SABR

Gino Cimoli

This article was written by Alan Cohen.

“They set all the records and we won the game.”

That was Gino Cimoli’s comment after Game Seven of the 1960 World Series, won in dramatic fashion by the Pittsburgh Pirates when Bill Mazeroski’s home run fell over the ivy in left field, as outfielder Yogi Berra of the New York Yankees could only watch.

Cimoli came to the Pirates in a trade before the 1960 season and, although not a star, played an important role as the team marched to its first pennant since 1927 and its first world championship since 1925.

Gino Anichletto Cimoli was born on December 18, 1929, and grew up in the predominantly Italian-American North Beach section of San Francisco. When he was young, the middle name was changed to Nicholas. He was an only child, and he was the center of his parents’ lives. Gino’s father, Abramo, was a night supervisor for Pacific Gas & Electric and his mother, Stella, worked for the Chase & Sanborn coffee company. Abramo did a bit of everything. He was also a shrimp and crab fisherman and had a sideline making wine. Young Gino would sometimes show up at school with purple feet.1

Gino graduated from Galileo High School in January 1948. Known primarily for his basketball and track exploits in high school, he did not play baseball until his senior year. His baseball success was astounding. In his one year of high-school ball he hit .607. After that he appeared in the Hearst Sandlot Classic at New York’s Polo Grounds on August 13, 1947, and played left field for the US All-Stars alongside future major leaguers like Moose Skowron (right field) and Dick Groat (second base). The US team defeated the New York team, 13-2. Cimoli went 1-for-2, stealing a base and scoring a run. On the basketball court, he was named the most valuable player in the California North-South game on February 3, 1948, when he led the North team to a 60-44 victory, scoring 15 points. He was offered a basketball scholarship by the University of San Francisco but passed it up, figuring he was too small at 6-feet-1 to make a career out of basketball. Meanwhile, in the summers of 1947 and 1948, he played baseball for the Portola Merchants team in San Francisco.

Late in 1948 scouts Joe Devine of the Yankees and Howie Haak of the Brooklyn Dodgers sought to sign Cimoli. Devine was speaking with Cimoli’s mother, and Haak worked on his father. As Haak recounted it, he spent the better part of four days drinking Ancient Age bourbon with Abramo from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Abramo would then work the late shift for PG&E, until midnight. Usually after he got home there were scouts waiting. Finally Haak went into the Cimoli house at 3:00 A.M. and asked Abramo, “Who wears the pants in this family?” In short order, Abramo woke up Stella and Gino, and Cimoli signed with the Dodgers for $15,000.2

Cimoli headed for Nashua in the Class B New England League with his new bride, Irene Zinn, who was expecting their first child. The league started the 1948 season with eight clubs. Nashua was in first place in July when the league was forced to condense to four clubs. On July 3 Cimoli was hitting .370 with six triples. With the league in financial trouble, Dodgers boss Branch Rickey began to reassign his top prospects. Cimoli was sent to Triple-A Montreal. In his sixth game with the Royals, he crashed into a wall, injured his knee, and saw limited action, mostly as a pinch-hitter, in the team’s remaining games, batting .231 in 15 games. The Dodgers exposed him in the annual major-league draft but there were no takers. In 1950, playing in 85 games for Montreal, Cimoli hit .275. He spent most of 1951 with the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate in Fort Worth, where he hit .262 and tied for the league lead in triples with 12. (A speedster, Cimoli hit more triples than home runs in both the majors and the minors.) On May 10, 1951, he threw out two baserunners in one inning.

Cimoli began the 1952 season with Montreal, but after playing in six games he was sent to the St. Paul Saints, the Dodgers’ other Triple-A team, for whom he hit .319 in 142 games. He was invited to spring training with the big-league club in 1953, but was not deemed ready, and it was back to St. Paul, where his average fell to .262. He began the 1954 season back with St. Paul, then was sent to Montreal in May. Manager Max Macon let the frustrated Cimoli pitch in two games. In the first he pitched three perfect innings, but in his second appearance on the hill, he faced five batters, walking the first three, hitting the fourth, and giving up a triple to the fifth. That put an end to his pitching career. Meanwhile his hitting came around and he hit for a .306 average.

