Joe Lonnett

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Joe Lonnett
Catcher
Born: February 7, 1927
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Died: December 5, 2011(2011-12-05) (aged 84)
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 22, 1956 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
September 26, 1959 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
Batting average .166
Home runs 6
Runs batted in 27
Teams

Joseph Paul Lonnett (February 7, 1927 – December 5, 2011) was a catcher and coach in Major League Baseball.[1] As a player, he threw and batted right-handed, stood 5'10½" (179 cm) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).

Biography[edit]

Playing career[edit]

Lonnett signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1948, and spent much of his career with the Phillies as a minor league catcher and manager, and Major League catcher and scout. He missed two seasons while serving in the United States Navy in World War II and the Korean War. He spent four seasons as a catcher in MLB with the Phillies, as a second-string receiver, appearing in 143 games, and batting .166 with six home runs and 27 runs batted in — never once cracking the .200 level for a season.

Coaching career[edit]

He returned to the Major Leagues as the third-base coach on Chuck Tanner's staff with the Chicago White Sox from 1971–1975, and the Oakland Athletics in 1976. Tanner, also a native of Western Pennsylvania and a former Major League outfielder, had promised that if he ever became a big league manager, Lonnett would be one of his coaches. Tanner honored his word, and Lonnett worked with him with the White Sox and A's.

When Tanner was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Manny Sanguillén — only the second trade in MLB history to involve a manager — Lonnett followed him to Pittsburgh. He wore Sanguillen's No. 35 jersey until the Pirates traded for Sanguillen a year later. He then wore No. 32 and would eventually serve as the third-base coach on the Pirates' 1979 world championship team.

Later life[edit]

Lonnett battled Alzheimer's disease and was cared for by his wife of 56 years, Alvida. He attended the 25th anniversary celebration of the World Series champions in 2004 at PNC Park. Lonnett died in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania on December 5, 2011. He was 84.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gorman, Kevin. "Pirates' Lonnet was a man who valued family - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review". Pittsburghlive.com. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  • Marcin, Joe, and Byers, Dick, eds., The Official 1977 Baseball Register. St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1977.
  • Thorn, John, and Palmer, Peter, eds., Total Baseball. New York: Warner Books, 1989.

External links[edit]