Gino Cimoli

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Gino Cimoli
Gino Cimoli 1957.png
Cimoli in 1957.
Outfielder
Born: (1929-12-18)December 18, 1929
San Francisco, California
Died: February 12, 2011(2011-02-12) (aged 81)
Roseville, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 19, 1956 for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
May 7, 1965 for the California Angels
Career statistics
Batting average .265
Home runs 48
Runs batted in 321
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Gino Nicholas Cimoli (December 18, 1929 – February 12, 2011) was an American professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Brooklyn / Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Braves, Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, and California Angels from 1956 through 1965. He was an MLB All-Star in 1957, and a member of the 1960 World Series champions.

Career[edit]

A high school all-star at Galileo High School in San Francisco, California, Cimoli signed as an amateur free agent with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949. He would make his Major League Baseball debut with the Dodgers on April 19, 1956.

On April 15, 1958, Cimoli became the first Major League batter to step into the batter's box on the West Coast when the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants played their first game of the season at Seals Stadium in San Francisco.[citation needed] After the season, the Dodgers traded Cimoli to the St. Louis Cardinals for Wally Moon and Phil Paine. After the 1959 season, the Cardinals traded Cimoli to the Pittsburgh Pirates with Tom Cheney in exchange for Ron Kline.[citation needed]

Cimoli played on the Pirates' 1960 World Series championship team, which defeated the New York Yankees in seven games. He was primarily the Pirates' fourth outfielder in 1960 and often platooned with center fielder Bill Virdon. After left fielder Bob Skinner injured his thumb in the first game of the World Series, Cimoli started games two through six in left field. Cimoli returned to the bench in game seven when Skinner returned. In the eighth inning of game seven, with the Pirates trailing 7-4, Cimoli, pinch-hitting for pitcher Roy Face, led off with a single off Bobby Shantz, advanced to second on Bill Virdon's bad-hop ground ball, which struck Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek in the throat, then scored on Dick Groat's single, the first run in a five-run inning to give the Pirates a 9-7 lead. The Pirates gave the lead away in the ninth before finally winning the game in the bottom half on Bill Mazeroski's leadoff home run.

On June 15, 1961, the Pirates traded Cimoli to the Milwaukee Braves for Johnny Logan. The Kansas City Athletics selected Cimoli from the Braves in the Rule 5 draft after the season. The Athletics released Cimpli on May 29, 1964, and he signed with the Baltimore Orioles that day. Released by the Orioles before the 1965 season, Cimoli signed with the California Angels on April 10, 1965. He appeared in his final major league game on May 7, and was released on May 14.

The book Carl Erskine's Tales from the Dodgers Dugout: Extra Innings (2004) includes short stories from former Dodger pitcher Carl Erskine. Cimoli is prominent in many of these stories.

Cimoli's baseball card in 1958 (No. 286, Topps) in which the background was painted out, shows him swinging a bat, without the bat-which was also painted out! (Source: Baseball Hall of Shame 4, Nash & Zullo)

Later life[edit]

After retiring from baseball, Cimoli worked as a delivery driver for United Parcel Service where, in 1990, the company honored Cimoli for completing 21 years of service without a traffic accident. Cimoli, then 60 years old and still working for the company, was now referred to as "The Lou Gehrig of UPS." [1]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]