Card: 1978 Halsey Hall Olde Cards #12
“I could hit, and I could run like hell” (Jack Cassini)
“Yeah, I remember him,” Joe Garagiola told the Arizona Republic. “I can still see him now. Running, running, running . . . All you could call was fastballs because he was gonna go.”
Jack Dempsey Cassini (b. Deerborn, MI, October 26, 1919 – d. Mesa, AZ, September 20, 2010), nicknamed "Scat" and "Gabby" was an American professional baseball infielder, manager and scout. He was a six-time stolen base champion during his minor league playing career (1940–41; 1946–55) and stole 378 bases lifetime.
His career began with the Tiffin Mud Hens of the Class D Ohio State League in 1940, where he batted .396 and stole 51 bases in only 99 games. The following year, Cassini led the Class C Pioneer League in steals with 43, before spending four years in World War II military service. After a 1946 campaign split between the Triple-A International and Double-A Texas leagues (and 26 more thefts), Cassini then spent full seasons in the Texas League (1947) and the Triple-A American Association (1948) — and led those leagues in stolen bases as well (with 52 and 33, respectively).
In 1949, he received his only trial in Major League Baseball as a pinch runner in eight games for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cassini scored three runs, but stole no bases and never recorded an official at bat. He then returned to the American Association — leading it in stolen bases two more times, with 36 (1950) and 35 (1952).
He was a circuit All-Star in 1952 and 1953, then spent the 1954 season with the Montreal Royals, another top farm team of the Dodgers, this time in the International League. He was allowed to join the Memphis Chicks of the Southern Association in 1955 as a player-manager. As the team's regular second baseman, his stint was cut short when he was hit in the face by a pitch on August 2, suffering a broken cheekbone and blurred vision.
That effectively ended his playing career, but he continued for the next two decades as a scout and minor league manager for four different organizations. He eventually retired in Arizona. His younger brother, Eddie, was a minor league umpire.
Cassini then fashioned a long career as a minor league manager and MLB scout. He skippered teams in the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets and Cleveland Indians farm systems, and scouted for Cincinnati, the Mets and Cleveland.
Jack Cassini is also part of the Military Service during Wartime Tour – go to the Next Stop
Jack is also part of the Pittsburgh Pirates Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
“Scat” is part of the Great Italian American Player Nicknames Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See all Jack’s baseball cards at TCDB
Visit a random Italian American MLB player: