Jim Suchecki was born on August 25, 1927, in Chicago. He spent four years at Lane Tech, graduating in 1943, where he envisioned going into engineering after graduation, but instead he ended up playing baseball. He played high school ball at Lane Tech and played some semipro at Skokie and for Michigan City.
In April 1943 Jim threw a no-hitter in the City League over defending state champion Oak Park. In May threw a three-hit shutout, then a one-hitter. Once signed professionally by the Red Sox organization, Jim pitched in one game for the Class-B Roanoke Red Sox and in six Class-D games for Kingsport, Tennessee. In 1944, he played the full season for Scranton, getting in 111 innings of work.
The next two years were shorter ones, because Jim served in the U.S. Navy right at the end of World War II and into the first year of peacetime. He got into 14 games for Scranton in 1945 and into just four games for the Lynn Red Sox in 1946. In between, he kept up his baseball skills in the Navy, playing for the Great Lakes Naval Training Station team near Chicago.
A day after being separated from the Navy in July 1946, he worked out with the Red Sox at Comiskey Park, and was then assigned to the team in Lynn.
In 1947 the Red Sox weren’t willing to pay enough to keep him the organization, so we find Jim playing semipro baseball with the Skokie Indians in the Greater Chicago Semi-pro Baseball League.
Jim returned in 1948, playing exhibition ball with Louisville and then was assigned to the Double-A Birmingham Barons. He had some arm trouble early in the season only to go on the disabled list, until June. He only pitched 27 innings before being sent to the Roanoke Red Sox of the Class-B Piedmont League and then it was back to Birmingham in 1949 where he had an excellent, league-leading 2.77 ERA.
The Boston Red Sox bought his contract in January 1950. He trained with the Red Sox in 1950 spring training and headed north with the team. But in April, he was sent to Louisville and in May, was recalled back to Boston. His major-league debut came at Cleveland Stadium in May. He only made four appearances for the season, had no decisions and a 4.50 earned run average and in July, was optioned to Louisville. The sore arm persisted, later diagnosed as bursitis, and he only pitched a few times.
Jim was back with the Red Sox in 1951, but was again optioned to Louisville. In May, the Red Sox did a deal with the St. Louis Browns and he spent the rest of the season with the Browns.
In March 1952, the Pittsburgh Pirates purchased his contract from St. Louis. Once the regular season started the Pirates used him five times in relief, four times in April, and once more in May. The deal the Pirates had struck was that he was purchased on a “make good” basis, so they decided he had not made good, and returned him to the Browns.
The Browns worked out some other kind of deal, and in May the Chicago White Sox selected him off waivers and assigned him to the Southern Association’s Memphis Chickasaws.
In April 1953, Jimi’s contract was sold to the Dallas Eagles. He won his first three games for Dallas, then in May, the Eagles sold him to the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League.
In 1954, his last year in baseball, Jim began the season on the Seattle roster, but in March his contract was sold to Charleston, West Virginia in the American Association. At the beginning of May, he was sold to Nashville, where he appeared in 12 games, his final games in organized baseball. He finished his MLB career 0-6 with a 5.38 ERA and had worked in 38 big-league games over three seasons, with three different teams.
After baseball, Jim worked for Sinclair Refining. He also managed and reportedly owned, Upper Midwest, Inc., an employment agency.
Jim Suchecki passed away due to a cerebral hemorrhage, at age 72, on July 20, 2000, in Crofton, Maryland.