Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

Go on, why not sponsor this page for $5.00 and have your own message appear in this space.
Click here for details.


Minor League BaseballJim Honochick


Date and Place of Birth: August 19, 1917 Oneida, Pennsylvania

Died:  March 10, 1994 Allentown, Pennsylvania
Baseball Experience: Major League
Military Unit: US Navy

Area Served: Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific Theaters of Operations

George James “Jim” Honochick was born on August 19, 1917 in Oneida, Pennsylvania. He signed as an outfielder with Baltimore of the International League in 1941 and batted .289 in 114 games. He didn’t play in 1942 but was back with Baltimore in 1943 and batted .263 in 75 games.

Honochick entered military service with the Navy later that year. As a lieutenant, he made a Murmansk run in the fall of 1943 on the pre-war liner SS Washington, which had been requisitioned and leased by the Navy, and was subsequently commissioned as the troopship USS Mount Vernon. He later saw transport duty in the Mediterranean and Pacific.

Honochick returned to Baltimore in 1946 but soon retired due to a sore arm. He decided to give umpiring a try and umpired his first American League game in 1949. During his career he worked six World Series and four All Star games. A personal career highlight came in 1955 when he was the homeplate umpire for game 7 of the World Series when Johnny Podres and the Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees 2-0. He also umpired the New York Yankees game in 1961 when Roger Maris hit his 61st home run.

In the late 1970s, after retiring from baseball, Honochick gained fame for his self portrayal as a nearsighted umpire opposite former Baltimore Orioles’ first baseman Boog Powell in a series of classic "Miller Lite" television commercials.  

Jim Honochick passed away on March 10, 1994 in Allentown, Penssylvania.

Created June 4, 2008.

Copyright © 2015 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.