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Marcel Poelker


Date and Place of Birth: August 26, 1928 St. Louis, MO
Date and Place of Death:    September 25, 1951 Korea
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Second Base
Rank: Sergeant
Military Unit: Company C, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: Korea

Marcel C. Poelker was born on August 26, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Alphonse Poelker, Marcel attended Roosevelt High School in St. Louis.

Poelker graduated from high school in 1946 and signed with the Bristol Twins of the Class D Appalachian League in 1947. The 6-foot, 160-pound left-handed-hitting second baseman played just 10 games with the Twins and was hitting .115 (3 for 26) when he was released to the Fort Smith Giants of the Class C Western Association. Appearing in 19 games for the Giants, Poelker hit .145 and finished the year with the Lawton Giants of the Class D Sooner State League, where he batted .193 in 30 games.

Despite his weak hitting, Poelker was an excellent defensive infielder and the 19-year-old played 133 games with Lawton in 1948, batting .210, as the club finished in second place. In 1949, Poelker was batting .160 over 21 games with Lawton before being optioned to the Belleville Stags of the Class D Mississippi-Ohio Valley League. Poelker batted .245 with the Stags in 103 games and hit two home runs.

In 1950, the 21-year-old infielder was with the Sanford Giants of the Class D Florida State League and batted a career-high .271 in 139 games. After four seasons of minor league baseball, Poelker appeared to have found his groove but military service was on the horizon and he was inducted in the Army in December 1950. He was carried on the National Defense Service List of the Muskogee Reds of the Class C Western Association at the time.

Marcel Poelker attained the rank of sergeant and served in Korea as a Light Weapons Assault Infantryman with Company C of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was killed in action September 25, 1951, aged 23, during the ill conceived attempts to overrun North Korean positions at the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge. Allied forces (American and French) suffered 3,700 casualties during the battle.

Marcel Poelker is buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Affton, Missouri.

Photo Source: 1946 Roosevelt High School (St. Louis, MO) Bwana Yearbook (Thanks to Mark Haubenstein for locating this photo)

Date Added April 30, 2012 Updated May 28, 2012


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