Giant Mike Sadek Homered for Dad

Posted September 20th, 2010 by Tom Owens and filed in Grant Jackson, Juan Marichal, Mike Sadek, Willie McCovey

Mike Sadek may have been as rare as an Elvis sighting in San Francisco box scores from 1973-81. However, his memories would put him on my list of all-star Giant storytellers.

First, I wanted to know if this Minnesota native was immune to cold-and-windy Candlestick Park. I’m still shivering over memories of my one blustery trip there. How did he feel?

“Cold and windy, but better than the minor leagues!”


The back-up catcher got a bonus in his 1973 rookie season. He became batterymate for future Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.

“Yes, it was a thrill to catch him. He didn’t have his best stuff, but he had great control.”


I expected Sadek to tell what kind of pitch he clouted for his first major league home run on June 19, 1977, versus Grant Jackson. (Thanks for the history, www.retrosheet.org) Maybe, he’d remember the final score. Instead, I received a classic tale.

“It took a few years for me to hit one and after I circled the bases and got to the dugout — there was one of my idols (since I was in junior high school) Willie McCovey — laying flat on the bench. Two guys were fanning him with towels.


He lifted his head and said, ‘I thought I saw Sheik (me) hit a home run!’

The biggest thrills for me was just getting there after six-plus years in the minor leagues — introducing my dad around (my biggest fan — my first-hit ball and my first career HR ball are buried with him.”

Tomorrow: learn about Sadek’s holiest of autographs.

7 Responses to “Giant Mike Sadek Homered for Dad”

  1. Tony says:

    I love stories like this

  2. MattR says:

    I remember Mike Sadek from his days with the Phoenix Giants. He was one of those guys who was up and down a lot in the mid-late 1970s.

  3. Mike Sadek says:

    The “Son of Sheik” approves this blog entry!

  4. Tom Owens says:

    Thanks, S.O.S. (How’s that for a new nickname?!?) —

    Mike Sadek made my Hobby Hall of Fame with that wondrous letter. Everyone has statistics and can sign tons of cards. To preserve and share such a classic story from Giants history? WOW! That’s special talent. Once, I collected autographs. Now, I collect memories. I am grateful.

  5. pgoldman says:

    Mike and I grew up in Park Forest Il. Of course we played baseball all day, at least till the snow came. We probably had the best Pony league team of all time. Mike of course the catcher, his Dad the coach…boy did he know baseball. As an added plus Mike’s brother Bob, a great athlete, also coached the team.

    We were surrounded by great players but none with skills that made Mike a major leauger!!!
    Too bad that the next year Mike’s Dad was transferred back to Minneapolis and we lost our #1 catcher. The only good thing that resulted…I became the #1 catcher!!! Mike and I reconnected in 1977 at Wrigley Field, what a treat after 10yrs. no Internet then we got caught up. So glad for him that the Giants won the World Series…to everyone who has ever played the game…its the best…our pastime or whatever you want to call it…we love it!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I saw my first Giants game in 1975 v Chicago Cubs. Sadek caught that game and Ed Haliki was on the mound. He inspired me to be a catcher because he was not a big guy(as I) and was playing at the highest level. I love the sheik.

  7. Sadek and I played little league in park forest in 1958,,, I was the catcher,for the phillies…jump ahead to 1977 and a guy named Sadek is warming up ‘the count’ Montefusco ,so I yell at him hey Sadek did you play little league south of Chicago in 1958,he says yea, I said I’m Clark Wilkerson ,he says ‘you sure could hit’..like .500 in park forest league,,,small world stuff only saw him once since,,,I moved back to mke in 1958 played at UWM in 1967 and caught a no hitter by John Klement of sausage fame..what a great game!!

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