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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Former Pirate Bobby Del Greco remembered as ‘hero,’ ‘bigger than life’

About 30 years ago, Bobby Del Greco Jr. was working out at a health spa with a friend when he heard a disturbing report.

“It came over the news that former Pittsburgh Pirate Bob Del Greco was missing and, possibly, dead,” his son remembers.

(After he retired from baseball, Del Greco Sr. drove a newspaper delivery truck, a job he held part-time during his player career while raising eight children with his wife, Catherine.)

The news report was sparked after his truck was found tipped over in the river.

“I ran down and called him and he said, ‘Hello,’ Del Greco Jr. said.

“Dad? Is it you?


“What are you doing?”

“I’m eating fried bologna on pita bread, watching the Stooges.”

“Are you sure.”

“I’m positive.”

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 17, 2019 at 10:57 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general, obituaries, pirates, pittsburgh, pittsburgh pirates

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   1. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 17, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5891311)
RIP. Oddly, I happened to look at the 1965 Arkansas Travelers (Phils) stats today and noticed the 33 year old Del Greco played full time.
   2. Mefisto Posted: October 17, 2019 at 05:40 PM (#5891420)
Willie Mays made one of his greatest catches on a ball hit by Del Greco.
   3. "RMc", the superbatsman Posted: October 18, 2019 at 07:29 AM (#5891524)
One of the 1952 Pirates, the team a computer projected to finish an eight-team league.

By my count, the "baby" Pirates gave about 1,500 AB to players 21 and under that year, including three regulars (Del Greco, 1B Tony Bartirome and SS Dick Groat). They were all pretty terrible, except maybe Groat who hit .284 (but no power or walks, so his OPS+ was just 74). Del Greco was an 19-year-old starting in center field; he hit .217, and didn't make it back to the majors for four years!
   4. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 18, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5891584)
“What are you doing?”

“I’m eating fried bologna on pita bread, watching the Stooges.”

Which is absolutely what I would imagine somebody named "Bobby Del Greco" might be doing at any given moment.
   5. Gary Truth Serum Posted: October 18, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5891627)
I remember two things about him, both negative quotes from Bill James. One was in his essay as a Kansas City baseball fan where he used him as an example as a "miserable little outfielder" who prevented a promising KC Athletic from getting playing time. The other was in the HBA where during most of the last 15 years of Stan Musial's career, the Cardinals were continually starting the season with a different center fielder until Curt Flood arrived. But despite the churn none of them weren't bad solutions "except for Del Greco".

But now reading about the bologna and the Stooges I kind of like the guy.
   6. DanG Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5891643)
Retired CF similar to Del Greco. Within 2 WAR, 7 OPS+, 550 PA, past hundred years.

Player         WAR/   PA OPSFrom   To
Ruben Rivera    5.7 1818   82 1995 2003
Deion Sanders   5.5 2325   89 1989 2001
Steve Brye      5.5 2184   90 1970 1978
Rick Ankiel     5.3 2115   92 1999 2013
Dave Gallagher  4.9 2343   91 1987 1995
Luis Matos      4.7 1773   81 2000 2006
Mike McCormick  4.7 2589   90 1940 1951
Jigger Statz    4.4 2841   87 1919 1928
Alex Cole       4.2 2012   92 1990 1996
Henry Cotto     4.1 2334   84 1984 1993
Harry Craft     3.9 2245   85 1937 1942
Bobby Del Greco 3.7 2323   85 1952 1965
Laynce Nix      3.6 2063   82 2003 2013
Damon Buford    2.5 2072   78 1993 2001
Jim Gosger      2.3 2066   83 1963 1974
Gus Felix       1.7 2298   89 1923 1927 
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5891648)
His dying words were "Mike de la Hoz lives on."
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 18, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5891651)
His dying words were "Mike de la Hoz lives on."
And "I'm coming, Bruce Dal Canton."

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