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Jack Pyecha

Baseball ∙ Monaca

 

 

 

 

Jack Pyecha was a versatile athlete who enjoyed modest success at the high school level before going on to athletic success at a higher level. He lettered four years in baseball at Monaca but did not play high school basketball, opting to play basketball in the YMCA league in New Brighton and with independent teams. After graduating in 1949, he worked for a year before entering Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Redshirted as a basketball freshman player, Jack signed a professional baseball contract with the Chicago Cubs organization. (The conference in which ASU was a member permitted athletes to play a professional sport and still maintain amateur status in another sport.) His first year in baseball at Elkin (NC), Jack was 13-4 as a pitcher with a 3.33 ERA. He worked his way up the ladder and played with the Cubs AAA farm team in Los Angeles before getting once chance to pitch in the Big Show for the Cubs in 1954. Jack pitched two perfect innings against Cincinnati, but then allowed a walk, a hit, and a home run. He was then sent back to Los Angeles, where arm trouble ended his baseball career in 1955. In basketball at ASU, he became a force, scoring 50 points in a single game. He had a career scoring average of 22.3 points per game with a single season high of 28.7 ppg, and also averaged 14.6 rebounds per game and was named NAIA All American in 1955. Jack continued to be involved in athletics by competing nationally in handball and earning a black belt in judo.