Tony Tarasco

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Tony Tarasco
Tony Tarasco Nationals spring 2015.jpg
Tarasco at spring training in March 2015
Outfielder / First base coach
Born: (1970-12-09) December 9, 1970 (age 47)
New York City, New York
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 30, 1993, for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
September 1, 2002, for the New York Mets
MLB statistics
Batting average .240
Home runs 34
Runs batted in 118

As player

As coach

Anthony Giacinto Tarasco (born December 9, 1970) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, and New York Yankees between 1993 and 1999 and for the New York Mets in 2002. He also played with the Hanshin Tigers in the Japanese Central League in 2000.[1]

Early life[edit]

Tarasco was born at Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center in Greenwich Village and, until he was 6 or 7 years old, lived in Washington Heights and the Bronx.[2][3] His father, Jack, worked a summer job as a vendor at Yankee Stadium.[3] At 13 years old, after moving to Santa Monica, California, Tarasco joined the Santa Monica Graveyard Crips, a set of the Crips street gang. At 16 years old, with the encouragement of fellow Crips members, he left the gang to focus on playing high school baseball.[3]

Tarasco was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 15th round of the 1988 Major League Baseball draft out of Santa Monica High School.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Tarasco was involved in a controversial play in the 1996 American League Championship Series while playing right field for the Baltimore Orioles. While fielding a fly ball hit by New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, 12-year-old fan Jeffrey Maier reached over the fence and caught the ball. The umpires called a home run, although the correct call was fan interference. The play was the turning point in the series, which the Yankees won.

Tarasco spent the remainder of his career as a part time player, often shuttling between the major and minor leagues. Tarasco and Jeter were teammates for a short time during the 1999 season.[1]

In June 2002, Tarasco's New York Mets teammate Mark Corey suffered a seizure after the two players smoked marijuana outside of Shea Stadium.[4] Under Major League Baseball drug policy at the time, because both players were first-time offenders, they were not subject to discipline from the league.[5]

Tarasco began working for the Washington Nationals in or around 2005.[2] For a time, Tarasco was the minor league coordinator for the Nationals.[6] On November 14, 2012, the Nationals announced that Tarasco would join their coaching staff in the 2013 season to coach first base and outfield. Tarasco served as first base coach for the Nationals through the 2015 season. On October 5, 2015, the entire Nationals coaching staff, including Tarasco, were fired after a disappointing 2015 season.[7]


  1. ^ a b Baseball Reference
  2. ^ a b McCarron, Anthony (May 7, 2015). "Tarasco has love-hate relationship with his place in history". NY Daily News. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d Curry, Jack (16 May 1999). "BASEBALL; Tarasco's Agenda: Gang Life To Yanks". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "Two Met Players Caught Smoking Marijuana". Fox News. 29 June 2002. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  5. ^ Hermoso, Rafael (29 June 2002). "Corey has seizure after smoking pot". Deseret News. New York Times News Service. Retrieved 29 November 2017. 
  6. ^ Nats officials make unfortunate Harper comparisons. Washington Examiner, July 2011.
  7. ^ Nationals fire Matt Williams after two seasons. Washington Post, October 2015.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Trent Jewett
Washington Nationals First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Davey Lopes