Lafayette Drillers Flashback: Mike Heinen
The Lafayette Drillers, a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, called Lafayette, Louisiana their home for two years, from 1975-1976.
The Drillers, who played their home games at Clark Field, were co-champions of the Texas League in 1975 with the Midland Cubs, finishing 72-57, before going 58-76 in 1976, the last year of affiliated professional baseball in Lafayette.
A number of outstanding players, who eventually made it into Major League Baseball ranks played at Clark Field in 1975 & 1976, including five former Lafayette Driller players.
All summer long, we’re taking a look back at some of the former players for the Drillers.
Today, pitcher Mike Heinen:
Heinen was a relief pitcher for the Drillers during the 1976 season.
Born in Lakewood, California, Heinen attended Lakewood High School, before moving on to college at the Cal Poly Pomona, in Pomona, California.
Following his time at Cal Poly Pomona, Heinen was selected in the 31st round of the 1974 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Minnesota Twins.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Heinen, a right-hander, made a minor league stop in 1974 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin before moving from the Twins organization to the San Francisco Giants’ organization in 1975, where he played in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before joining the Drillers in 1976 at the age of 25.
With Lafayette, Heinen pitched in 52 games in ’76, all in relief, going 5-2 with a 3.20 earned run average, and three saves.
In 76 innings pitched, Heinen allowed 59 hits, 27 earned runs, and 44 walks, while striking out 61 hitters.
After his one-year stint in Lafayette, Heinen ended his professional career by spending two seasons pitching in Waterbury, Florida.
In five minor league seasons, Heinen compiled an overall record of 15-19, along with 22 saves, and a 3.91 ERA. over 179 appearances.