Joe Presko, former major-league pitcher from Kansas City, dies at age 90

Joe Presko, who pitched in the majors for the Cardinals and Tigers.
Joe Presko, who pitched in the majors for the Cardinals and Tigers. File photo

Joe Presko, a major-league pitcher for six seasons and a fixture in Kansas City’s amateur baseball scene, died on Tuesday. He was 90.

Presko graduated from North Kansas City High in 1946 and moved up the Cardinals’ minor-league ranks, playing in St. Joseph and Omaha, and made his major-league debut in 1951. He was the winning pitcher in a spot-start that day and went on to spend four years with the Cardinals.

Presko pitched for the Detroit Tigers in 1957 and 1958 and finished his career with a 25-37 record and 4.61 ERA.

Presko spent decades coaching American Legion and Ban Johnson baseball in Kansas City. Among those he coached was future Cy Young Award-winner David Cone.

Visitation is Saturday from 9-11 a.m., followed by a Catholic Mass, at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Kansas City.

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