Joe Donald Stanka was born on July 23, 1931, and died on October 15, 2018.
He was an American professional baseball player.
Joe Stanka was a right-handed pitcher from Hammon, Oklahoma played for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball (1959), and the Nankai Hawks and Taiyo Whales in the Japanese professional leagues (1960–66).
Stanka was 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and weighed 201 pounds (91 kg).
Following his years at Oklahoma State University, Stanka spent most of his career in the minor leagues, making his Major League debut with the White Sox in 1959 at age 28.
Joe Stanka’s big-league career consisted of only two appearances that year.
During his first MLB game, September 2 against the Detroit Tigers, Stanka entered the game in relief of starting pitcher Barry Latman in the fifth inning at Comiskey Park with Chicago trailing 3–0.
Joe retired the Tigers without further damage.
Then, in their half of the fifth, the White Sox exploded for 11 runs, with Stanka contributing to the rally with a single in his first big-league at-bat.
Joe Stanka went on to pitch 3 1⁄3 innings of one-hit, one-run relief and was credited with the win in an 11–4 ChiSox triumph.
He pitched in only one more contest that month, a two-inning relief stint against the Cleveland Indians, September 5.
Since 1959, The White Sox and Indians were then embroiled in a pennant race that ultimately delivered Chicago its first American League title.
He did not appear in the 1959 World Series.
During two games and 5 1⁄3 MLB innings pitched, Stanka allowed two hits, two earned runs and four bases on balls; he struck out three.
Joe Stanka’s career 1–0 win–loss record was accompanied by a 3.38 earned run average.
Stanka Joe Stanka signed with the Nankai Hawks (current Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks) during the 1959 off-season.
Stanka was one of the first players to be signed from the Triple-A class of the minor leagues, and the team calculated that he should be able to win over 20 games in the Japanese Pacific League.
He entered the starting rotation in his first year and marked a 17–12 record in his first year, leading the league with 103 walks.
Joe Stanka played his best season in 1964, winning 26 games to receive the league MVP award.
Joe pitched shutouts in Games 1, 6, and 7 of the Japan Series against the Hanshin Tigers to win the Japan Series MVP award as well.
Stanka continued to pitch for the Hawks in 1965 but left the team after his eldest son died in a tragic accident.
During 1966, Stanka played for the Taiyo Whales before retiring.
Joe Stanka is tied with Gene Bacque for the most wins among foreign players in Japan, going 100–72 during his seven-year career in Japan.
Joe Stanka passed away at 87 years old.