John Paciorek: The Greatest One Game Career in Major League History

1983 One Year Wonders # 95 (Front and Back)

It's pretty well known that an 18-year old John Francis Paciorek went three for three with three RBIs, and four runs scored for the Houston Colt .45's in his only major league game, but one of the tidbits I found when I got Pat Doyle's databse was that Paciorek was actually playing in the minors through 1969, trying to get back to the point he'd so effortlessly reached in 1963.

Of course it's questionable whether he'd earned the callup in '63, coz his average at Modesto that year was only .219 with 94 strikeouts in 274 at bats (although he did homer nine times and drive in 49). His major league appearance came September 29, 1963 in the last game of the season vs. the Mets , a game the Colts won 13 - 4.

Two days prior, Colts manager Harry Craft had started his famous All-Rookie lineup, and Paciorek's appearance can probably be seen best in that light.

  In searching old SABR posts, there seems to be a misapprehension that says Paciorek played in the "All-Rookie game," started and lost by Colt LHP Jay Dahl (also a player who played in only one ML game, but for different and much more tragic reasons than Paciorek's). This was not the case; John's appearance came two days later.

Paciorek had had problems with his back throughout 1963, and sometime during his 1964 season (spent at Durham and Statesville) had back surgery performed. He was inactive in '65, then tried to come back in 1966. But bad back or no, it looks like Paciorek had a problem hitting for any kind of average, although the power seems to have been there.

Paciorek's best season was probably at Reno in 1968, when he hit .275 and hit 17 homers. After the following year, he retired at the age of 24, as much from a shoulder injury as from the back.

John Paciorek's Complete Professional Record
SeasonTeamLeague LevelBA HR RBI
1963 Modesto ColtsCalifornia A.219 9 49
1963 Houston Colt .45'sNational Majors1.000 0 3
1964 Durham BullsCarolina A.155 4 12
1964 Statesville Colts Western Carolinas A.063 0 1
1965 Inactive
1966 Batavia TrojansNY-Penn A.158 3 21
1966 Salisbury Astros Western Carolinas A.247 3 20
1967 Asheville TouristsCarolina A.128 1 2
1967Cocoa AstrosFlorida State A.050 0 0
1968 Reno Silver SoxCalifornia A.275 17 65
1968 Rock Hill IndiansWestern Carolinas A.225 3 8
1969 Waterbury IndiansEastern AA.213 4 13