Jack Fimple

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John Joseph Fimple

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Biographical Information[edit]

"I lost both catchers (Mike Scioscia with a torn rotator cuff and Steve Yeager with a broken wrist) and had to go with two kids who'd never caught a day in the majors." - Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, about his catchers in 1983, as quoted in Sports Illustrated [1]

"Fimple started getting all these clutch hits, and he became a fan favorite." - from an article remembering Jack Fimple's contributions in 1983 [2]

Jack Fimple, who played four seasons in the big leagues, had a key role on the division-winning Los Angeles Dodgers in 1983. He was the regular catcher in the last part of the season, getting into 54 games and hitting .250.

Jack was born in Darby, PA - another Dodger catcher, Mike Scioscia, was born next door in Upper Darby, PA. The two were teammates in 1983-1984 and in 1986.

Jack is one of only two Major Leaguers to come from Humboldt State University. He was drafted in the 29th round of the 1980 Amateur Draft by the Cleveland Indians. After he hit .288 with 10 home runs for the A level 1981 Waterloo Indians, he (along with a couple other players) was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the trade that brought Rick Sutcliffe and Jack Perconte to the Indians. Fimple spent 1982 with the Vero Beach Dodgers, putting up a batting line of .281/.369/.423 and was then jumped up to AAA for the 1983 season.

He started 1983 with the Albuquerque Dukes, for whom he slugged well but hit only .247. He made his major league debut on July 30th, and was used very heavily throughout August and September as both Scioscia and Steve Yeager were out with injuries; the even less experienced Gilberto Reyes, 19 at the time, served as his back-up. In 54 games, he hit .250 with 2 homers and 22 RBIs, keeping the Dodgers afloat. Yeager came off the disabled list late in the year and split catching duties with him in the Dodgers' loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS. Jack was not used nearly as much after 1983, as both Yeager and Scioscia were back in full health. He got into 12 games in 1984 and 13 in 1986 and, after being released by the Dodgers, 13 more with the California Angels in 1987.

In the minors, he continued to play in the Pacific Coast League, for Albuquerque from 1984-1986, and for the Edmonton Trappers after he was traded to the Angels organization. While he mostly played catcher, the Albuquerque team sometimes used him at third base.

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