George Yankowski was born on Sunday, November 19, 1922, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Yankowski was 19 years old when he broke into the big leagues on August 17, 1942, with the Philadelphia Athletics. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive George Yankowski baseball stats page.
"If I could share something with people on Baseball Almanac, I'd say never give up. When I was 15 I was cut from the J.V. baseball team, so I played basketball. A year later, I was the starting catcher at West Junior and one of the best backstops in the state of Massachusetts." - George Yankwoski (Handwritten Note to Baseball Almanac, 02/14/2014)
George Yankowski Autograph on a Custom Made Baseball Card (NN)
George Yankowski Pitching Stats
|-||-||Did Not Pitch||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
George Yankowski Hitting Stats
George Yankowski Fielding Stats
|1949 White Sox||C||6||3||78||18||3.0||18||15||3||0||0||0||2||2||1.000||6.23|
George Yankowski Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
|1949 White Sox||0||0||.000||6||0||n/a||0.0||9.0||9.0||-||-||-|
George Edward Yankowski was a Major League Baseball player who caught games for the Philadelphia Athletics ( 1942 ) and Chicago White Sox ( 1949 ). Between those two seasons, George was a sniper in the United States Army during World War II, serving under General George S. Patton's Third Army.
Did you know that when George Yankowski took the field for the Philadelphia Athletics , he became the first catcher to ever wear #11 in a regular season game? Doo easy? Did you know he was the Pale Hose player to ever wear #58 in a regular season game?
David Whitley, of The Orlando Sentinel , wrote a truly moving story about George Yankowski in 2017. An excerpt from WWII vet battles MLB for recognition , Sunday, December 17, 2017, Section C:
George Yankowski knew he wasn't alone that morning. Somewhere in the freezing mist, he sensed a German sniper had him in his sights.
Yankowski clutched his M3 machine gun and started blasting back. As the bullets sprayed wildly through the Ardennes Forest, a telling thought popped into his head.
"I'm a ballplayer, not a soldier!"
All in all, he'd much rather have been in Philadelphia catching for the A's. But Adolf Hitler wanted to rule the world and somebody had to stop him.
Yankowski did his part. He helped win the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler's great counteroffensive which erupted 73 years ago today.
Now the ex-solder has one last fight in him. He wants a Major League pension.
"I was a big-leaguer, but I wasn't," he said. "It's bugged me for the last 70 years."
Not much bugs Yankowski. who may be the most vivacious 95-year-old in Florida.
He lives at The Villages with his wife, Mary. He still plays golf once a week, goes to parties in his tuxedo, and can't help saying "What a thrill!" when recalling his life.
You would too, if you had 10 kids, 17 grandkids and countless admirers spawned from a career as a high school guidance counselor and baseball coach.
George Yankowski | A Veteran's Story | March 12, 2011
When George Yankowski passed away, he was the fourth-oldest Major League Baseball player ( Top 500 ), behind Eddie Basinski (3), George Elder (2), and Eddie Robinson (1).