December 10, 1926|
|Died: August 24, 1977
|April 21, 1951, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 7, 1955, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Earned run average||3.84|
|Innings pitched||58 2⁄3|
Dante Leo Cristante (December 10, 1926 – August 24, 1977) was an American professional baseball player. A 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m), 195 lb (88 kg) right-handed pitcher, he had a 13-year (1947–59) career as a professional, including 30 games played at the Major League level for the 1951 Philadelphia Phillies and the 1955 Detroit Tigers, his hometown team.
Cristante spent the early months of the 1951 season as a member of the Phillies' pitching staff, appearing in ten games, nine in relief. He earned his only Major League victory on April 29 against the Boston Braves. He was called into the game in the first inning at Braves Field in relief of Bob Miller with Boston in the midst of a six-run rally; Cristante allowed only two earned runs over the next 5 2⁄3 innings as the Phillies came from behind to win, 10–9. Three weeks later, Cristante made his only National League start, on May 18 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. This time, he was routed in the first inning, failing to record an out (and was relieved, ironically, by Miller). However, the Phillies could not recover and the 18–9 defeat was charged to Cristante.
Cristante spent the next 3 1⁄2 years in the minors. In 1954, he led the Double-A Southern Association in wins (24) and winning percentage (.774), and was named to the all-star team. The performance brought him back to Major League Baseball for 1955 with his hometown Tigers, who acquired him in a trade with the Chicago White Sox. Cristante appeared in 20 games for the 1955 Tigers, coming out of the bullpen for all but one appearance. In his lone start, July 27 against the Baltimore Orioles at Memorial Stadium, he lasted into the fifth inning and did not earn a decision in an 8–7 Tiger loss. As a Major Leaguer, Cristante allowed 65 hits and 23 bases on balls in 58 2⁄3 innings, with 15 strikeouts.
Cristante returned to the minor leagues in 1956 and spent the remainder of his career in the high minors in the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers' organization. He retired after appearing in 383 minor league games, with a 111–92 record.
- "Philadelphia Phillies 10, Boston Braves 9 (2)". retrosheet.org. April 29, 1951. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Chicago Cubs 18, Philadelphia Phillies 9". retrosheet.org. May 18, 1951. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Baltimore Orioles 8, Detroit Tigers 7 (2)". retrosheet.org. July 27, 1955. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Leo Cristante Minor Leagues Statistics & History". baseball-reference.com. sports-reference.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.