Card: 1991 Score #580
"…Rick Cerone, a tough, street smart ex-Yankee, sprinted out of the dugout. Cerone understood the need for the Mets to show some backbone. He'd played on some of the hard ass Yankees teams of Reggie and Billy and Piniella and Nettles and, in fact, had become a quasi-legend for cutting short a post game lecture from George Steinbrenner following a loss in the '81 playoffs by blurting out '[EFF] you, George' in front of the whole team.
Now here he came, racing toward the mound, with both teams in pursuit. Cerone wasn't particularly big or strong, but he was so angry that when Pedro Guerrero stepped in front of him, Cerone bowled him over. He reached Fraser and connected with at least one good punch before disappearing in a sea of players. 'Had to do it,' Cerone would say later. 'Sometimes you just have to do it. We've just lost eleven games, we're finally winning one and some guy is going to throw at our best player? You can't let that happen.'" - Bob Klapsich and John Harper, from "The Worst Team Money Can Buy", about a 1991 Mets brawl.
Born in Newark, NJ, Richard Aldo Cerone is a former player, television sports color commentator and minor league baseball team owner. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher from 1975 to 1992 for the Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Montreal Expos.
In 2020, Rick was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame as an ABCA first-team All-American catcher in 1975, being named to All-College World Series team in 1975, played in back-to-back College World Series appearances ('74, '75), leading his team in home runs in each of his three years in South Orange, and left Seton Hall Univ as the school's all-time leader in batting average (.363) and home runs (26).
Rick joined the New York Yankees for the 1980 season, following the death of catcher Thurman Munson the year before. In his first season with the Yankees, he batted .277 with 14 HR and 85 RBI in 147 games, and finished seventh in American League MVP voting, as he helped New York win the American League East division and qualify for the playoffs. Defensively, he led the American League as he threw out 57 attempted stolen base attempts, which was a league best 51.8%. In his first playoffs, Cerone hit .333 with a home run and two RBI.
After baseball, Rick spent some time doing Yankee and Baltimore Orioles games on TV. In 1998, he founded the independent Newark Bears club, selling them in 2003.
In 1981, Cerone recorded "A Long Run Home," a song released as a 7" single on the Reel Dreams label. The song is sung from the point of view of a Newark baseball player visiting a New York Stadium during a snowstorm. The record sleeve notes that "Rick Cerone's royalties will be donated to the Italian earthquake Victims Fund." The song, and its lyrics are on YouTube.
Rick is not to be confused with Rick Cerrone, who is the 4th editor in the history of Baseball Digest.
Rick Cerone is part of the Born in New Jersey Tour – go to the Next Stop
Rick is also part of the New York Yankee Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Rick is also part of the Cleveland Indians Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Rick is also part of the Red Sox Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See all Rick’s baseball cards at TCDB
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