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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Joe Kmak, Another Team - 19

Joe Kmak and the Denver Zephyrs pressed all the way to the AAA American Association title in 1991 and Kmak did his part by winning series MVP honors, according to The Buffalo News.

To The News afterward, the catcher looked back on the season and his team.

"This team has been down all year, but we had five or six must games and we won them all," Kmak told The News. "I've never been on a team that has more character in my life."

Up to that point in his career, Kmak had been on teams over six professional seasons. Two seasons later, he'd be on another team, in the majors.

Kmak's career began in 1985, taken by the Giants in the 10th round of the draft out of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Kmak started at short-season Everett. He hit .310 in 40 games. He made single-A Fresno in 1986, then AA Shreveport in 1987 and 1988. He hit .225 in 71 games at Shreveport in 1988.

He moved to the Brewers and AA El Paso for 1990. He also made AAA Denver that year. He hit .232 in 28 games at Denver.

Kmak then played at Denver completely for 1991 and 1992. He then debuted in Milwaukee in April 1993.

Kmak got into 51 games for the Brewers that year. He hit .218, knocked in seven and stole six bases.

He then played 1994 at AAA with the Mets. He came back from an error in a June game to help his team to the win, The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot wrote.

"Except for the error it was a good game for me," Kmak told The Virginian-Pilot. "Any time you can get a win from your starting pitcher, it is."

He moved to the Cubs for 1995 and returned to the majors for 19 more games. He hit .245, with six RBI.

Kmak continued playing in the minors over the next three seasons. He saw Indianapolis, Charlotte and Omaha, but he didn't make it back to the majors.

He later turned high school pitching coach and math teacher.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,046
Made the Majors:1,121-36.8%-X
Never Made Majors:1,925-63.2%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 466
10+ Seasons in the Minors:276

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