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James Vincent Castiglia (b. September 30, 1918 in Passaic, NJ – d. December 26, 2007 in Rockville, MD) was an American football fullback in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles. He also played for the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Football Conference. In 1941 he played his first season with the Eagles, carrying the ball 60 times for 183 yards.
He was named All-State in both baseball and football as a senior at Georgetown University, as well as basketball. He was also a terrific handball player.
While there is no record of Castiglia in organized minor league baseball, he played in the outlaw Quebec Provincial League in 1938 (a game with Trois-Rivières) and 1939 (.261 in 42 games with Drummondville). Like many well-known college athletes, Jim served as a training officer during the war, attaining the rank of captain. He played service football and baseball for his base in Greensboro, NC , and was a member of the powerhouse Tech Hawks diamond squad, which included big leaguers Taft Wright and Grady Hatton.
In 1942 Castiglia left the NFL to play professional baseball in major league baseball. Jim played for the Philadelphia Athletics, and is recorded as a catcher, but was mostly used as a pinch-hitter, catching in just three games. He is one of many ballplayers who only appeared in the major leagues during World War II. Though he only played 16 games, he hit extremely well, going 7-for-18, a .389 batting average. He had two runs batted in and scored two runs.
Following World War II, Castiglia returned to the NFL to play the 1945 and 1946 seasons with the Eagles. In 1947, he played two games with the Colts before moving to the Redskins. Castiglia retired from the NFL following the 1948 season.
Jim was enshrined in the Georgetown Athletic Hall of Fame in both football and baseball in 1953. In 1958, he became the first president of the Redskins Alumni Association. In the 1960s, he got into the insurance business, eventually establishing the firm of Castiglia & Johnson in Maryland.
He later served as chairman of the board of Morrow & Brooks before retiring in 1984. He also helped establish a fund for ex-NFL players who had fallen on hard times. Jim passed away in Maryland at the age of 89.
Bill James once picked Castiglia as one of the ugliest players in the 1940s - clearly some bias is at work there. By the way, this is a picture of Bill James; not someone who should be calling others ugly.
Jim died December 26, 2007, in Rockville, Maryland. He is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Aspen Hill, Maryland.
Jim is part of the Born in New Jersey Tour – go to the Next Stop
Jim is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Jim has no baseball cards on TCDB
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