Andy Seminick Leader of 1950 National League Pennant-Winning Philadelphia Phillie ‘Whiz Kids’
By Space Coast Daily // September 11, 2020
2019 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME SPOTLIGHT: Andy Seminick, a former Florida Tech coach, is best known as the leader of the 1950 National League pennant-winning Philadelphia Phillie “Whiz Kids,” and holds a very special place in the hearts of many.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame nominations are now being accepted for the Class of 2021. To make a nomination e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
ANDY SEMINICK – 2019 INDUCTEE
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame) – Andy Seminick, best known as the leader of the 1950 National League pennant-winning Philadelphia Phillie “Whiz Kids,” holds a very special place in the hearts of many.
This adulation is not only for his prowess as an athlete but also for the many lives he touched during his coaching/managing career in the minor leagues and here on the Space Coast at the Florida Institute of Technology.
In a 15-year major league career, Seminick played in 1,304 games, totaling 953 hits in 3,921 at-bats for a .243 batting average, with 164 home runs and 556 runs batted in.
In 1949 he was voted starting catcher by the fans over the Dodger’s Hall of Famer, Roy Campanella.
Seminick threw out 44.6 percent of the base runners who tried to steal a base on him, 16th on the all-time list, and led National League catchers twice in baserunners caught stealing and once each in putouts, assists and fielding percentage.
At the time of his retirement, he ranked seventh all-time in home runs by catchers.
A 1994 inductee into the Sunshine State Conference Sports Hall of Fame, Seminick was baseball coach for the Panthers, posting 276 wins from 1961 to 1977.
He also served as assistant athletic director at Florida tech and was heavily involved in fundraising each year for the school’s athletic department. Florida Tech renamed its baseball field Andy Seminick Field in 1987 in his honor.
In the popular book “Coaching Your Kids to be Leaders” the author Pat Williams, a motivational speaker and sports executive, currently serving as a senior vice president of the Orlando Magic, devoted the good part of a chapter to Seminick.
Williams was a minor league catcher on one of the teams managed by Seminick and, as the emcee for a reunion of minor league ballplayers who played under Andy, he recalls in his book:
“The players had all been 18 to 24 years old when they played for Andy, now they were in their late 50s or early 60s. After everyone had spoken, it occurred to me that each of their remarks and stories would fit into one of four categories:
• Category 1–Andy was the best teacher – in some case, the only teacher, I ever had in my early baseball career.
• Category 2—Andy taught me what a strong work ethic is all about.
• Category 3—I’ve never been around anyone who competed as hard or wanted to win as much as Andy.
• Category 4—Andy cared about me as a person, not just as a ballplayer. After every game, he came to my locker to congratulate me if I played well or encourage me if I had a bad night.”
Shortly after that reunion, Seminick died of cancer at his home in Palm Bay.
Williams writes: “Clearly, there was something very special about Andy Seminick…How was Andy able to have such an impact on so many lives? Because he cared about people as people, not just as ballplayers. Andy was a leader with great people skills.”
We are honored to posthumously induct one of Brevard’s most distinguished citizens to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
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