The Obit For Al Heist

Tahlequah Daily Press

Alfred Michael Heist

COOKSON – Alfred Michael Heist passed from this life Monday, Oct. 2, 2006, in Tahlequah at the age of 78. He was born Wednesday, Oct. 5, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York, to Joseph and Loretta Jane (McCafferty) Heist.

In 1945, he joined the U.S. Navy, honorably serving our country during World War II. Al was a recipient of an American Area Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal, Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

Al spent 44 years of his life in professional baseball. He was a player and coach for 15 years and spent 11 years in the minors. He was a professional centerfield baseball player.

Al began his baseball career with Redding, Calif., of the Class D Far West league in 1949. In 1950, he moved to Stockton, Calif., of the Class C California League, where he played for two years.
He played the 1953 and 1954 seasons with Lewiston, Idaho, in the Class A Western International League, where he stole 28 bases in 1953 and was chosen to the league’s All-star team in 1954.

He joined the Sacramento Solons of the PCL in 1955. In 1958, “The Sporting News” named a minor league all-star fielding team which included Al. The honor was based strictly on official fielding averages, and he had the only flawless record in the minors. He set a record in the PCL, playing 161 games without an error. Al began his major league career July 17, 1960, playing for the Chicago Cubs and then joined the Houston Colt 45s in 1962.

He was a player and coach with the Oklahoma City 89ers from 1963 to 1965. Al retired as a player after 16 major and minor league seasons. He then became a coach for the Houston Astros in 1966 and 1967.

His passion for the game led him to scouting for the Chicago Cubs. In 1980, he was a member of the San Diego Padres staff where he was the third base coach, instruction league coordinator and a scout. His last nine years before retiring was spent with the San Francisco Giants as their national cross checker scout.

Alfred was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by three daughters, Shalah Lozano and husband Martin of Yukon, Allyson Heist of Tahlequah, and Lori Heist of Park Hill; son, Michael Heist of Tahlequah; 10 grandchildren, Jayme Steeley, Michael Neighbors, Jayson Steeley, Whitney Neighbors, Shelby Walters, Lane Trammel, Payton Walters, Marina Lozano, Martin Lozano and Ty Evan Heist; a great-granddaughter, Jaelyn Girty; and numerous extended relatives and friends. Day and night, you will be missed.

Graveside service will be 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 5, at Cookson-Proctor Cemetery with Father Jeff Polasek officiating. Arrangements directed by Reed-Culver Funeral Home.
Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, 456-2551.