Heinkel played at Wichita State, and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 30th round of the 1982 amateur draft. After moving through lower levels, he played for the 1982 Birmingham Barons, and returned the next season. After the 1983 season started, he met his wife, the former Angela Kelly, when he and his Barons roommate Jon Furman looked in the Yellow Pages for a church, and found Apolistic Temple, where Angela's father was the minister.
Heinkel played for a total of 15 minor league teams, and made it to the major league in 1988, playing a combined 29 games for the Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals over 2 seasons. After he retired, he went to the University of South Alabama for medical school.
- Segrest, Doug (July 14, 2010) "Oneonta doctor Don Heinkel found love, success as a Birmingham Baron." Birmingham News