Ted Cieslak

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Thaddeus Walter Cieslak

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Biographical Information[edit]

Wisconsin native Ted Cieslak played fourteen seasons of professional baseball after signing with the Rayne Rice Birds of the class D Evangeline League in 1938. Ted spent most of his first five years in the game (1938-1942) in the minors until joining the United States Army in mid-1942 and serving until early 1944 during World War II. Before going off to war, Ted's best season came in 1939 in a split season affair with the Rayne Rice Birds and the Oklahoma City Indians of the class A1 Texas League when he hit .309 in 118 at-bats.

Mustering out of the service in early 1944, Cieslak joined the Philadelphia Blue Jays for the opening of the 1944 season. Ted made his debut on April 18, 1944 and was with the Blue Jays the entire season, appearing in 85 games at both third-base and the outfield. Ted hit for a .245 average with 54 hits in 220 at-bats. This was Ted's only chance in the major leagues.

Ted spent eight more seasons in the minors (1945-1952) with four of those coming in the class A1 Southern Association - three with the Atlanta Crackers, where he hit .364 in 1945, .353 in 1946 and .317 in 1947. He finished his fourth year in the league with the Nashville Volunteers and a .303 number. Ted was 36 years old in 1949 and he dropped down to the class B Florida International League for the next four seasons, hitting .324 for the Fort Lauderdale Braves with nine homers in '49 and .332 for the Lakeland Pilots again with nine four-baggers in 1951.

Ted finished out his active career with Lakeland in 1952 at the age of 39. He finished his 13 year minor league sojourn, appearing in 1,516 games with 5,754 at-bats and 1,770 base-hits that included 65 home runs for a .308 minor league career batting average.

After baseball, Ted returned to his native home in Milwaukee, WI where he worked and lived until his death on May 9, 1993. Thaddeus Walter Cieslak was 81 years of age.

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