Don Heffner

Donald Henry Heffner (February 8, 1911 – August 1, 1989) was an American second baseman, coach and manager in Major League Baseball. Born in Rouzerville, Pennsylvania, he threw and batted right-handed, and was listed as 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and 155 pounds (70 kg).

Don Heffner
Don Heffner Browns
Second Baseman / Manager
Born: February 8, 1911
Rouzerville, Pennsylvania
Died: August 1, 1989 (aged 78)
Pasadena, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 17, 1934, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
April 29, 1944, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.241
Home runs6
Runs batted in248
Managerial record37–46
Winning %.446
Teams
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Player and coach

Don Heffner 1940 Play Ball card.jpeg
Heffner in 1940

Heffner entered professional baseball in 1929. After all or parts of four seasons with the then-minor league Baltimore Orioles, Heffner joined the New York Yankees for the 1934 season. He spent four seasons with the Yanks as a part-time player before a trade to the St. Louis Browns afforded him more playing time. He appeared in more than 100 games in 1938–41 with St. Louis before reverting to a reserve role, and finished his playing career with the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers in 1943–44. In 743 games over all or parts of 11 American League seasons (1934–44), Heffner batted .241 with six home runs and 610 hits.

In 1947, he began his managing career in the Browns’ farm system, and he promptly won consecutive pennants in his first two seasons. He returned to the Major Leagues as a coach with the Athletics, now based in Kansas City, in 1958–60 and the Tigers in 1961. Heffner then spent two successful seasons managing the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League, winning the 1962 league championship, before becoming third-base coach of the New York Mets in 1964–65.

Brief term as Reds' skipper

In October 1965, he succeeded Dick Sisler as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Heffner was hired by longtime associate Bill DeWitt, the Reds’ owner and general manager who was the front office boss of the Browns during Heffner's playing days.

The Reds were a first division finisher in 1965 and hopes were high for a pennant run the following year—especially after DeWitt added front-line starting pitcher Milt Pappas in a blockbuster trade with Baltimore involving former National League most valuable player Frank Robinson. But while the Orioles roared to the AL pennant and world championship in 1966, the Reds never got on track under their new skipper. Heffner tried to convert all-star second baseman Pete Rose into a third baseman, only to draw the popular star's wrath. (Oddly, Rose would later willingly become a third baseman for Sparky Anderson). The Reds struggled to reach the .500 mark during the season's first three months, and finally peaked at 36–35 on June 28. Cincinnati then proceeded to lose 11 games in a row. They broke their losing streak in the last game before the All-Star break on July 10.

But it was too late to save Heffner's job. With Cincinnati in eighth place in the National League with a record of 37–46 (.446) on July 13, Heffner was released in favor of Dave Bristol, who was serving as his third-base coach.

Heffner never again managed in the Major Leagues, although he spent 1967–68 as a California Angels coach and 1969 as manager of the Denver Bears of the American Association. He died at age 78 in Pasadena, California. He was interred at Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum in Altadena.

References

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Solly Hemus
New York Mets third-base coach
1964–1965
Succeeded by
Whitey Herzog
1934 New York Yankees season

The 1934 New York Yankees season was the team's 32nd season in New York and its 34th season overall. The team finished with a record of 94–60, finishing 7 games behind the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. It would also be the final year Babe Ruth would play as a Yankee.

1935 New York Yankees season

The 1935 New York Yankees season was the team's 33rd season in New York and its 35th season overall. The team finished with a record of 89–60, finishing 3 games behind the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1936 New York Yankees season

The 1936 New York Yankees season was the team's 34th season in New York and its 36th season overall. The team finished with a record of 102–51, winning their 8th pennant, finishing 19.5 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they beat the New York Giants in 6 games.

1937 New York Yankees season

The 1937 New York Yankees season was their 35th season. The team finished with a record of 102–52, winning their 9th pennant, finishing 13 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they beat the New York Giants in 5 games. This gave the Yankees a 3-to-2 edge in overall series play against the Giants.

1937 saw significant changes in the layout of Yankee Stadium, as concrete bleachers were built to replace the aging wooden structure, reducing the cavernous "death valley" of left center and center considerably, although the area remained a daunting target for right-handed power hitters such as Joe DiMaggio.

1938 St. Louis Browns season

The 1938 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 55 wins and 97 losses.

1939 St. Louis Browns season

The 1939 St. Louis Browns season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Browns finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 43 wins and 111 losses.

1940 St. Louis Browns season

The 1940 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 6th in the American League with a record of 67 wins and 87 losses.

1942 St. Louis Browns season

The 1942 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 3rd in the American League with a record of 82 wins and 69 losses.

1943 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1943 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 49 wins and 105 losses.

1944 Detroit Tigers season

The 1944 Detroit Tigers season was a season in American baseball. The team finished second in the American League with a record of 88–66, just one game behind the first place St. Louis Browns.

1944 Philadelphia Athletics season

The 1944 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 5th in the American League with a record of 72 wins and 82 losses.

1948 St. Louis Browns season

The 1948 St. Louis Browns season involved the Browns finishing 6th in the American League with a record of 59 wins and 94 losses. It was the first Browns baseball season to be telecast on local television, having debuted its game broadcasts that year on KSD with Bob Ingham on the commentary box as the play by play announcer, nearly a year after other MLB teams made their television debuts.

1958 Kansas City Athletics season

The 1958 Kansas City Athletics season was the team's fourth in Kansas City and the 58th in the American League. The season involved the A's finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 73 wins and 81 losses, 19 games behind the World Champion New York Yankees.

1959 Kansas City Athletics season

The 1959 Kansas City Athletics season was the fifth for the franchise in Kansas City, and its 59th overall. It involved the A's finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 66 wins and 88 losses, 28 games behind the AL Champion Chicago White Sox.

1966 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1966 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in seventh place in the National League with a record of 76–84, 18 games behind the NL Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds were managed by Don Heffner (37–46) and Dave Bristol (39–38), who replaced Heffner in mid-July.

Aberdeen Pheasants

The Aberdeen Pheasants were a Class C minor league baseball team located in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The Pheasants played in the Northern League from 1946 until the league folded in 1971. Aberdeen was the Class C affiliate of the St. Louis Browns until 1953, continuing with the franchise when the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954, with the Pheasants remaining in the Oriole farm system. Abderdeen had a team in the Independent Prairie League from 1995 to 1997, also called the Pheasants.

Dave Bristol

James David Bristol (born June 23, 1933) is an American former manager in Major League Baseball in the 1960s and 1970s. He managed the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, and San Francisco Giants during this period.

Goldsboro Goldbugs

The Goldsboro Goldbugs were an Eastern Carolina League (1929) and Coastal Plain League (1937–1941, 1946–1949) baseball team based in Goldsboro, North Carolina, United States. Don Heffner is one athlete who played for them.

Hefner

Hefner or Heffner may refer to:

Hefner (band), British rock band

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