Tom Paciorek

Thomas Marian Paciorek (/pəˈtʃɔːrɛk/ pə-CHOR-ek; born November 2, 1946) is a former outfielder and first baseman who spent 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1970–1975), Atlanta Braves (1976–1978), Seattle Mariners (1978–1981), Chicago White Sox (1982–1985), New York Mets (1985) and Texas Rangers (1986–1987). He appeared twice in the postseason, with the National League (NL) Champion Dodgers in 1974 and the American League (AL) West-winning White Sox in 1983.

Following his retirement as an active player, he worked as a color commentator for various MLB clubs, most notably the White Sox where he was teamed with Ken Harrelson on telecasts throughout the 1990s. Paciorek is famously known by the nickname "Wimpy", which was given to him by Tom Lasorda after a dinner with minor league teammates in which he was the only one to order a hamburger instead of steak.[1]

Tom Paciorek
Tom Paciorek - Seattle Mariners - 1981
Paciorek in 1981
Outfielder / First baseman
Born: November 2, 1946 (age 72)
Detroit, Michigan
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 12, 1970, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1987, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Batting average.282
Home runs86
Runs batted in503
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Collegiate career

After graduating from St. Ladislaus High School in Hamtramck, Michigan, Paciorek played baseball and football for the University of Houston from 1965 to 1968. A defensive back, he was picked by the Miami Dolphins in the ninth round of the 1968 NFL Draft. As a part of the Houston Cougars baseball club, he was named to the All-Tournament team after the Cougars became the national runner-up in the 1967 College World Series. Paciorek's number was retired by the Cougars as one of only three in the history of the team.

Major league career

He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968, one of 14 players drafted by the Dodgers that year to reach the majors. A top prospect, he was The Sporting News' Minor League Player of the Year in 1972. He spent the 1973 through 1975 seasons as a fourth outfielder and pinch hitter. After hitting under .200 in 1975, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves as part of a trade for Dusty Baker. He hit .290 in a platoon role for Atlanta in 1976 but he struggled to duplicate those numbers the following year.

The Braves released him after spring training in 1978, but signed him again just a week later. However, six weeks and only nine at bats later, the Braves gave him his release a second time. Paciorek then signed with the Seattle Mariners, where he finished the season hitting .299.

Following two solid years as a platoon player, Paciorek put together a career season with the Mariners in the 1981 season. Playing full-time for the only time in his career, Paciorek batted .326, second in the American League, and was fourth in the AL in slugging percentage. He earned his only appearance to an All-Star team in 1981 and was 10th in the AL MVP race.

In the offseason, the Mariners traded Paciorek to the Chicago White Sox for three players, none of whom would make an impact with Seattle. Paciorek hit over .300 his first two years with the Sox, and was part of Chicago's division championship team in 1983.

With the White Sox in 1984, he set an unusual MLB record. Paciorek replaced Ron Kittle in left field in the fourth inning of a May 8 game with the Milwaukee Brewers – a game which then proceeded to last 25 innings, becoming the longest game in Major League history (as measured in time on the field). By the time the game ended the following day, Paciorek had amassed five hits in nine at bats, a record for most hits in a game by a player that did not start the game which still stands.[2] Several players have had four hits in a game as a substitute, most recently Quinton McCracken of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002.[3]

He was traded to the New York Mets in 1985, then spent his final two years with the Texas Rangers.

Tom was one of three brothers to play in the Majors. His younger brother Jim played for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987, while older brother John played one game for the Houston Colt .45's (in which he went 3–3 and walked twice) in 1963.

Career statistics

Years Games PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG FLD%
18 1392 4465 4121 494 1162 232 30 86 503 245 704 .282 .325 .415 .989

Paciorek has played 397 games at first base, 23 games at third base, 1 game at shortstop, 483 games in left field, 74 games in center field and 281 games in right field. His best position was at first base, recording a .994 fielding percentage.

After baseball

Paciorek has served as a broadcaster for several years since retiring as a player, with his most notable stint as the color commentator on White Sox television broadcasts alongside Ken Harrelson, who affectionately called him by his baseball nickname, "Wimpy", on-air. Paciorek broadcast for the White Sox from 1988 to 1999, then called selected games for the Detroit Tigers in 2000 and the Seattle Mariners in 2001 before calling the Atlanta Braves on FSN South from 2002 to 2005. In 2006, he was the color commentator for the Washington Nationals, but his contract was not renewed for 2007.[4][5] He is fondly remembered amongst Nationals fans for his distinct pronunciation of "Alfonso Soriano," a Nationals outfielder that season: "Eelfahnso Soriaahno".

