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 History Players Teams Obituaries Site search Contact UsSponsor a page on Historic Baseball! Click here for detailsWhitey WietelmannWilliamFrederick Wietelmann Born: March 15, 1919in Zanesville, OhioDied: March 26, 2002in San DiegoDebut: 1939 | Pos: SSH: 6′ | W: 170 | B: B | T: RYrGABRHHRRBISBBA95801762170409712214.232 >> Visit theWhitey Wietelmann biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.Baseball was a huge partof Whitey Wietelmann’s life. In fact, he spent more than five decades asa part of the national game. His nickname was given tohim by Casey Stengel, his first manager. He wore the number 19 in San Diego,long before Tony Gwynn arrived. He was also once dubbed “Mr. Indispensable”in San Diego.Wietelmann debuted on September6, 1939 with the Boston Braves and spent parts of 9 seasons in the majorswith Boston and Pittsburgh. In 580 career games, he hit .232 with 7 homeruns and 122 RBI.Following his major leaguecareer, he played for the Padres from 1949-52. He coached the team from1960-65, was a coach for the Reds from 1966-67, and then again with thePCL Padres in 1968. When baseball expanded in 1969 and added the San Diegoteam, Wietelmann joined as a coach and held that position until 1979. Afterthat, he worked for 14 years in the organization in various jobs.He also tried to switch thingsup as a batter. From 1939-40 and in 1942, he was right-handed. In 1943and 1945, he was a left-hander and he was a switch hitter in 1941, 1944and 1946-47.He pitched 7.2 innings inhis major league career and later became a pitcher in the minors. As aplayer-manager with Yuma of the Arizona-Mexico league in 1955, Wietelmannhad a 21-13 record in 50 games as a pitcher and also played in the infield. He is recorded as sayingin an interview that the most embarrassing moment of his career came whenhe was asked to throw out the first pitch before the Padres’ first postseasonhome game.”I didn’t like that,” Wietelmannwas reported as saying. “If you’re not playing in the game, you shouldn’tbe on the field.” Wietelmann also introducedsome new ideas and innovations to the game. He invented a baseball-cleaningmachine while he worked with the Padres and he helped to pioneer pitch-chartingwhile he was in the minors.