Joseph Koppe (born Joseph Kopchia)
Bats: Right , Throws: Right
Height: 5' 10" , Weight: 165 lb.
Born: October 19, 1930 in Detroit, MI
MLB Debut: August 9, 1958 Milwaukee Braves
Final Game: September 11, 1965 California Angels
Purchased by the Los Angeles Angels from the St. Louis Cardinals for $1,000 on June 19, 1961.
Started at shortstop and went 2 for 4 with a double, 2 runs scored and 1 batted in against the Red Sox at Wrigley Field, LA on June 20, 1961.
1961 - 1965
Hit .236 in 372 games over 5 years, and commited 67 errors playing 2B, 3B and SS.
1960 Topps and 1964 Topps
In 1949, for the 18-year-old Joe Koppe the class B Big State League Greenville Majors was his first stop in a long trip to the major leagues. It took ten years, seven leagues and seven teams before he got his chance.
On September 3, 1955 the Milwaukee Braves purchased Joe from the AA Texas League Shreveport Sports. It would be late season 1958 before the Braves called him up and he got his first look at major league competition. He was a 27-year-old rookie shortstop who appeared in 16 games, had 9 at bats with 4 hits for a .444 batting average.
On March 31, 1959 Joe was traded by the Milwaukee club, along with Gene Conley and Harry Hanebrink to the Philadelphia Phillies for Johnny O'Brien, Ted Kazanski and Stan Lopata.
He spent his first full season in the majors, with the 1959 Phillies, getting in 126 games and hitting for a .261 average. He was at the shortstop spot 113 games and second base for 11. He fielded at a .954 clip. Koppe had another full season with the 1960 Phillies, got into 58 games, hit .171 and fielded .966.
Koppe started the 1961 season with the Phillies but on May 4, he was traded along with Turk Farrell to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Don Demeter and Charley Smith. The Dodgers on May 16, traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals for Duke Carmel. On June 19 of the same year, the Los Angeles Angels purchased him from the Cardinals for $1,000.
During his free time in 1961, Joe played in the PCL with the Spokane Indians and the Portland Beavers for a combined total of 30 games. The infielder then finished out the year with the Los Angeles Angels, appearing in 91 games, hitting .251 and fielding .947.
From 1962 through 1964 Koppe was with the Los Angeles Angels for the entire three seasons. He was used as a utility infielder, playing when and where needed at a .961 clip. His batting average hovered around the .230 mark.
1965 was to be his last year in pro baseball. He appeared in 23 games for the California Angels and also spent time with the PCL Seattle Angels, playing in 63 contests with a .262 batting average and fielding at a .966 mark.