Jack Damaska Shined Versus Hall of Famers Phil Niekro, Satchel Paige

Posted August 26th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in 1965 Milwaukee Braves, Jack Damaska, Larry Tye, Phil Niekro, Satchel Paige

Although this pose
of Paige as a Brave
seems halfway
common on eBay,
his history in Atlanta
is more obscure.
Here’s a great account
by Larry Tye.

Jack Damaska personified the AAAA player of the 1960s.

He remained a notch above most AAA talent. Still, Damaska wasn’t getting another chance at the majors.

Nonetheless, his skills may have shined brightest in the 1965 International League All-Star Game.

Years ago, minor league all-stars would get an exhibition against a major league team.

The minor leaguers topped the Milwaukee Braves, thanks to three hits, two RBI and a home run by Damaska.

He earned each hit, battling future Hall of Famer Phil Niekro.

Damaska recalled:

“Thanks for remembering my game in the International League All-Star game against Milwaukee. I just wanted to prove that I could play with them. (But never got the chance.)

Hitting the knuckleball, I just tried to hit up the middle and keep from striking out.”

That wouldn’t be the last HOFer Damaska faced. He concluded his letter with this historical footnote:

“Last player to get hit off Satchel Paige in his career. 1969 Spring Training against Atlanta Braves, Savannah, Georgia.”

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