set for baseball great Heinrich
Heinrich, 91, a resident of the Pennsylvania Soldiers' & Sailors' Home, died Friday at UPMC Hamot.
Some of Heinrich's highlights included playing in an exhibition game with Lou Gehrig and facing Bob Feller. He also witnessed firsthand the scorn directed at Jackie Robinson.
According to baseballreference.com, Heinrich had a career .289 average in 10 seasons.
At age 19, Heinrich first signed with the New York Yankees' organization in 1939. He played with the Erie Sailors in 1941.
In Erie, Heinrich made the All-Star team twice and was voted the team's most popular player by fans. The Sailors won the league title both years.
Born in Aurora, Ohio, on Sept, 13, 1920, Heinrich served with the U.S. Army for four years during World War II. After he was discharged, he returned to play Triple-A and finished his career in Albany, N.Y., in 1951. His service likely kept him from making the major leagues, but he never was bitter.
After his baseball career, Heinrich, a member of the Erie Sports Hall of Fame, stayed involved with the sport he loved.
He was a founding member of Boys Baseball of Erie, and he also was instrumental with bringing Jerry Uht Park to Erie.