Skelton: John Orsino, a profile

From SABR member David E. Skelton at the Pecan Park Eagle on September 13, 2017:

In 1964, Baltimore Orioles GM Larry MacPhail, enthralled with his club’s 26-year-old catcher, claimed, “[A]ll the ‘Orioles need to be a big winner is nine John Orsinos. That boy has the winning spirit.” Two years later, following Orsino’s trade to the Washington Senators, coach George Susce echoed MacPhail by saying, “Orsino is in the ballgame at all times. He’s like the old-fashioned catcher. He runs the game and that’s the way it should be.”

These quotes came after the 1963 season, Orsino’s best in the major leagues. The sentiments expressed anticipated a rapid rebound after knee and wrist ailments, followed by a debilitating elbow injury that eventually brought an end to Orsino’s career. After retiring in 1969, the talented athlete eventually launched a second career as a professional golfer.

John Joseph Orsino was born on April 22, 1938, the only child of John and Helen (Higgins) Orsino, in Teaneck, a crowded township 20 miles north of Newark in Bergen County, New Jersey. His mother was a native of Scotland while his paternal grandfather, Joseph Orsino, was an Italian immigrant who arrived in the United States around the turn of the twentieth century. In 1940, John’s father supported the family as a baker’s assistant. They lived a quarter-mile west of the Hackensack River in a rented house next to a park.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 13, 2017. Last Updated: September 13, 2017.