Success is fleeting. For some people it is faster than others. Some players it lasts twenty years and for others it can only be one day. No matter its length of time, it will eventually vanish, and all you are left with is memories. For John Paciorek the game of baseball allowed him one day of immortality and generated hopes of long-range success. That grand success was never to be, but now there is a book that lets readers take a glimpse of the one game wonder that finished with a perfect career.
John Paciorek was a hometown hero. Brought forth from a family of standout athletes, he showed the promise of greatness on high school teams that garnered the attention of the Houston Colt 45’s. In today’s game Paciorek would be considered a can’t miss prospect and all sorts of attention would be paid to him to make sure he had an All-Star career. Due to a series of back problems an All-Star career was not in the cards for Paciorek, but he did get to play in one single game for the Colt 45’s in 1963 and went a perfect 3 for 3 at the plate. This feat was something that had never happened before or since and left the slugger with a perfect 1.000 career batting average. It was a game that left John with the distinction of the only payer with more than one at bat in the major leagues to have a perfect career batting average. That officially makes him the answer to a trivia question.
Author Steven K.Wagner has undertaken the task of sharing John Paciorek’s career story with the whole world. He covers his humble upbringings in Michigan, through his high school years highlights. You see a complete picture of the background and values of the local star athlete. Next you see John’s progression through the minor leagues and his eventual call up to the Colt 45’s. That brief stint with the Colts leads to one game in which John takes the field. The book takes in-depth analysis of the one game John played in and shows how every single event transpired that day. It also unfortunately shows how things did not work out in John’s career after that great game. A nice portion of the book shows John’s life after baseball and what you find is a man who is at peace with the hand he was dealt in life. Paciorek does not seem bitter at all, especially as one might think he would after his brother Tom had a successful major league career for several years.
It is a good book for all readers who like to learn about obscurity in baseball. It is well written and tells the complete story of both the man and the player, and allows John to become more than just a footnote in baseball history. Books like this I feel are necessary so that we don’t lose the minor things to the passage of time in our sport. He will always be that trivia question answer, but now we are able to understand his full story.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Breakaway Books