Hall of Famer Joe Hesketh Helps Hawks Baseball

Release Date:
February 13, 2013
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

HAMBURG, NY - Joe Hesketh, a 2002 Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame inductee, stopped by Hilbert College February 10th to help Coach Pernick and the Hawks refine their pitching skills from the mound. His incredible background and experiences as a former Major League player continue to mold and motivate current college and local high school players.

Hesketh graduated from Frontier High School before matriculating at the State University of New York at Buffalo where he finished his 25 starts with 10 complete games (UB record) and an overall ERA of 1.77 (0.91 his junior year). After being named the 1980 ECAC New York-New Jersey District Player of the Year, he was drafted by the Montreal Expos and pursued every kid’s dream of playing in the major leagues. 
He was picked up by the Montreal Expos (1984) after being named the American Association Pitcher of the Year with a 12-3 record and a 3.05 ERA while dressing for the Indianapolis team. Joe made the big club in 1985, and made an immediate impact. For most of the summer, it appeared Hesketh would battle Cincinnati’s Tom Browning for National League Rookie of the Year honors with his 10-5 record and a sparkling 2.49 ERA. But, in late August, a home-plate collision with Dodger catcher Mike Scioscia broke Hesketh’s leg and ended his season.
Hesketh never regained the level of excellence he achieved in 1985, and after several discouraging and injury plagued seasons, it seemed that he was headed towards retirement. But in 1991, the Boston Red Sox picked him up, and he rewarded them with a 12-4 record and a 3.29 ERA. Because of his resilience, the Sox fans honored Hesketh with the Tenth Player Award which marked only the second time in eighteen seasons that a pitcher was chosen.

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.