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jack dilauro, 1971 topps #677, astros

Player: DiLauro, Jack

Card: 1971 Topps #677

Position: LHP

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'When we hit .500 in June, we suddenly thought we had a chance. Then I got a start against the Dodgers against Bill Singer. It all came together.'' (Jack DiLauro)

'One of the New York writers wrote that "Jack DiLauro's first start in the big leagues turned the Mets' whole season around.''

Jack Edward DiLauro (born May 3, 1943, in Akron, Ohio) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the 1969 World Series Champion New York Mets.

Jack started his professional baseball career by signing with the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent on January 1, 1963. DiLauro was in the Detroit Tigers organization from 1963 to 1968, twice winning 14 games in the minors. He was mostly (but not always) a starter during his minor league career, which went through 1972. He went 6-5 in 1967 for the Toledo Mud Hens, a team which won the Governors' Cup. He went 11-6 for the 1968 Toledo team, which won the pennant.

He never played in the Major Leagues for the Tigers. On December 4, 1968, he was traded to the New York Mets in exchange for Hector Valle.

In 1969, DiLauro pitched 4 games for the Mets AAA minor league affiliate, the Tidewater Tides. He was then promoted to the Mets and made his major league debut for the Mets on May 15, 1969, against the Atlanta Braves. In 1969, he pitched in 23 games, mostly in relief, and 63 2⁄3 innings for the Mets. He won 1 game against 4 losses with 1 save. The win, his first in the Major Leagues occurred on July 20 against the Montreal Expos. His ERA in 1969 was a solid 2.40, better than the league average. The Mets won the World Series in 1969, but DiLauro did not pitch in the postseason.

After the season, DiLauro was drafted from the Mets by the Houston Astros in the rule 5 draft. “I was a victim of the Mets’ outstanding pitching staff" said DiLauro, “for two months, I was the best reliever in the majors, but from August [25] until the end of the season I never threw a pitch.”. By going to Houston, Jack could continue his progress on a team that really needed him.

In 1970 DiLauro pitched in 42 games for the Astros, all in relief, pitching 33 2⁄3 innings. He had 1 win and 3 losses with 3 saves. He was sold by the Astros to the Hawaii Islanders, the San Diego Padres AAA team in the Pacific Coast League on March 15, 1971. In July 1971 he was traded with Hank McGraw (brother of DiLauro's former Mets teammate Tug McGraw) to the Atlanta Braves organization for Marv Staehle. But he never pitched in the major leagues after 1970.

He engineered a trade to Texas for 1973, but that fell through. “I never did go to spring training with the Rangers,” DiLauro told Winkworth. “I had contract problems with them. I was supposed to go to spring training with the big league club and have a chance of making it. In the offseason they picked up a couple more left-handers, so they didn’t take me to camp. I couldn’t come to terms with a minor league contract, so I more or less retired at the old age of 29"

As of 2008, DiLauro's Mets ERA of 2.40 was 3rd best all-time among Mets pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched for the team, behind only Carlos Diaz and Billy Wagner.

Regarding today's players, and his ability to relate to them, Jack said: ''The game isn't so different, but the players certainly are. How can I relate to guys today who make more playing one inning than the $10,000 I made playing my entire first year in the big leagues?''

(excerpted from SABR, Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)

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1970 Topps #382
Image from Long Island Mets Fan Blog

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This player is not associated with any Baseball Amore Tours.


See Jack’s baseball cards at TCDB


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