In 1992, Tom Paciorek was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.[6]

In the spring of 2002, Paciorek told the Detroit Free Press in a report that priest Gerald Shirilla had molested him and three of his four brothers while working as a teacher at St. Ladislaus Catholic High School in Hamtramck in the 1960s. "I was molested by him for a period of four years," Paciorek is reported to have said. "I would refer to them as attacks. I would say there was at least a hundred of them." The former All-Star said he didn't tell anyone because no one would have believed him saying "When you're a kid, and you're not able to articulate, who's going to believe you?" and "The church back then was so powerful, there's nothing that a kid could do."[7]

In 2016 Paciorek was named to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ Hartman, Matt; Smith, Matt (2008). The Great Book of Los Angeles Sports Lists. Great Book of Sports Lists. Running Press. ISBN 9780762435203. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  2. ^ Kepner, Tyler (May 4, 2014). "Seaver's Double Duty for the White Sox". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  3. ^ Kamholz, Andy (February 19, 2008). "Most hits in a game as a sub". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Svrluga, Barry (November 6, 2006). "Nats Sign 21 Minor Leaguers; Paciorek Won't Return to TV". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  5. ^ "Paciorek grabs some bench". Chicago Tribune. November 8, 2006. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  6. ^ "Tom Paciorek". National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  7. ^ "Paciorek says his siblings were abused as well". ESPN. Associated Press. March 22, 2002. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Paciorek Named to College Baseball Hall of Fame Class. Houston Cougars Baseball, 31 Mar 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-31.

External links

1967 College Baseball All-America Team

An All-American team is an honorary sports team composed of the best amateur players of a specific season for each team position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply "All-Americans". Although the honorees generally do not compete together as a unit, the term is used in U.S. team sports to refer to players who are selected by members of the national media. Walter Camp selected the first All-America team in the early days of American football in 1889.From 1947 to 1980, the American Baseball Coaches Association was the only All-American selector recognized by the NCAA.

1967 Houston Cougars baseball team

The 1967 Houston Cougars baseball team represented the University of Houston in the 1967 NCAA University Division baseball season. The Cougars played their home games at the original Cougar Field. The team was coached by Lovette Hill in his 18th season at Houston.

The Cougars lost the College World Series, defeated by the Arizona State Sun Devils in the championship game.

1967 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament

The 1967 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 1967 NCAA University Division baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its twenty-first year. Eight regional districts sent representatives to the College World Series with preliminary rounds within each district serving to determine each representative. These events would later become known as regionals. Each district had its own format for selecting teams, resulting in 25 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The twenty-first tournament's champion was Arizona State, coached by Bobby Winkles. The Most Outstanding Player was Ron Davini of Arizona State.

1968 College Baseball All-America Team

An All-American team is an honorary sports team composed of the best amateur players of a specific season for each team position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply "All-Americans". Although the honorees generally do not compete together as a unit, the term is used in U.S. team sports to refer to players who are selected by members of the national media. Walter Camp selected the first All-America team in the early days of American football in 1889.From 1947 to 1980, the American Baseball Coaches Association was the only All-American selector recognized by the NCAA.

1973 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1973 Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season in second place in the Western Division of the National League with a record of 95-66.

1976 Atlanta Braves season

The 1976 Atlanta Braves season was the 11th season in Atlanta along with the franchise's 106th consecutive year of existence in American professional baseball. The Braves finished in sixth and last place in the National League West Division, compiling a 70–92 (.432) win-loss record; although the 70 victories represented a three-game improvement over the fifth-place 1975 edition, the last-place finish would be the first of four straight years in the NL West divisional basement. The club drew 818,179 fans to Atlanta Stadium, a 53 percent increase over its dismal 1975 attendance of less than 535,000 fans.

1978 Seattle Mariners season

The 1978 Seattle Mariners season was the second in franchise history. The Mariners ended the season by finishing 7th in the American League West with a record of 56–104 (.350).

1979 Seattle Mariners season

The 1979 Seattle Mariners season was the franchise's third since its creation. The Mariners ended the season in sixth place in the American League West with a record of 67–95 (.414). The Mariners hosted the All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 17.

1982 Chicago White Sox season

The 1982 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 82nd season in the major leagues, and their 83rd season overall. They finished with a record 87-75, good enough for 3rd place in the American League West, 6 games behind the 1st place California Angels.

1983 Chicago White Sox season

The 1983 Chicago White Sox season was a season in American baseball. It involved the White Sox winning the American League West championship on September 17. It marked their first postseason appearance since the 1959 World Series. It was the city of Chicago's first baseball championship of any kind (division, league, or world), since the White Sox themselves reached the World Series twenty-four years earlier.

After the White Sox went through a winning streak around the All-Star break, Texas Rangers manager Doug Rader said the White Sox "...weren't playing well. They're winning ugly." This phrase became a rallying cry for the team, and they are often referred to as the "Winning Ugly" team (and their uniforms as the "Winning Ugly" uniforms).

