Jeff Heath was born in Fort William, Ontario in 1915 and during the 1930s and 40s, he played a total of 1383 games with four major league baseball teams, including the Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns and the Boston Braves. Not only was Heath a top major league out-fielder, but his abilities at the plate were also truly remarkable. Of all the Canadians who have made it to the majors, it is Jeff Heath who still holds the record of being the all-time Canadian leading ball hitter.


Heath started his major league career with the Cleveland Indians of the American League in 1936, where he remained for 10 years. In his third season in the majors, Heath was the runner up to Jimmy Foxx for the American League batting title. In 1941, Heath led the American League in triples with 20, and was second in total bases as well as hitting more than Joe Dimaggio and Ted Williams with 199 hits. For 7 seasons Heath topped a .300 batting average, including a .306 in his final season with the Boston Braves. Heath's abilities in the field were also noteworthy as was evident in 1948 when he led the National League in fielding and was twice selected to play on the All-Star team.


In 1948, while with the Boston Braves, Jeff and his team earned their way into the World Series, however, due to a broken leg received in the final game of the regular season, Jeff was forced to watch the game from the sidelines. Heath retired from professional baseball following the 1949 season, leaving behind him an impressive list of career statistics, including a total of 1,477 hits, 887 RBI's, 102 triples, 279 doubles, a career batting average of .293 and 194 home runs, including 3 grand slams.


Jeff Heath's 14-year career in the major leagues will be well-remembered as he exhibited all of the qualities of an outstanding ball player - good power, speed and defensive skills.


Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 26, 1987


John "Jeff" Heath

Inducted: 
1987
Sport:
Baseball
Community:
Fort William
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