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John Brazinski


Date and Place of Birth: October 16, 1917 Elizabeth, NJ
Date and Place of Death:    October 28, 1944 Italy
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Shortstop
Rank: Private First Class
Military Unit: 913th Field Artillery Battalion, 88th Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: Meditteranean Theater of Operations

John Brazinski, the son of Lithuanian immigrants Frank and Victoria Brazinski, was born on October 16, 1917 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. John was an amateur boxer and played baseball with the Elizabeth Question Marks in the Intra-County League before trying his hand at professional baseball in 1941. He signed with the Orlando Senators of the Class D Florida State League and made a strong showing as a hard-hitting shortstop during spring training.

"Another bright looking prosepct is Johnny Brazinski, a strapping 180-pound infielder from Elizabeth, NJ."
Orlando Evening Star March 30, 1941

Brazinski was the team's starting shortstop when the season opened, but on April 28, out of the blue, he notified manager Whitie Weigle that he was quitting, claiming that he was "tired of baseball and didn't want to play every day." At this point Weigle also discovered that Brazinski was not 19 years old, as he had claimed, but was actually 23. Brazinski was threatened with an indefinite suspension by business manager John Ganzel, who was also prepared to write to minor league president W. G. Branham, requesting he be banned from organized baseball for life. Brazinski was told to go away and reconsider. He returned the next day in humble apology stating that he did not want to hurt the ball club and he was reinstated in the line-up, quickly raising his batting average from .267 to .298. But on May 4, Brazinski left Orlando and returned home to New Jersey.

He continued to play amateur baseball with the Question Marks in the Intra-County League and the North Ends and Garwood in the Union County League, being selected to the all-star teams of both league in 1941.

Brazinski entered military service in April 1943 and served in Italy with the 913th Field Artillery Battalion, 88th Infantry Division. Aged 27, Private First Class Brazinski was killed in action on October 28, 1944. His remains were returned to the United States in January 1950, and buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.














Florida State League D 15 57 - 17 3 1 0 - .298

Date Added August 14, 2023

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