Former Dodger at Home in Local PulpitJul 07, 2014
Don Demeter grew up in south Oklahoma City. He won two state baseball championships with the Capitol Hill Redskins in 1952 and 1953.
The day he graduated, he was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers. He had his first major league at bat in 1956 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. His first swing was a homerun out of the legendary field.
The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, and in 1959 Demeter and the Dodgers won the 1959 World Series against the Chicago White Sox.
“Winning the World Series was a boyhood dream,” Demeter said. “After you win, you just think about that your team is really the best in the world. A lot of guys played a lot monger than I did and never got to play in a World Series.”
Demeter went on to have a successful 11 year professional baseball career. He played with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Detroit Tigers, the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians.
His best season statistically came in 1962 with the Phillies when he hit .307 and had 29 homeruns. That year, Demeter finished 12th in the MVP voting.
Demeter held the errorless game record for over 30 years. He set the record between 1962 and 1965 with 266 errorless games.
Twice Demeter hit three homeruns in one game. The first time was with the Dodgers in 1959. The second time was with the Phillies in 1961.
“Playing baseball professionally has opened up a lot of doors,” Demeter said. “It taught me responsibility and accountability and the idea that if you don’t work for something, you’re not going to get it.”
In 1971 he was inducted into the Oklahoma City 89ers Hall of Fame. In 1999, he was inducted in to the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame and also the Capitol Hill High School Sports Hall of Fame.In August 2010, Demeter was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
Demeter’s life now is centered on the church. He pastors Grace Community Baptist Church in south Oklahoma City.
“I see me pastoring our church as an assignment from God,” Demeter said. “He has assigned me and my wife to start this work and get it going and moving along.”
Often he will use life experiences from his MLB days as parables during his sermons.
“I think God allowed me to play baseball so I could use it to share His word,” Demeter said.