Hill: On the road with Rochester’s Mr. Baseball, Joe Altobelli

From SABR member Benjamin Hill at MiLB.com on September 2, 2014:

To the baseball world at large, Joe Altobelli is best known for the time he spent as a Major League manager and coach. He logged time with the Cubs, Yankees, Giants and Orioles in this capacity, managing the latter two teams and, most notably, leading the 1983 Orioles to a World Series title.

But to fans of the Rochester Red Wings, Altobelli’s years (1977-90) as a big league dugout strategizer were merely a hiatus from the city that he calls home. The bulk of his 59 seasons in professional baseball, spanning from 1951-2009, were spent with this long-running International League franchise as a player, coach, manager, general manager and broadcaster.

As a result of this full-to-bursting Red Wings resume, “Alto,” as he is often called, is regarded as Rochester’s “Mr. Baseball.” His number 26 has been retired by the Red Wings, he was a charter inductee into the team’s Hall of Fame and a Joe Altobelli statue can be found on the Frontier Field concourse. He’s even incorporated into the team’s concession operation via the “Altobelli’s Deli” stand, his name accentuated on the signage with illustrated dangling sausages.

Altobelli, 82, may be retired but he’s still a regular presence at Frontier Field. I caught up with him during a game Aug. 23 as the Red Wings were taking on the visiting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in the first game of a doubleheader. He was taking in the action from a seat behind home plate, a vintage blue Red Wings cap perched atop his head, ready and willing to spend a few minutes talking about his illustrious career.

Read the full article here: http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140901&content_id=92377228&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb&sid=milb

Originally published: September 2, 2014. Last Updated: September 2, 2014.