After a good spring in 1955, Gino once again found himself in Montreal, as the Dodgers decided on Sandy Amoros as their left fielder. (Duke Snider and Carl Furillo were locked into center and right.) By that time, Cimoli had gotten the unenviable tag of Lackadaisical Latin.3

En route to Montreal from San Francisco, Cimoli’s wife and two daughters were in a bad automobile accident in Rawlins, Wyoming, when their car collided with a bus. Gino left Montreal on May 12 to join his family. When Cimoli was able to rejoin the Royals, he came back a changed man. He returned to the lineup on May 20, and delivered a home run and a double in a 6-2 win over Toronto.4 Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi was full of praise, saying of Cimoli, “He’s really hustling, and he can just about cover the whole outfield by himself.” 5 Cimoli hit .306 for Montreal in 1955, and hopes were high for 1956. But once again he was fighting for a roster position and playing time with Amoros, who had made a game-saving catch to help secure the Dodgers’ World Series win in 1955, and Cimoli could no longer be optioned out by the Dodgers. After a good spring, he finally made it to the Dodgers along with 19-year-old pitcher Don Drysdale.

Cimoli’s season was disappointing. He got into only 73 games, often as a defensive replacement. He had just 36 at-bats, getting four hits and a walk. His major-league debut came in the team’s second game, a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on April 19. The game was played in Jersey City, and Gino entered the game with one out in the tenth inning as a defensive replacement for Junior Gilliam in left field. He got his first hit on April 23 in a 6-1 win over the Phillies in Philadelphia. He had gone in as a defensive replacement for leftfielder Gilliam. In the ninth inning Cimoli singled off the Phillies’ Duane Pillette, driving in Carl Furillo. In May Cimoli played some in right field when Carl Furillo was benched. He had his first extra-base hit, a double, off Warren Hacker in a win over the Cubs on May 8. Once Furillo returned to the lineup, Cimoli was used most often as a defensive replacement. His last hit of the year came on July 4.

In the World Series, against the Yankees, Cimoli had one appearance, going into Game Two as a defensive replacement in the Dodgers’ 13-8 victory. He never got to bat.

After the season Cimoli went on the Dodgers’ tour of Japan. He had not played much in 1956, and his play on the basepaths and in the field had been erratic. Manager Walter Alston felt it might be the time to give him the chance to play regularly. In one game, he scored from second base on a sacrifice fly. That evening, catcher Roy Campanella took Cimoli aside for a chat and told him he had all the tools, but that his attitude had to change. His words, “Stop popping off, stay out of trouble, and play,” were taken to heart by Cimoli, and when spring training came in 1957, Cimoli was ready to turn his career around.6 Indeed, Jackie Robinson said of Cimoli, “Gino (in 1956) seemed more interested in bridge than in baseball. Last year, Gino seemed to be the last man out on the ballfield. This year he’s the first.” 7 And sure enough, 1957 was a breakout year. Walter Alston found a place in the outfield for Cimoli. Sandy Amoros started less than 60 games in leftfield, and Junior Gilliam became the everyday second baseman, opening up leftfield for Cimoli. If he wasn’t stationed in Leftfield, he would spell Duke Snider in Center or Carl Furillo in right. He hit his first major-league home run on Opening Day, April 16, in Philadelphia, victimizing future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts with a game-winning blast in the 12th inning as the Dodgers won 7-6. It was his third hit in six at-bats.

Cimoli’s second home run, this time in the 14th inning against the Milwaukee Braves on May 6, gave Sandy Koufax, who was pitching in relief, his first victory of the season. It was Cimoli’s best game in a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. He had five hits and scored three of the five Dodger runs. In the bottom of the 12th he helped prolong the game after the Braves had taken a 4-3 lead in the top of the inning. In the Dodger half of the inning, with two outs, Cimoli doubled and scored on a bad hop base hit by Furillo.

Cimoli’s average was.314 after the July 4 doubleheader, and he was named to the National League All-Star team by manager Alston. He pinch-hit in the eighth inning and struck out against Billy Pierce.

