Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Johnny Hetki

Date and Place of Birth: May 12, 1922 Leavenworth, KS

Baseball Experience: Major League


Military Unit: US Army

Area Served: United States


In 1942, John E. Hetki’s rookie year in baseball, he won 17 games in the minors, but his career was put on hold while he served the next two years in the Army. Returning to baseball in early 1945, Hetki made his major league debut with the Reds in September of that year. He played eight seasons in the majors, primarily as a relief pitcher, and played in the minors until 1956. After baseball, Hetki worked for several years as a traffic foreman for Simpkins Industries in Cleveland, Ohio.

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