1984 Chicago White Sox season

The 1984 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 84th season in the major leagues, and their 85th season overall. They finished with a record 74-88, good enough for 5th place in the American League West, 10 games behind the 1st place Kansas City Royals.

The Sox' 1984 season is most famous for a 25-inning game on May 8, 1984, against the Milwaukee Brewers. The game was suspended after 17 innings at 1 a.m. It was completed the following night, with the White Sox winning 7-6 on Harold Baines's walk-off home run.

1985 Chicago White Sox season

The 1985 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 86th season. They finished with a record 85–77, good enough for 3rd place in the American League West, 6 games behind the 1st place Kansas City Royals.

1985 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1985 season was the 24th regular season for the Mets. They went 98-64 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played their home games at Shea Stadium.

Albuquerque Dukes

The Albuquerque Dukes were a minor league baseball team based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

List of Chicago White Sox nicknames

In the last 100-plus years, the Chicago White Sox have had many players with colorful and memorable nicknames from "Shoeless Joe" Jackson to "Old Aches & Pains" Appling, Minnie the "Cuban Comet" Minoso, "Little Louie" Aparicio, "Black Jack" McDowell, and Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas. These are some of the best.

Dick Allen: "Wampum"

Sandy Alomar: "Iron Pony"

Luis Aparicio: "Little Louie"

Luke Appling: "Fumblefoot" or "Kid Boots" or "Old Aches & Pains"

Cuke Barrows, Roland Barrows: "Cuke"

Bruno Block, James John Blochowicz: "Bruno"

Ken Boyer: "Cap" or "Captain"

Smoky Burgess, Forrest Harrill Burgess: "Smoky"

Iván Calderón: "Ivan The Terrible"

Norm Cash: "Stormin’ Norman"

Eddie Cicotte: "Knuckles"

Rocky Colavito, Rocco Colavito: "Rocky"

Eddie Collins: "Cocky"

José Contreras: "Commander"

Joe Crede: "Clutch Norris"

Bucky Dent, Russell Earl O’Day: "Bucky" or "Bucky 'Fucking' Dent"

Octavio Dotel: "Ol' Dirty"

Richard Dotson: "Dot"

Brian Downing: "Incredible Hulk"

Red Faber, Urban Clarence Faber: "Red"

Carlton Fisk: "Pudge"

Nellie Fox, Jacob Nelson Fox,: "Nellie", "Little Nel", or "The Mighty Mite"

Freddy García: "Chief"

Ralph Garr: "Road Runner"

Kid Gleason, William Gleason: "Kid"

Goose Gossage, Richard Michael Gossage: "Goose" or "The White Gorilla"

Craig Grebeck: "The Little Hurt"

Bo Jackson, Vincent Edward Jackson: "Bo"

Joe Jackson: "Shoeless Joe"

Bobby Jenks: "Big Bad Bobby Jenks"

Lance Johnson: "One Dog"

Ted Kluszewski: "Big Klu"

Paul Konerko: "Paulie"

Carlos Lee: "El Caballo"

Ted Lyons: "Sunday Teddy"

Jack McDowell: "Black Jack"

Catfish Metkovich, George Michael Metkovich: "Catfish"

Minnie Miñoso, Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Miñoso: "Minnie" or "The Cuban Comet"

Blue Moon Odom, Johnny Lee Odom: "Blue Moon"

Magglio Ordóñez: "El Caribe Mayor (The Caribbean Mayor)" or "Mags"

Tom Paciorek: "Wimpy"

Don Pall: "The Pope"

Herbert Perry: "The Milkman"

Bubba Phillips, John Melvin Phillips: "Bubba"

Billy Pierce: "Billy the Kid"

Scott Podsednik: "Pods"

Carlos Quentin: "TCQ"

Tim Raines: "Rock"

Alexei Ramírez: "The Cuban Missile"

Ray Schalk: "The Cracker"

Tom Seaver: "Tom Terrific"

Bill Skowron: "Moose"

Moose Solters, Julius Joseph Soltesz: "Moose" or "Lemons"

Nick Swisher: "Dirty Thirty"

Frank Thomas: "The Big Hurt"

Jim Thome: "Big Jimmy" or "Mr. Incredible"

Javier Vázquez: "The Silent Assassin"

Robin Ventura: "Batman"

Dayán Viciedo: "The Tank"

Ed Walsh: "Big Ed"

Skeeter Webb, James Laverne Webb: "Skeeter"

Hoyt Wilhelm: "Old Sarge"

Walt Williams: "No Neck"

Taffy Wright, Taft Shedron Wright:: "Taffy"

Early Wynn: "Gus"

List of Seattle Mariners broadcasters

The following is a season-by-season list of people who have worked on Seattle Mariners local radio and television broadcasts.

List of Washington Nationals broadcasters

Broadcasters for the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team.

Players
Coaches
Veteran players
(pre-1947 era)

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