The Dodgers began the second half of the season in fifth place. On July 12 they moved into fourth place in the closely-bunched standings. Cimoli drove in two runs with a triple as the Dodgers defeated Cincinnati, 3-1. On the 20th he drove in two runs with a double as the Dodgers defeated Chicago, 7-5. By the end of July, the Dodgers were in third place, with four games separating the top five clubs. Cimoli’s average had dipped below .300, but he was still making his presence felt. But in August the Braves created some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack. By mid-September, the Dodgers had been effectively eliminated.

When it came down to the last home game, on September 24, the Dodgers planned to move to Los Angeles, and all that was left were the memories. That night, as if it mattered, the Dodgers beat the Pirates, 2-0. Only 6,702 fans were in attendance. Cimoli scored the final Ebbets Field run after reaching on an infield hit. Cimoli finished tied for third in the league with seven game-winning hits. He had 10 home runs, 57 RBIs, and a career-best .293 batting average.

In 1958, their first season in Los Angeles, the Dodgers played in the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Coliseum was essentially a football stadium and as they set it up for baseball, the left-field fence was only 250 feet from home plate. With their right-handed lineup, the Dodgers figured to do well. After breaking camp in Vero Beach, Florida, the Dodgers headed west. They played an exhibition against the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona, on April 11. In the first inning, Cimoli slid into third base just ahead of the throw from the right fielder. A photographer had taken a picture and asked the third-base coach, Charlie Dressen, the name of the player. Dressen said “Cimoli.” The signal for the squeeze play was for the coach to shout out the player’s name. Once again, the photographer asked Dressen the name of the player, and this time Dressen yelled, even more loudly, “Cimoli.” On the next pitch, with Gil Hodges at the plate, Gino charged for home and was, of course, tagged out. Oops! 8

On April 15 the Dodgers opened their season against the Giants in San Francisco before 23,448 fans (including a large contingent from North Beach rooting for Gino, the hometown kid). Manager Alston inserted Cimoli into the leadoff spot. When he stepped up to the plate in the first inning against Ruben Gomez, he became the first batter for the Dodgers in California. In that first plate appearance, he fouled off the first pitch and eventually struck out. In his last at-bat, he singled, but the Giants won the game, 8-0.

In the second game of the series Cimoli was beaned by Giants pitcher Paul Giel. The scene was so horrifying that Gino’s father rushed onto the field, and helped carry his son to the clubhouse.9 But Cimoli was determined not to miss any action and he connected for his first West Coast home run in the third game. But the Dodgers, beset by age and injuries, skidded to a seventh-place finish. Cimoli’s season was disappointing. Due in part to injury and in part to differences with Alston, he had only played in 109 of his team’s 154 games and batted .246. After the season he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Wally Moon and pitcher Phil Paine. Manager Solly Hemus put Cimoli in center field, and he did not disappoint. He exploded out of the gate and in early May was batting.349 with a team-leading 12 doubles, as well as three home runs and 15 RBIs for the last-place Cardinals. He was fined $100 for his role in a brawl on June 7 that was touched off when he charged the mound after a brushback pitch from the Phillies’ Don Cardwell. Through June 21 Cimoli was hitting .322 and had a league-leading 28 doubles. A doubleheader sweep on June 28 moved the Cardinals to within four games of .500. In the second game of the twin bill he drove in five runs with two triples and a double. On July 24 he was leading the league with 35 two-baggers. But he faded and finished the season with a .279 batting average with 40 doubles, fourth in the league, and a career-high 72 RBIs

At the end of the season Cimoli was traded to Pittsburgh with pitcher Tom Cheney for Pitcher Ronnie Kline. The Pirates had rarely been in contention over the prior three decades, reaching an all-time low in 1952 (42 victories, 112 defeats). But they had built themselves a solid core, and manager Danny Murtaugh was confident that his team would improve on the prior year’s fourth-place finish. He had quality pitching in Vernon Law, Bob Friend, and Harvey Haddix. His infield was solid with Dick Stuart, Bill Mazeroski, Dick Groat, and Don Hoak.

