An interview in 2022 with the former catcher
- Minnesota Twins, 1965
John Sevcik was born in Oak Park, IL on July 11, 1942.
Sevcik played high school ball at Morton West High School in Berwyn, Il, and he played college baseball at the University of Missouri.
He was signed by the Minnesota Twins out of college in 1964.
Sevcik began his professional career with the Wisconsin Rapids Twins, and he also spent time with the Florida Instructional League Twins.
Coming out of spring training in 1965, Sevick made the Twins’ 40 man roster.
In the Major Leagues
Sevcik’s big league debut finally came on April 24, 1965, less than a year after playing at the NCAA level.
He was inserted as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning and caught pitchers Jerry Fosnow and Al Worthington.
Unfortunately for the Twins, Gates Brown of the Detroit Tigers hit a walk-off home run off of Worthington to end the game.
The Twins were stacked with talent in 1965, including one of the greatest African American catchers in recent history, Earl Battey.
That meant that Sevcik did not get a ton of playing time. Still, he spent the entire 1965 season at the major league level with the Twins.
And what a season it was. The Twins went 102 - 60 and won the AL pennant that year.
Sevcik went on to play in 12 games during the Twins’ storied ‘65 season.
In 16 at bats, Sevcik collected one major league hit - a double off Wally Bunker of the Baltimore Orioles during a late September game.
He did not play in the 1965 World Series but was in uniform for the Twins, catching in the bullpen.
Sevcik never made it back to the big leagues after the 1965 season. He played at the A, AA and AAA levels for a number of years for teams such as the Charlotte Hornets and Denver Bears.
After the 1971 season, he hung up his cleats for good.
Q&A with John Sevcik
John Sevcik is a former professional catcher with lots of experience at elite levels of the game.
He played in a fascinating era in baseball and was teammates with Hall of Famers like Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat and Harmon Killebrew.
I wrote Mr. Sevcik a letter recently with a few questions about his career.
He graciously took the time to answer my questions (which you can read below) and he also signed his 1965 Topps rookie card for me.
Below are his responses to my questions.
Question 1: I'm curious to know/learn about your favorite memory from your playing career. Will you please tell me about that?
Answer: Having the opportunity to reach the big leagues (even though it was a short career) because I dreamed of it every day growing up.
Question 2: As a catcher in the 1960s, what was the most difficult thing about catching in this era? What was the most enjoyable?
Answer: Catching back in the 60’s required two hands since the gloves we had back then had a pocket not much bigger than the ball itself. Now catcher’s gloves are almost like first baseman’s models. / Very gratifying - Even if you went hitless, if you called a good game for your pitchers.
Question 3: Who was the best pitcher you ever had the opportunity to catch, and why?
Answer: Bert Blyleven (HOF) excellent fastball and a superior curveball.
That's A Wrap!
We enjoy learning more about the game and its history. In particular, we love to hear personal stories from the men that played many decades ago, such as Mr. Sevcik.
These men often have good wisdom and interesting perspectives to share.
We hope that you found this article to be interesting!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out and contact us.
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