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Church member, ‘King of Baseball’ Don Mincher dies at 73

Christians and baseball fans are celebrating the life and legacy of Don Mincher, who died March 4 at his home in Huntsville, Ala., the Huntsville Times reports. He was 73.

Don Mincher (photo via al.com)

A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, at Mincher’s home congregation, the Mayfair Church of Christ in Huntsville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the the church’s building fund, Nate’s Giving Fund or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. For more information, see Mincher’s obituary.
Mincher, a native of Alabama, was drafted in 1956 by the Chicago White Sox organization and made his major-league debut on April 18, 1960, with the Washington Senators. He played for 13 years in the American League — for the Senators, Minnesota Twins, California Angels, Seattle Pilots, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers. He played in the World Series in 1965, with the Twins, and 1972, with the A’s. He played in the the 1967 and 1969 All-Star games.
See Mincher’s bio on www.baseball-almanac.com for his major league stats.

A Don Mincher autographed 1965 Topps baseball card (photo via www.baseball-almanac.com)

After his baseball career, Mincher owned and operated Don Mincher’s All Sports Trophies from 1972 to 1985. From 1985 to 2001, he served as president and general manager of the Huntsville Stars, a minor-league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. He was president of the Southern League — the minor league division that includes the Stars — from 2001 to 2011.
Mincher was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2010, he was named “King of Baseball” at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
“In the world of Minor League Baseball, there is no greater honor,” writes Benjamin Hill, a reporter for MLB.com.
Hill wrote about Mincher’s legacy in Huntsville:

“Don was bigger than life in this town. … If you wanted to make a movie about the prototypical local hero, then he’d be the guy,” said current Huntsville Stars general manager Buck Rogers. “He grew up here, went to school here, played Major League Baseball, won a World Series, came back home and became the first general manager we’d ever had. He bought the team, sold the team and became the league president all while still living here. He really ran the gamut — playing, owning and operating — and you don’t get that very often.”
Such versatility led to a rare level of expertise.
“Don was the closest thing to a psychiatrist this league is going to get. He understood everything, because he’d done everything,” said Rogers. “Our problems might have sounded big, but he took them and made sense of them, and it would turn out to be a small problem in the end. There aren’t a lot of guys like that in the world, and there aren’t a lot within the game of baseball.”

Read the full story.

  • Feedback
    We remember Don and Pat very well. Way back when he was playing for the Minnesota Twins. Pat was so faithful to Christ and that is what drew Don. Del had the privilege of baptizing Don all those long years ago (remember well that the water heater wasn’t working and the baptistry water was cold!). We grieve with everyone at his passing. We care!
    Del and Marge Green
    March, 6 2012
    He we be remembered by all with love and great respect of a good man. Him and his whole family are the nicest people anyone could know. I went to High School with his children and they were always very nice. Praying for all his family members and his friends. The world has lost a great man.
    Tammy Woodard Staggs
    March, 6 2012
    I well remember Bro. Don and Sis. Pat and Mark, Donna, and Lori from our years of worshipping together at the Meridianville church of Christ in Huntsville when I was a teen. He was a humble man who loved his family, church, and community. As others have noted, there are not many like him these days–men and women who invest the majority of their entire lives in the community of their birth–a place called “home.” He will be missed. Our prayers are with you all.
    Alan Henderson
    March, 7 2012
    Don Mincher was mentioned in Jeff Miller’s book, Down to the Wire, about the 1967 American League pennant race. I never knew he was Church of Christ, but Miller showed Mincher in a favorable light. At one stop in the minors, he did not realize he was going to room with an African-American teammate, but Mincher learned much from the roommate that helped him in the Major Leagues.
    Johnny Mullens
    March, 8 2012
    Follow this link to “The Don Mincher Story,” a 6 minute video shown at his memorial service 3/7/12
    Lee Milam
    March, 8 2012
    Thanks, Lee. I added the video to the top of Erik’s post.
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    March, 8 2012

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