Outfielders Bob Skinner, Bill Virdon, and Roberto Clemente were back, but the Pirates had no serious power threat in spacious Forbes Field. The acquisition of Cimoli did not address that shortcoming. During the offseason, Kansas City had offered Roger Maris to the Bucs, but Murtaugh was reluctant to give Groat in return.10

Cimoli showed enough in spring training that Manager Danny Murtaugh chose to platoon Cimoli and Bill Virdon in center field. Cimoli was the Opening Day center fielder against the Braves in Milwaukee against the great southpaw Warren Spahn. Two days later, in the Bucs’ home opener, he went 1-for-4 with a key double that drove in two runs in a six-run fifth inning as the Pirates cruised to a 13-0 win. The team got off to a fast start and won 13 of its first 18 games. The team had a blend of veteran clutch performers, including Cimoli, and a bench that included Rocky Nelson, Hal Smith, Dick Schofield, Hal Smith, and Bob Oldis, enough for them to make a serious run at the pennant. Players like Cimoli and Oldis kept the team loose with their undying sense of humor and flare for pranks.11

On May 30 Cimoli singled, doubled, and tripled in a win over the Braves to bring the team’s record to 26-14, good enough for a half-game lead over the Giants. On June 15 the Bucs pushed the lead to three games, defeating the Giants 14-6. Cimoli had two hits, including a double, and scored three runs in the win. After defeating Cincinnati on July 7, the Bucs had a four game winning streak and led the league by 5½ games. Cimoli’s batting average was at .303. They went into the All-Star break with 49 victories. After the All-Star Game, Cimoli saw less playing time. He was slumping at the plate, and Bill Virdon caught fire. He played in right field for six games in early August after Roberto Clemente hurt himself making a spectacular catch on a ball hit by Willie Mays on the 5th. On the 6th Cimoli broke out of a 6-for-40 slump, getting three hits, including a single that ignited a three-run tenth-inning rally as the Bucs won, 8-7. The next day, after a doubleheader sweep of the Giants, the Pirates’ lead was 5½ games. In the sweep, Cimoli tripled in each game.

On a mid-August plane trip to Cincinnati, Cimoli threw a pillow and soon the entire team was involved. Then things calmed down and the card games and storytelling began. The team had won 14 of 18 and led the league by 7½ games. On September 25 the Pirates lost at Milwaukee. Cimoli looked at the somber scene in the clubhouse and said, “Somebody dead?” He knew quite well that the Pittsburgh had clinched the pennant. St. Louis had been eliminated, losing to Chicago. So Cimoli, having been on a pennant winner in 1956 with the Dodgers, was quick to begin the celebration. He created one of the more memorable images when he took the hat of Pittsburgh Press sportswriter Les Biederman, doused it with champagne and wore the hat, inside out, for the bulk of the celebration, even wearing it in the shower. 12

Playing in 101 games (307 at-bats), Cimoli finished the season with a .267 batting average, but had no home runs and drove in only 28 runs.

In the World Series, Cimoli was slated to play left field against the Yankees’ left-handers, with Bob Skinner to face the righties. Virdon would have center field to himself. Cimoli got more playing time than expected after Skinner jammed his thumb sliding in Game One, which the Pirates won, 6-4. In Game Two, with the Pirates trailing 3-0, Cimoli led off the fourth inning with a single and scored on a double by Hoak. But the Yankees won easily, 16-3. Game Three was another Yankees romp, this time 10-0.

The Pirates evened the Series with a 3-2 victory in Game Four. Cimoli went 1-for-4. He singled in the fifth and advanced to second, then scored on a double by Law, tying the game at 1-1. The Pirates took the Series lead in Game Five, beating the Yankees 5-2. Cimoli went hitless but scored a second-inning run after reaching on a force play. Game Six was another blowout for the Yankees, 12-0 behind Whitey Ford. After the game, Dick Groat, noting the three lopsided Yankees wins, said, “The Yankees win them big, but we bounced back after those two earlier losses. We’ll bounce back again tomorrow.”13

