Monday, October 11, 2010
#329) TOM PACIOREK
Tom Paciorek was traded by the Chicago White Sox to the New York Mets in exchange for Dave Cochrane on July 16, 1985. "I wasn't playing well and was actually designated for assignment before the Sox worked out a deal with the Mets," remembers Paciorek. "And that was fine, I got a chance to play on a team that won 98 games and saw Doc Gooden in his prime."
Mets manager Davey Johnson wanted Tom's veteran presence for the stretch run. A season that unfortunately saw the St. Louis Cardinals win 101 games and claim the National League East Division title. Paciorek appeared in 46 games and had a fine .282 batting average. Few men have enjoyed playing the game more than he did.
He was first nicknamed "Wimpy" by his Dodgers teammates. "I signed with L.A. in 1968 and you look at the guys that the Dodgers drafted just that year...Steve Garvey, Bill Buckner, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, Ron Cey...that may have been the single greatest draft in baseball history. All of us came up together and in the minor leagues we'd eat together, When we'd go out guys would always be getting steak, but I'd always order a hamburger so I got the nickname. That's from the Popeye cartoons, he had a friend "Wimpy", who always wanted hamburgers."
Tom was released by the Mets on November 13, 1985. He signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers the following year, and played for his good friend, Bobby Valentine.
While still a member of the Chicago White Sox, "Wimpy" tried his hand at broadcasting. It became his profession at the conclusion of his active playing career. Paciorek was one of the voices of the White Sox for 12 years. He then worked for the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, and Washington Nationals as a broadcaster until 2006.
He was inducted into the National Polish-American Hall of Fame on June 11, 1992.
Tom Paciorek signed his card in the set through a private signing by All-Star Cards and Collectibles on September 13, 2010.