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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Ex-Brooklyn Dodgers catcher, New York Mets coach Joe Pignatano dies at 92

The New York Mets said Pignatano died in Naples, Florida, at a nursing home. He had been suffering from dementia.

Pignatano had been the last living coach from the 1969 Mets, who made a remarkable run under manager Gil Hodges to reach the World Series and then startled Baltimore and the baseball world for their first championship.

He remained as their bullpen coach through 1981.

“To me, he was Uncle Joe. He loved the city and loved talking about his days with the Dodgers and with Gil. He was a baseball lifer,” former Mets star Lee Mazzilli said.

Pignatano made his major league debut with Brooklyn in 1957. On Sept. 24, he took over for future Hall of Famer Roy Campanella and caught the final five innings in a 2-0 win over Pittsburgh. It was the Dodgers’ last home game before bolting Brooklyn for the West Coast.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2022 at 09:50 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe pignatano, obituaries

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   1. donlock Posted: May 24, 2022 at 02:25 PM (#6078302)
If he was a Soprano’s character, he’d have to be Joey Pigs.
   2. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 24, 2022 at 02:44 PM (#6078305)
leaves 9 still living former Brooklyn Dodgers:

Bob Aspromonte, born June 19, 1938
Tommy Brown, born December 6, 1927
Roger Craig, born February 17, 1930
Carl Erskine, born December 13, 1926
Jim Gentile, born June 3, 1934
Chris Haughey, born October 3, 1925
Fred Kipp, born October 1, 1931
Sandy Koufax, born December 30, 1935
Bobby Morgan, born June 29, 1926
   3. . . . . . . Posted: May 24, 2022 at 04:06 PM (#6078314)
SABR Bio

I always liked the story of how his mom yelled at the Dodgers for mistreating him in the minors and got his career back on track. Don't ever #### with an Italian lady from Brooklyn, she'll bite your head off.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 24, 2022 at 04:24 PM (#6078316)
Aspromonte made one appearance for Brooklyn, striking out as a pinch hitter in a game in September 1956 shortly after his 18th birthday. He didn't resurface until four years later as a Los Angeles Dodger.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 24, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6078318)
If you can tell Joe Pignatano apart from Joe Amalfitano, you're a better man than me.
   6. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 24, 2022 at 04:37 PM (#6078320)
Pignatano figures in the decisive game 2 of the 1959 playoff. Entered the game as a PR in the 9th and got a crucial 2 out single in the bottom of the 12th to move Hodges to second for the GWRBI by Furillo the next batter.
   7. dejarouehg Posted: May 24, 2022 at 05:15 PM (#6078327)
Wasn't he involved in the triple play at the end of the 1962 season where he, Ashburn and someone else all ended their careers on that play?
Or, did I just make that up?

Regardless, for some reason, one of my favorite baseball from the best Topps set of all time - 1971 - was my Bob Aspromonte card.
Certain players I like to collect cards from each year they are made. Usually I focus on better players, but he was one that I loved collecting. (Still need a 62.) Like Tommy Davis, lots of cards, from lots of years and lots of teams.

RIP Piggy.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: May 24, 2022 at 06:00 PM (#6078334)
Pignatano was both a Brooklyn Dodger and a 1962 New York Met (he was hardly alone on that front, of course).

surviving 1962 Mets:

RP Dave Hillman, age 94

SP Roger Craig, 92
LF White Frank Thomas, 92
C Hobie Landrith, 92

1B Jim Marshall, 90

RP Ken MacKenzie, 88

3B Felix Mantilla, 87

RF Joe Christopher, 86
RF-CF John DeMerit, 86
RP Bob 2-2 Miller, 86
SP-RP Galen Cisco, 86

3B-RF Cliff Cook, 85
1B Rick Herrscher, 85
SP Jay Hook, 85

RP Craig Anderson, 83

1B Ed Kranepool, 77

as of early 2016, 23 of the 45 Mets of 1962 were still with us. then there were 16, though Pignatano was the first departure of 2022
   9. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 24, 2022 at 06:58 PM (#6078337)
Don't ever #### with an Italian lady from Brooklyn, she'll bite your head off.


I can confirm this is true as I in fact am lucky enough be the son of one of these! I also, of course, know many others as my mum has sisters(who all have kids) and a boatload of cousins who all have kids. All from Brooklyn, all Italian and all take no sh*t from anyone. It's great.
   10. Addie Joss Posted: May 24, 2022 at 07:20 PM (#6078339)
I seem to remember Pignatano hitting an inside the park homer, thereby spurring the tabloid sports page headline "Little Piggy Runs All The Way Home".
The combo of Pignatano and John Roseboro was almost certainly the fastest-running duo of catchers on one team at any time.
   11. Itchy Row Posted: May 26, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6078528)
RP Bob 2-2 Miller, 86
You jinxed him.
   12. Gary Truth Serum Posted: May 26, 2022 at 01:23 PM (#6078531)
RP Bob 2-2 Miller, 86

as of early 2016, 23 of the 45 Mets of 1962 were still with us. then there were 16, though Pignatano was the first departure of 2022

Yeah, about that Bob Miller.

Coke to Itchy
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: May 26, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6078532)
I (morbidly) wonder if he officially passed before or after that 6 pm post - the date of the post matches the date of death

and then there were 15
   14. Itchy Row Posted: May 26, 2022 at 01:33 PM (#6078533)
At least you didn't mention Ray Liotta. DB Sweeney might be the last surviving Shoeless Joe now.
   15. Gary Truth Serum Posted: May 26, 2022 at 01:40 PM (#6078534)
And now we have to worry about the Polo Grounds turf in 1962.
   16. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 29, 2022 at 02:13 AM (#6078916)
Pignatano broke in with the 1948 Cairo Egyptians of the KITTY League. (Cairo has not had a pro baseball team in 72 years, and they ain't likely to get another one anytime soon.)

His manager was Hugh Holiday, who broke in with the 1933 Hutchinson (KS) Wheatshockers, a club that moved mid-season to Bartlesville, OK, and were re-named the Broncos. (Why on earth would you willing give up a cool name like "Wheatshockers"?)

Holiday's manager was Marty Purtell, who played in the minors until he was 46 (!) and spent nearly a half-century as a player, coach and manager, beginning with the 1908 Hannibal (MO) Cannibals. (Different time.)

One of Purtell's teammates in Hannibal was Joe Wilkins, who broke in with the 1902 Des Moines Midgets (no, I don't know how they got away with nicknames like these); they were managed by 40-year-old Joe Quinn, who played 17 years in the majors (and a full season for the Midgets in '08, batting .280), starting with the 1884 St. Louis Maroons of the infamous Union Association.

The Maroons, who won approximately eleventy billion games in a row and easily clinched the UA pennant, featured player/manager Fred Dunlap, whose career began with Auburn (NY) of the League Alliance (sometimes called baseball's first minor league, but not really) in 1877.

Auburn was managed by Billy Arnold, whose playing career apparently consisted solely of two games with the 1872 Mansfields of Middletown (CT), of the National Association. (I just recently re-wrote the Wikpedia page for the Mansfields. You're welcome.)

Arnold's teammate on the Mansfields with none other than Asa Brainard, legendary pitcher of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. (For Middletown, he pitched only two games and lost them both.) His career began way back in 1856, with the Stars of Brooklyn.

Ave atque vale.

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