Cimoli did not start Game Seven. Skinner’s thumb was better and he got the start in left field at Forbes Field against Yankees right-hander Bob Turley. The Pirates jumped to a four-run lead by the end of the second inning, and the Yanks brought in Bobby Shantz to pitch in the third inning. Shantz pitched five brilliant innings, holding the Bucs scoreless, and the Yankees built a 7-4 lead going into the bottom of the eighth. Leading off, Cimoli pinch-hit for pitcher Elroy Face and singled to right. Bill Virdon hit a hard double-play grounder to the Yankees’ shortstop, Tony Kubek. But the ball took a bad bounce and struck Kubek in the throat. Both runners were safe. The Pirates went on to score five runs. Cimoli scored on a single by Groat. 14 Clemente singled in a run, then catcher Hal Smith hit a three-run homer, giving Pittsburgh a 9-7 lead going into the ninth inning. In the elation that followed Smith’s home run, Abramo Cimoli threw his coat, hat and glasses into the air. All were retrieved. 15

The Yankees came back with two runs in the top of the ninth inning, and the Pirates came to bat in the bottom of the inning with the score tied. Cimoli, who was no longer in the game, had gone to the clubhouse. When the Yankees tied the game, he was so angry that he picked up the television in the clubhouse and threw it against the wall.16 His anger was an afterthought when Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth and smashed a pitch from Ralph Terry over the left-field wall to give the Pirates the world championship.

Cimoli wasn’t with the Pirates much longer. In early May 1961 he injured his rib cage when he was hit by a batted ball during pregame warmups, and missed a few games. At the June 15 trading deadline, he was dealt to Milwaukee for shortstop Johnny Logan. The Bucs saw the versatile Logan as a backup for Groat and Hoak on the left side of the infield. They had, in Joe Christopher a twenty-five year old player (Cimoli was 31 at the time) who had distinguished himself during his apprenticeship at Salt Lake City and Columbus, batting .317 with 283 hits in 893 at bats. With Milwaukee, Cimoli contributed one of his team’s five home runs in an 8-6 defeat of the Giants on June 22, and followed that up with three hits in a 13-4 trouncing of the Cubs two days later. Cimoli stayed hot with another two hits as the Braves beat the Cards, 9-6, on June 26. But Cimoli was not able to keep up the momentum. His average had dropped from .296 at the time of the trade to .246 on July 8, and the Braves called up Mack Jones. Gino’s playing time dropped sharply, but he had one special game. On August 11 the Braves’ Warren Spahn won his 300th game, and Cimoli’s his third home run of the season, in the eighth inning, was the deciding blow in the 2-1 victory. With one out in the ninth inning he made a diving catch of a drive hit by the Cubs’ Jerry Kendall.

For all his heroics, Cimoli batted only.197 with three home runs and 10 RBIs for the Braves, and it was not surprising that he was put into the pool of players eligible to be selected by the expansion Mets and Colts. He was not taken, and the Braves sent him to Vancouver of the Pacific Coast League. But then in the postseason draft, Cimoli was selected by the Kansas City Athletics, and experienced a revival. On Opening Day, his three-run homer keyed a 4-2 win over the Twins. In a doubleheader sweep against Chicago on April 22, Cimoli had his best day ever, driving in 10 runs with a double, a triple, and two home runs. On April 27 he had five hits as the A’s beat the Baltimore Orioles, 14-5. Two doubles and a triple led the Athletics over the Tigers on May 2. As May came to a close, Cimoli was fourth in the league in RBIs, with 31, more than he had hit in either of the previous two seasons.

As the season wore on, the A’s fell back and assumed their customary place in the second division (ninth place in the ten-team league). But Cimoli’s numbers for the year were his best since 1959. As the A’s everyday right fielder, he had career highs in games played and at-bats, and finished with a .275 batting average. His career-best 15 triples were good enough to lead the league. His 10 home runs matched his 1957 output with Brooklyn and his 71 RBIs were one shy of his career best.

