Saturday, August 15, 2020

#234 Don Demeter

Don Demeter  Los Angeles Dodgers

Career: As a Brooklyn Dodger signee in the early 50s Demeter, a centerfielder, drew comparisons to then Dodger star Duke Snider. He obviously didn't hit that level as a player but he had a nice eleven-year career that included a World Series ring with the '59 Dodgers.

He also played for the Phils, Tigers, Red Sox, and Indians. A modest man, Demeter says he would have liked to have been around Boston for the '67 pennant run. But he claims that the deal that sent him to the Indians that summer for Gary Bell was the pivotal piece in the Red Sox season.

Demeter, always referred to as tall and lanky (6'4 190), retired at the age of 32 saying that as much as he enjoyed baseball there were other things in life he wanted to pursue. He finished with a .265 career average and 163 homers. He received MVP votes a few times in the early 60s during his time with the Phils.

In 1960: Demeter was hitting .274 and showing new-found consistency early in July when he collided with teammate Maury Wills and fractured his wrist. That ended his season and the injury likely led to a slow start in 1961 that prompted a trade to the Phillies.

Off The Charts: Demeter, a man of great faith, founded and ministered a church in his hometown of Oklahoma City.

This great little six-minute video was made by Demeter's granddaughter a decade ago. A nice mix of highlight clips and Demeter talking about his life in the game, his family, and his faith.

Demeter and his wife lost their son, Todd, to Hodgkin’s Disease in 1996. Todd Demeter had been a second-round pick of the Yankees who had not reached the majors and was working in his father's business.


  1. That piece about impressing his future wife with two home runs was pretty funny. I wasn't familiar with Demeter before this post. After seeing you list his career batting average and home runs, I looked him up on Baseball Reference. He drew comparisons to Jay Buhner and Jason Kubel who were solid ball players. I wonder if guys like Buhner and Kubel will get lost in the shuffle 50 years from now... much like Demeter has.

    1. I laughed at that as well. Reminded me of the first date I had with my wife. I took her to a U of Houston football game. Late in the third quarter she turned to me and asked me which team was Houston.

      To be was her first game and we were playing NC State and they were wearing white and red.