David Lemanczyk

Inducted in 2005

In the big picture history of major league baseball, you’ll find dozen of run-of-the-mill, partially talented, and down right lucky players who achieved recognition and rewards simply because they performed for good teams in quality organizations. Unfortunately, there are the Dave Lemanczyk of the game – truly talented performers who never were in contention to win a championship ring even though the demonstrated all the attributes of a champ. Those qualities include dedication, patience and, most of all, heart.

Dave began his diamond career at West Hill High School where he was a solid performer behind the plate. He also did a little pitching, and was an outstanding basketball player.

After graduating from high school, Dave enrolled at Hartwick College. Dave enjoyed a successful collegiate career on the diamond as well as on the hardwood. His basketball team coached by Nick Lambros, went to the NCAA regional tournament in 1970 and to the nationals in 1971. He captained the baseball team in 1971 and '72. Baseball is where Dave really shined, graduated holding Hartwick College baseball’s records in career wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, and single season strikeouts 70 in 1972.

In 1972, Dave was drafted by Detroit in the 16th round and began working up the Tigers farm ladder. Lakeland, Toledo, Montgomery, Evansville. Highlighting the upward climb was an 88 pitch no-hitter against Ashville. On May 2 nd, 1974, Dave was called to the parents club and started his major league career with a win over Milwaukee. In 1977, Toronto took Dave as an early expansion draftee and he instantly became the team’s ace as he lead the team’s pitching staff with thirteen wins. He stayed with the Blue Jays through the 1979 season when he made the American League All-Star team. He was traded to the Angels during the 1980 season. He retired that year and served the New York Yankees as a new talent evaluator for two seasons.

Lemanczyk was a workhorse starter for the Blue Jays in their expansion years. His 13 wins in 1977 tied a record for a first-year expansion team, a record for expansion teams that stood for two decades. On April 24, 1979 against the Rangers, Lemanczyk threw the Blue Jays' first one-hitter, on his way to an All-Star selection and a career-best 3.71 ERA. After his playing career, Lemanczyk became a player agent, and became engaged in acrimonious litigation with Dave Stieb.

Visitors to the Syracuse Chiefs Wall of Fame will see that Dave was inducted in 2001. He now runs a successful year-round baseball school and camp. He and his wife Joan and their two sons resides in Rockville Center, New York

 

 

 

 

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