Date and Place of Birth: September 18, 1923 Slovan, Pennsylvania
Died: February 23, 2009 at
Bald Eagle, PA
Baseball Experience: Major League
Military Unit: US Marine Corps
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations
J “Joe” Tepsic was born in the western
An all-round athlete at
Upon receiving his medical discharge in
late 1944, Tepsic attended
His big bat soon attracted major league
scouts, and more than a half dozen turned up in the grandstand
at home games. But none of them made much headway. "I want my
degree before I consider baseball as a career," he said. "Then,
too, I want a couple
Tepsic got to play football and scored eight touchdowns in eight games as a freshman, making him the Pittsburgh Steelers number four draft pick. He played baseball again in the spring of 1946 before signing a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers for an estimated bonus of $17,000 in July.
The Dodgers sent
catcher Mike Sandlock to their Southern Association farm team at
In the spring of
1947, the Dodgers tried to send Tepsic to their
Rickey admitted that
Tepsic had the potential of a big leaguer but was a year or two
away. “They never gave me a chance,” Tepsic said. “I know I can
play with this club. If they don’t want me I’m going back to
Tepsic went home for
two weeks before reporting to
Joe Tepsic then returned home, where he owned and operated a small grocery store, the Village Dairy Store.
Created July 11, 2008. Updated February 24, 2009.
Copyright © 2008 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.