In 1963 the A’s once again got off to a good start, but after reality set in they finished in eighth place. It was another good season for Cimoli. He hit .263 and was fourth in the league with 11 triples. Cimoli had two of his most productive seasons playing for Kansas City in 1962 and 1963. His 26 triples over the two seasons topped all other major leaguers. But 1964 started out poorly. The A’s were going for youth and Tommie Reynolds took over as the everyday right fielder. Appearing in only his fourth game of the season on May 2, Cimoli injured a tendon running to first base. He was released on May 29. At 34, Cimoli was nearing the end of his major-league career. He signed on with Baltimore, but batted only .138, playing in parts of 38 games with eight hits in 58 at-bats. In late July the Orioles assigned Cimoli to their Rochester Triple-A farm club. He played well for Rochester, hitting .315 in 45 games with four homers and 23 RBIs. In 1965, after being released by the Orioles, he signed with the California Angels but played in only four games, going hitless in five at-bats. He was released on May 9 and finished up with Spokane in the Pacific Coast League, where the manager was his old Dodger teammate Duke Snider. He got into 33 games but was hitting just .235 when Spokane released him on June 25.

Cimoli batted .265 in the major leagues with 44 home runs. Few contemporaries, however, could match his achievements in the realm of the three-base hit. He had 48 triples in the majors and, including his minor league numbers, he had 98 triples as a professional.

Toward the end of his career as a player, Cimoli worked part-time for UPS. After his playing days, he worked full-time, delivering to his native North Beach section of San Francisco. In 1989 he retired and was honored for completing his years with the company without an accident. He was known as the “Iron Man” of UPS.

On occasion Cimoli was reunited with old teammates. The Pirates reassembled the 1960 team on July 6, 1985, and the Giants re-enacted the 1958 opening pitch at the beginning of their 40th season in San Francisco on April 1, 1997. On April 15, 2008, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first West Coast game.

On October 17, 1989, Cimoli and a friend, Ed Silva, went for coffee after Gino completed his shift at UPS. Then the rumbling began, as San Francisco experienced one of its more turbulent earthquakes. Cimoli and Silva ran out into the street and the UPS truck became an ambulance. They checked houses along the street. In one house Cimoli rescued a woman who had been trapped on the third floor. He helped out other victims as well, traveling throughout the Marina area.17

Cimoli served a term as president of the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club (2001-2002), and in his later years could always be found there at the card table. With his trademark unlit cigar dangling from his mouth, he was always outspoken and friendly with everyone. He often emceed at the annual fund-raiser for the Friends of Marino Pieretti Charitable Organization.

Cimoli died on February 12, 2011, at the age of 81. Two weeks later Duke Snider died. Even on heaven’s baseball team, it would seem, Gino Cimoli would be struggling for playing time, or going in as a late-inning replacement. This may have prompted him to say, “Play me or trade me” one last time.

 

This biography is included in the book "Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates" (SABR, 2013), edited by Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin. For more information or to purchase the book in e-book or paperback form, click here.

 

Sources

Books

Lawrence Baldassaro. Beyond DiMaggio: Italian-Americans in Baseball. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011).

Buzzie Bavasi. Off the Record. (Chicago, Contemporary Books, 1987).

Jim Brosnan. The Long Season. (New York: Harper 1960).

Rick Cushing. 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates: Day by Day, A Special Season, An Extraordinary World Series. (Pittsburgh: Dorrance Publishing Company, 2010).

Steve Daly, Dem Little Bums: The Nashua Dodgers. (Concord, New Hampshire: Plaidswede Publishing Co., 2003).

Brian M. Endsley. Bums No More The 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2009).

Carl Erskine. Tales from the Dodger Dugout. (Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing, Inc., 2000).

Carl Erskine. Tales from the Dugout: Extra Innings. (Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing, Inc., 2004).

Lew Freedman. Hard-Luck Harvey Haddix and the Greatest Game Ever Lost. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2009).

Andrew Goldblatt. The Giants and the Dodgers: Four Cities, Two Teams, One Rivalry. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2003).

Roger Kahn. The Era: 1947-1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World (New York, Ticknor and Fields, 1993).

Kevin Kerrane. Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting. (New York:Beaufort Books, 1984).

Neil Lanctot. Campy, The Two Lives of Roy Campanella. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011).

David Maraniss. Clemente, The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006).

Rudy Marzano. The Last Years of the Brooklyn Dodgers: A History: 1950-1957. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2008).

Bob Morales. Farewell to the Last Golden Era: The Yankees, the Pirates, and the 1960 Baseball Season. (Jefferson, North Carolijna: McFarland and Company, 2011).

Robert E. Murphy. After Many a Summer: The Passing of the Giants and Dodger and a Golden Age in New York Baseball. (New York: Union Square Press, 2009).

