Cieradkowski: Ollie Carnegie, still shut out of the Big Show

From SABR member Gary Cieradkowski at The Infinite Baseball Card Set on August 2, 2016:

My wife and I just returned from a spectacular trip to Italy. It was my first time in the country, and seeing in person all the great masterpieces by Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Botticelli and the other fellas was very exciting and humbling for an artist like myself. Besides the 14-16th Century masters I was lucky to catch a superb exhibit in Rome of one of my favorite poster designers, Alphonse Mucha, as well as a stunning exhibit of 20th Century modern pieces from the Guggenheim collection in Florence.

Among the wonders of Italy I was fortunate to see first hand was the Coliseum in Rome. Sure, you see it in books and movies, but in real life it truly is amazing – but besides the miracle that it still stands after hundreds of centuries is the fact that it is remarkably similar to modern baseball stadium design! The whole set up and plan of the Coliseum is still used today in modern sporting facilities, from the box seats and entry gates to the vending areas for souvenirs. And despite all the art and history that surrounded me as I toured the former gladiator palace, I of course, thought of baseball and the contributions to the game by descendants of that rich culture. Besides the original engineering ideas that inspired the very stadium that the sport is played in, men of Italian descent have left an indelible mark on the game. Imagine the history of baseball without seeing the names DiMaggio, Berra, Rizzuto, Piazza, Lasorda, Campanella, LaRussa – do I need to go on?

So anyway, on the long flight back home to Kentucky I got to thinking about the Italian-American ballplayers I have in my book and on this website. Off hand I recalled there was Billy Martin, Roy Campanella, the DiMaggio boys and lesser known figures like Marius Russo and Ollie Carnegie. When I got back in the studio I looked up what I had written about the last guy, Ollie Carnegie. He was one of the 50 or so fellas I had to cut from The League of Outsider Baseball when I ran over by about 100 pages. I always felt bad about cutting Ollie, his career was marked by being left out and passed over and to do that to him yet again seemed really cruel. From time to time I’ve posted some of the leftovers from the book and felt for sure I had done the same with Ollie – but when I looked on my website he was not there!

Well, now he is…

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Originally published: August 4, 2016. Last Updated: August 4, 2016.