Rochester, MN.

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