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Dan Radakovich

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat

 

Date and Place of Birth: March 18, 1918 Chicago, IL
Date and Place of Death:    August 6, 2009 Chicago, IL
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Catcher
Rank: Unknown
Military Unit: US Navy
Area Served: Carribbean

Daniel G. Radakovich was born on March 18, 1918, in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from James H. Bowen High School, he signed with the New York Yankees organization in 1938, and played that year for the Neosho Yankees of the Class D Arkansas-Missouri League. The 20-year-old, right-handed hitting catcher played 111 games and had a team-leading .316 batting average.

Radakovich spent 1939 playing between Yankee farm teams in the Eastern Shore League, Penn State Association and Western Association, before joining the Utica Braves of the Class C Canadian-American League in 1940. He batted .286 in 106 games with the Braves and returned to the team in 1941, appearing in 111 games and batting .315.

His career was put on hold after the 1941 season. America was at war and Radakovich enlisted with the Navy at Great Lakes Naval Training Station in January 1942. He served aboard naval vessels in the South Atlantic and was wounded during a battle at sea in the Carribbean. Returned to the United States in early 1943, he recovered at a hospital in Washington, DC.

Receiving a medical discharge from service, Radakovich returned to professional baseball in 1944. He played 46 games with Utica and four games with the Class AA International League's Buffalo Bisons. In 1945, he split the season between Buffalo and the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Class A1 Southern Association, and played 101 games with the Lookouts in 1946.

He joined the Gadsden Pilots of the Class B Southeastern League in 1947, and was with the Greensboro Patriots of the Carolina League in 1948 and '49, finishing his playing career with the Burlington Bees of the same league at the end of that year.

Radakovich returned to the South Chicago area and did a great deal of youth work, including serving as Director of the Kiwanis Chicago Boys Club in the Lake View Community. He was also one of the founders of the Serbian Eagles Athletic Club of South Chicago.

Dan Radakovich, ballplayer, wounded veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart, passed away in Chicago, on August 6, 2009, aged 91.

Date Added July 28, 2016. Updated July 29, 2016

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