||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2010)|
June 3, 1934 |
San Francisco, California
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|September 10, 1957 for the Brooklyn Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 3, 1966 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||549|
|Career highlights and awards|
James Edward Gentile (born June 3, 1934 in San Francisco, California), also nicknamed "Diamond Jim", is a former Major League Baseball first baseman and left-handed batter who played with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (1957–58); Baltimore Orioles (1960–63), Kansas City Athletics (1964–65), Houston Astros (1965–66) and Cleveland Indians (1966).
A powerful slugger listed at 6' 4", 215 lb, Gentile was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a high school pitcher in 1952. He played his first minor league season as a pitcher, earning a 2-6 win-lost record. The next year he moved to first base. He languished for eight years in the minors for a Dodgers team that already had All-Star Gil Hodges at first base and Norm Larker. He dominated the minors, leading two separate leagues in home runs.
Gentile was traded to Baltimore in 1960, where he was named to the 1960 All-Star Game his first full season. He enjoyed his best season in 1961, hitting a career-highs .302 batting average, 46 home runs, 141 runs batted in, 96 runs, 147 hits, 25 doubles, 96 walks, .423 on-base percentage, .646 slugging average and 1.069 OPS. He finished third in the MVP ballot (behind Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris). In addition, Gentile hit five grand slams — including two straight in one game — setting an American League record that stood until Don Mattingly belted six in 1987.
In a nine-season career, Gentile batted .260 (759-for-2922) with 179 home runs, 549 RBI, 434 runs, 113 doubles, six triples, and three stolen bases in 936 games. Following his major league career, he played one season in Japan for the Kintetsu Buffaloes in 1969.
- Finkel, Jon (May 13, 2013). "Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris And Jim Gentile: The Story Of Baseball's Forgotten 1961 Sensation". The PostGame. Yahoo Sports!. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Wilks, Ed (10 May 1961). "Oriole first baseman belts two grand slams". The Florence Times. p. 10. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)