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Joe Spalick

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat


Date and Place of Birth: November 16, 1920 Millvale, PA
Date and Place of Death:    June 4, 1995 Pittsburgh, PA
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Outfield
Rank: Corporal
Military Unit: 4th Marine Division USMC
Area Served: Pacific Theater of OPerations

Joseph M. Spalick, the son of Frank and Elsie Spalick, was born on November 16, 1920 in Millvale, Pennsylvania. Joe’s father played baseball in Pittsburgh’s North Side Twilight League and the Carnegie Steel League, and Joe was sure to follow in his footsteps.

In 1938 he played for the local Millvale Club, and the 18-year-old outfielder signed with the Mayodan Millers of the Class D Bi-State League in February 1939, but was released before the season began. He spent the year playing in Pittsburgh’s City League and signed with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Fostoria Red Birds of the Class D Ohio State League in 1940, appearing in 87 games and batting .228.

Spalick was back with Fostoria in 1941 but a leg injury saw his release from the team in June. In 1942 he played for the Etna Club in the Greater Pittsburgh League and worked for the Pullman Standard Car Company in Butler, Pennsylvania.

Spalick enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1942. He played ball for the Devil Doggs (managed by Aubrey Epps) at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was also stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. Corporal Spalick later served in the Pacific with the 4th Marine Division and took part in the Battle of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands in February 1944. He was wounded in combat during the Battle of Saipan in June/July 1944 and hospitalized at New Caledonia.

Corporal Spalick was discharged from the Marines in October 1945. He married Grace Mihlfried in June 1946 and worked as machine operator, but he continued to play baseball and roamed the outfield for the Pleasant Valley Smilers in 1946 and 1947. He later worked as a sporting goods buyer at Zayre’s and as a mail clerk for the Postal Service until his retirement. Spalick also owned a greyhound in his retirement which he would race at Wheeling, West Virginia.

Joe Spalick passed away, aged 74, on June 4, 1995 at St. Margaret Memorial Hospital in Pittsburgh. He is buried at St. Stanislaus and St. Anthony Cemetery in Etna, Pennsylvania.

Joe Spalick

Date Added May 21, 2020

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