Carl Ernest Sawatski (November 4, 1927 – November 24, 1991) was an American professional baseball player and executive. In the Major Leagues, he was a catcher for the Chicago Cubs (1948, 1950 and 1953), Chicago White Sox (1954), Milwaukee Braves (1957–1958), Philadelphia Phillies (1958–1959) and St. Louis Cardinals (1960–1963). He also was an influential figure in minor league baseball.
A native of Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, he helped the Braves win the 1957 World Series and the 1958 National League pennant. In 11 seasons, he played in 633 games and had 1,449 at bats, 133 runs, 351 hits, 46 doubles, 5 triples, 58 home runs, 213 runs batted in, 2 stolen bases, 191 walks, .242 batting average, .330 on-base percentage, .401 slugging percentage, 581 total bases, 2 sacrifice hits, 13 sacrifice flies and 38 intentional walks. A left-handed batter who threw right-handed, Sawatski the player stood 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) (178 cm) tall and weighed 210 pounds (95 kg).
Sawatski was a prodigious minor league hitter. He batted .352 and slugged 34 homers in the Class D North Atlantic League in 1947. Then, two seasons later, he led the Double-A Southern Association with 45 homers and batted .360, second in the league. After his playing career ended, Sawatski served as the general manager of the Arkansas Travelers of the Double-A Texas League, a Cardinal affiliate, from 1966–1975. He then was elected president of the Texas League itself from 1976 until his death, in Little Rock at the age of 64. During his presidency, the league prospered during the renaissance of minor league baseball that began in the 1980s.
In a 1976 Esquire magazine article, sportswriter Harry Stein published an "All Time All-Star Argument Starter," consisting of five ethnic baseball teams. Sawatski was the catcher on Stein's Polish team.
By Dean Hanley
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