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Joe Verbanic

Baseball ∙ Hopewell

 

 

 

 

When Joe Verbanic was playing baseball at Hopewell High School from 1958 to 1960, he was known as quite an infielder. But in 1961 his talent was utilized on the mound, a move that began a career that took him to the major leagues. Joe had an exceptional season with the Viking baseball squad, being named team MVP and starring in the American Legion, drawing attention from scouts. Joe signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961 and reported to Miami in 1962, spending two years with the Marlins franchise, with an exceptionally strong year in 1963. Armed with an outstanding sinker, good curveball, and exceptional control, Joe began moving up the minor league ladder. He was third in the Pacific Coast League with a 1.88 earned run average in 1965 and was 8-1 with San Diego in 1966 when the Phillies called him up after the All Star Break. His first major league win came at the expense of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a game in which Joe got out of a bases-loaded-no-outs situation by getting Roberto Clemente to hit into a double play. Joe was traded to the New York Yankees in 1967 and spent the next three years in pinstripes. In 1968 he was a spot starter and led the team in ERA until his final two starts. He won six games that season, saved six move, and finished with a 3.15 ERA. Joe suffered an arm injury in 1969 that eventually led to his retirement in 1972 as a player. Overall he won 12 major league games, including three complete and one shutout, with a lifetime ERA of 3.26. Joe managed a baseball club for two seasons in Eugene, Oregon, helping the teams win titles both years, but left baseball and its constant travel to spend time with his family. Joe owned a fire sprinkler business in Eugene.