An interview in 2022 with the former catcher
- Minnesota Twins, 1969 - 1971
Tischinski's Early Career
Tom Tischinski was born in Kansas City, MO on July 12, 1944.
He played high school baseball at De La Salle High School in Kansas City.
At the age of 17, Tischinski was signed to a pro contract by his hometown team, the Kansas City Athletics.
He began his professional career in 1962 with the Daytona Beach Islanders, where he played on the same team with Tony La Russa and Bert Campaneris.
That fall, he was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the minor league draft.
Tischinski spent the next five seasons in the Reds' minor league system, playing for teams such as the Knoxville Smokies and the Buffalo Bisons.
During the 1967 offseason, he was signed in that year's minor league draft by the Minnesota Twins.
Tischinski played the following season with the Twins' AAA club, the Denver Bears.
With the Minnesota Twins
Tischinski made the Twins' big league roster coming out of spring training in 1969.
He made his major league debut on April 11, 1969 at an away game against the Los Angeles Angels.
It was the Twins' third game of the regular season.
Tischinski entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning and flied out to right field.
Following his debut, he spent the rest of the '69 season with the Twins and played in a total of 37 games that year, splitting time with catchers Johnny Roseboro, George Mitterwald and a young rookie named Rick Dempsey.
Tischinski would also go on to spend the entire 1970 and 1971 seasons with the Twins as a backup catcher.
He was sent back to the minors to start 1972, and after three more seasons at the AA and AAA levels, he ended his playing career.
In total, Tischinski appeared in 82 major league games and collected 21 hits and 12 RBIs.
He caught approximately 357 innings and maintained a .992 fielding percentage behind the plate.
Tischinski also had a career caught stealing percentage of 39%, which was higher than the league average over this period of time.
Q&A with Tom Tischinski
Tom Tischinski had a professional baseball career that lasted more than a decade.
He played in an intriguing era in the game and was teammates with notable names like Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Bert Blyleven and Harmon Killebrew.
I recently wrote Mr. Tischinski a letter and asked him a few questions about his career.
He took the time to answer each of my questions (which you can see below) and he also signed his 1970 Topps rookie card for me.
Below are his responses to my questions.
Question 1: I'm curious to know/learn more about your favorite memory from your playing career. Can you tell me more about that?
Answer: My favorite memory was playing for Billy Martin at Denver and Minnesota.
Question 2: As a catcher in the 1960s and 70s, what was the hardest thing about being a catcher during this era? What was the most enjoyable?
Answer: It is easy to be a catcher - you control the entire game - just catching was a thrill.
Question 3: In your opinion, who was the best pitcher you ever had the opportunity to catch, and why?
Answer: Louis (sic) Tiant - good stuff - great at changing speeds.
That's A Wrap!
We love hearing from former catchers that played in the big leagues many years ago.
Their careers are interesting and they often have great stories and wisdom to share.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you'd like to get in touch, please feel free to contact us.
Thanks for stopping by Catchers Home.