Donald Stephen Pavletich (born July 13, 1938) is an American former professional baseball player. He was a catcher and first baseman for the Cincinnati Redlegs/Reds (1957, 1959 and 1962–68), Chicago White Sox (1969) and Boston Red Sox (1970–71).
He was a graduate of Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, Wisconsin and was signed as an amateur free agent in 1956 by the Reds.
He made his Major League debut at the young age of 18 on April 20, 1957 in a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Braves at County Stadium, grounding out as a pinch-hitter for Hal Jeffcoat against Ray Crone. It was his only Major League appearance and at-bat of the season, and he also made one hitless at bat in one appearance in the 1959 season.
He served in the U.S. Military from May 1957 to February 1959.
His first Major League hit was in the first game of a doubleheader on April 29, 1962 in a 16-3 Reds loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Replacing Reds catcher Johnny Edwards midway through the fourth inning, in the next inning Pavletich singled off the Cardinals' Larry Jackson.
Pavletich spent much of his career with the Reds as a backup catcher to all-stars Ed Bailey, Johnny Edwards and Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench. In 12 Major League seasons he played in 536 games with 1,373 at bats, 163 runs, 349 hits, 46 home runs, 193 RBI and a .254 batting average.
By Dean Hanley
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