Card: 1991 Orioles Crown #88
Regarding his short time in the majors, his "cup of coffee", Dave said “I didn’t even get a chance to dunk my donut,”
David Gerald Criscione (born September 2, 1951 in Dunkirk, New York) is a former Major League Baseball catcher. He was the third of the four sons of Peter Criscione and the former Katherine Tramuto, both children of Italian immigrants. Peter was a laborer on the Westfield section of the New York Railroad; Katherine worked as a machine operator in a silk mill. Dave was a high school sports legend. At 5' 8", he had trouble being taken seriously by major league executives. He worked in a dog food factory during offseasons.
Dave started his pro career in 1970 as an 18-year-old with the Washington Senators organization, but didn't get a big league chance until July 8, 1977, when Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey suffered an injury and he was called up. He was given a locker next to Brooks Robinson. Altogether, he played seven games for the Baltimore Orioles in 1977, going 3-for-9 at the plate. Though he appeared in just seven games, he made the most of them, receiving three standing ovations in one and connecting for a game-ending home run in another.
Criscione hit just one major league home run, but it was a walk-off home run against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 25, 1977. After Andrés Mora pinch-hit for starting catcher Dave Skaggs in the bottom of the 9th inning, Billy Smith tied the game at 3-3 with a single. In the top of the 10th, Criscione entered the game on defense. With the score still tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th, Dave came to bat against Sam Hinds of the Brewers with one out and homered to win the game. During his short MLB stay, Dave also called the pitch that the legendary Yankee catcher Thurman Munson hit his 100th home run on. His final MLB average is .333.
He also had nine seasons in the minors, of which six were spent in AAA ball. Dave later went on to be a long-time coach of the SUNY Fredonia Blue Devils, a Division III college baseball team near Buffalo New York. he also worked as a quality control lab supervisor for nearly 30 years.
"Baltimore really changed my life, not only for what I did in the short time on the field, but by the way the fans and players treated me while I was there," Criscione said. "Those memories mean more than anything money could ever bring to my family and me."
This player is not associated with any Baseball Amore Tours.
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