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Batavia Clippers

Star of 1948 Batavia Clippers went on to long, productive career in baseball

By Howard B. Owens

There probably aren't too many people around who remember the players from the 1948 Batavia Clippers, but one of those men popped up in the news this week.

Joe Macko, a 6' 2", 200 lbs first baseman spent his first year of professional ball in Batavia. He smacked 11 home runs, hit .315 and also served as the team's bus driver.

Those 11 home runs would be the first of 306 he would hit in his 18-season minor league career. 

Alas, Macko never mastered hitting a curve ball, and thus never saw a single pitch in a major league ball game.

Macko was a coach with the Chicago Cubs in 1964. His son, Steve Macko, played 24 games with the Cubs before dying of cancer at age 27.

Macko, 81, who recently served as an ambassador for the Texas Rangers, was inducted this week into the Texas League Hall of Fame.

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