Herman Wedemeyer's Baseball Career

Webmaster’s note: I am currently undertaking research into Herman Wedemeyer’s professional baseball career. While his football exploits are pretty well documented, most published accounts of Wedemeyer’s baseball career contain conflicting information. Here are the facts as I have been to discern them so far. If you have information to add to this page, please e-mail me. For a personal account by a teammate of Wedemeyer’s college baseball days with the St. Mary’s Gaels, please see Memories of Long Ago.

Many thanks to John E. Spaulding for his help and information.

Many accounts of the life of Herman Wedemeyer state that he played for the San Francisco Seals, a Pacific Coast League team just one step below the majors. However, it appears that this is not the case. According to experts on the Pacific Coast League, Wedemeyer never appeared on the roster of the Seals or any other PCL team. If he did play for the Seals, it was in spring training and never in an actual league game. For a cool fantasy graphic showing Wedey in Seals uniform, check out this page.

The March 15,1950 issue of The Sporting News sheds some light on this issue. Thanks to Carl Aldana for contributing this article: Wedemeyer, Grid Star, Trying Out at Seals' Camp (PDF format).

The book Nuggets on the Diamond, by Dick Dobbins (Woodford Press of San Francisco, 1994), a comprehensive history of the PCL in the San Francisco area, contains the statement, "Wedemeyer left St. Mary’s to sign with the Los Angeles Dons [football team] of the AAFC. During the spring of 1948, [Oakland Oaks owner Brick] Laws and [Oaks general manager] Cookie Devincenzi met with Wedemeyer to discuss the possibility of his playing baseball as well. Wedemeyer presumed the Dons were amenable to his signing with the Oaks, but when the Oaks made a specific request to Dons’ general manager Harry Thayer, he invoked a clause in Wedemeyer’s contract that forbade his playing a second sport. The issue was dead and Wedemeyer pursued a moderately successful football career."

Wedemeyer played football for the Los Angeles Dons in 1948 and the Baltimore Colts in 1949. In 1950, he left football and played baseball for the Salt Lake City Bees, a Class C Pioneer League team and farm team for the San Francisco Seals. His statistics were as follows:

 Year Games At Bat Runs Hits 2-Base Hits 3-Base Hits Home Runs Stolen Bases Runs Batted In Batting Average
1950 15 84 11 21 0 1 0 1 8 .250

One of Wedemeyer’s teammates on the Bees was fellow Hawaiian Wally Yonamine, who went on to become a legendary figure in Japanese baseball. At least one source (Hawaii magazine, December 1996) says that Wedemeyer played baseball in Japan with Yonamine, but it appears that this is just a good story, and that Wedemeyer's professional sports career ended after his stint with the Bees. Thanks to Rory Costello for researching this question!

Wedemeyer himself later said (Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 24, 1978) that he had a falling-out with the Bees manager and returned home to Hawaii after quitting the team.

   
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