Card: 1934 Batter-Up #162 (Blank Back)
“Having spent so much time in the showers, he was the cleanest man in baseball.” (Joe Williams’ comment about Cascarella's career 27-48 record)
Philadelphia, PA-born Joseph Thomas Cascarella (June 28, 1907 – May 22, 2002) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played with four different teams between 1934 and 1938. Joe was the son of a fruit merchant and grocer who had come to America from Italy in 1886. Joseph and Freda Cascarella were both Italian natives, and they gave their four children standard biblical names: Mary, James, Joseph, and John.
Cascarella filled various pitching roles, as a starter, or coming out from the bullpen as a middle-reliever or a closer. He reached the majors in 1934 with the Philadelphia Athletics, spending one and a half year with them before moving to the Boston Red Sox (1935–1936), Washington Senators (1936–1937), and Cincinnati Reds (1937–1938). In his rookie year he collected a career-high 12 wins, including seven in relief to lead the American League. He also was selected to an All-Star team which toured Japan after the season, but he never won more than nine games during a regular season.
In a five-season career, Joe posted a 27–48 record with 192 strikeouts and a 4.84 ERA in 143 appearances, including 54 starts, 20 complete games, three shutouts, 58 games finished, eight saves, and 5401⁄3 innings pitched.
Known as "Crooning Joe" for his fine tenor voice, he later became a popular singer on radio shows and in night clubs. He also worked as operational vice president of Laurel Race Track and he made a pair of celebrated trips to the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and early 1960s, inviting Russian horsemen to race their horses in Laurel’s International race.
Joe died in Baltimore, Maryland in 2002 at age 94.
At the time of his death, Cascarella was the last surviving member of the 1934 U.S. All-Star touring team, which included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Earl Averill, Charlie Gehringer, and Lefty Gomez. It was also the trip that allowed Moe Berg to get atop a Japanese hospital and make the film that would be used in planning the Doolittle Raid after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Joe is part of the Boston Red Sox Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Joe is part of the Cincinnati Reds Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Joe is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop
“Crooning Joe” is part of the Great Italian American Player Nicknames Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See all Cascarella’s baseball cards at TCDB
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