John R. Nordell. Brooklyn Dodgers: The Last Great Pennant Drive, 1957. (Eynon, Pennsylvania: Tribute Books, 2007).

Jim Reisler. The Best Game Ever: Pirates vs. Yankees, October 13, 1960. (New York: Carroll and Graf, 2007).

Michael Shapiro. Bottom of the Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball From Itself. (New York: Holt, 2009).

Duke Snider. The Duke of Flatbush. (New York: Zebra Books, Kensington Publishing Company, 1988).

Newspapers and magazines

Bob Broeg, St. Louis Post Dispatch, March 30, 1959.

Otto Bruno. Blog under name of The Old Ball Game, on July 21, 2010.

Barbara Cloud. “They’re Pennant Fever Veterans – Irene Cimoli Used to Jitters.” Pittsburgh Press, August 16, 1960.

Arthur Daley. Sports of the Times, “Campy was Right.” New York Times, September 1, 1957.

John Drebinger. “Dodgers’ Travels Prove Rewarding.” New York Times, June 11, 1957.

Tom Fitzgerald. “Gino Cimoli Can Still Deliver the Goods.” San Francisco Chronicle, May 7, 1990.

Michael Gaven. “Brooklyn’s Best Left Fielder since Medwick.” Baseball Digest, September 1957.

Sandy Grady. Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, June 8, 1959.

John Jeansome. “Black and White and Dodger Blue.” Newsday, May 5, 2000. Story about Nashua Dodgers, 1946-1949.

Walter Judge. “L.A. Centerfield job for Cimoli.” San Francisco Examiner, February 10, 1958.

Leonard Koppett. “Pasta e Fagioli and Baseball.” New York Times, April 12, 1976.

Jack McDonald. “Both Barrels.” San Francisco Call Bulletin, January 7, 1958.

Neal Russo. “Cimoli first tried baseball to avoid gym workouts.” St. Louis Post Dispatch, April 28, 1959.

Bob Stevens. “Cimoli Blessed That He’s a Cardinal.” San Francisco Chronicle, December 27, 1958.

David Tobener. Blog under name of GoldenGateGiants, February 15, 2011.

Interviews

Bob Tobener

Lorraine Vigli

Joe Christopher

Websites

www.Baseball-Almanac.com

www.baseball-reference.com

www.baseball-fever.com

www.baseballlibrary.com

www.retrosheet.org

 

Notes

1 Interview with Lorraine Vigli.

2 Kevin Kerrane, Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting. (New York: Beaufort Books, 1984), 81-82

3 Sports Illustrated, April 13, 1959. The term was used to describe Cimoli in a preseason preview of the Cardinals.

4 Montreal Gazette, May 12, 1955, 21; May 14, 1955, 8; May 17, 1955, 25

5 Dink Carroll, Montreal Gazette, May 25, 1955, 22

6 Sports Illustrated, March 31, 1958. See also Neil Lanctot. Campy, The Two Lives of Roy Campanella. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011), 354.

7 Robinson quote is from “Frustration Days Over for Brooklyn’s Cimoli.” Milwaukee Journal, April 19, 1957, 26

8 New York Times, April 13, 1958

9 Andrew Goldblatt. The Giants and the Dodgers: Four Cities, Two Teams, One Rivalry. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2003), 163

10 Jim Reisler. The Best Game Ever: Pirates vs. Yankees, October 13, 1960. (New York: Carroll and Graf, 2007), 57. Clemente and Cimoli had been teammates at Montreal, in the Dodgers organization, in 1954. There is an interesting story in David Maraniss. Clemente, The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006), 53-56.

11 Reisler, 117, 118

12 Reisler, xxii

13 “Pirates Praise Ford but Are Still Confident.” Lodi News Sentinel, October 13, 1960, 17

14 Reisler, 187-188

15 Reisler, 197.

16 The story of Cimoli trashing the television set came from an obituary for Willard G. Bellows that appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on February 10, 1993.

17 Information came from Tom Fitzgerald. “Gino Cimoli Can Still Deliver the Goods,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 7, 1990, and interview with Lorraine Vigli.

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