Born: January 27, 1901
Died: June 1, 1973
Frederick Amos Heimach was born January 27, 1901 in Camden. His parents separated when he was young and he was raised by his grandparents. Fred attended Camden High School but did not play for the baseball team. Nicknamed “Lefty,” he was good enough to pitch semipro ball as a teenager and left school before graduating. He was the owner of a blazing fastball, but never mastered any off-speed pitches. This would limit his success in the majors.
In 1917, Fred enlisted in the military and trained as an airplane mechanic. He was shipped overseas, where he caught the eye of a Philadelphia A’s scout playing for a base team. After the war, he signed with the A’s.
Fred pitched very well as a minor leaguer, earning late-season call-ups in 1920 and 1921. He played all year with the A’s in 1922, often pitching home games in front of friends and extended family. In 1924 he went 14–12 and was the second-best hurler on Connie Mack’s staff. In 1926, the A’s had improved enough to challenge for the pennant. Mack needed a top-line starter and believed he had his man in Howard Ehmke of the Red Sox. Fred was part of the deal that brought Ehmke to Philly.
Near the end of the 1928 season, Fred was purchased by the Yankees. He contributed two W’s to the team’s 101 pennant-winning victories, but did not play in the World Series against the Cardinals. Fred pitched well for the team in 1929, going 11–6 with three shutouts. He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1930 and finished his career there in 1933. A broken ankle and an old shoulder injury kept Fred from making through the season in Brooklyn. He tried to extend his career as a minor leaguer in 1934 with little success.
After baseball, Fred moved to Florida. He became a Miami police officer before retiring after 20 years to Ft. Myers. He passed away in 1973. In 1990, he was enshrined in the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame.