Diunte: Remembering Mario Picone, 87, New York Giants pitcher

From SABR member Nick Diunte at Examiner.com on May 11, 2014:

Mario Picone, a pitcher for the New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds from 1947-1954, passed away October 23, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York. He was 87.

Born July 5, 1926, the Bensonhurst native grew up playing sandlot ball at the fabled Parade Grounds for a team called the “Chiros”. It was on those fields where Picone, who didn’t play for his high school team, earned the attention of Giants scouts just before his 18th birthday in 1944.

“I grew up in the Parade Grounds,” he said in a 2008 phone interview from his residence in Florida. “Someone [from the Giants] spotted me there. They had me for tryouts in Jersey and they signed me.”

The Giants sent Picone to Bristol, Tennessee to play for their farm team in the Class D Appalachian League. The rookie phenom wasted no time making an impression. On June 15, 1944, he struck out 28 batters in a 19-inning victory over Johnson City, setting a professional record at the time. It was a feat that Picone almost didn’t have a chance to achieve if his manager Hal Gruber had his way that evening.

Read the full article here: http://www.examiner.com/article/mario-picone-pitcher-for-the-new-york-giants-passes-away-at-87

This page was last updated May 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm MST.