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alec distaso, chicago cubs

Player: Distaso, Alec

Card: 1969 Topps #602

Position: RHP

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Alec John Distaso (b. December 23, 1948 in Los Angeles, CA – d. July 13, 2009 in Macomb, IL) was an a right-handed pitcher who appeared in two games played for Chicago Cubs in 1969. He was the oldest of three children born to Biaggio and Geraldine (née Green) Distaso. He was the #1 overall pick in the January 1967 amateur draft. Only three players form that draft stuck in the majors: a Hall of Famer in Carlton Fisk (#4, Red Sox), a solid star in Ken Singleton (#3, Mets), and a journeyman pro in Von Joshua (#17, Giants).

Alec also served in the Army Reserve for 6 years. He is also the only man with the given name “Alec” to reach the majors. It was often wrongly written as “Alex.”

Alec's professional career, curtailed by elbow miseries, lasted four seasons (1967–1970), all in the Cubs' organization. After winning 13 games for the Class A Quincy Cubs in 1968, he was included on Chicago's 1969 opening season roster. His MLB career boiled down to just three days, April 20, 1969-April 22, 1969, when he appeared in two games, not factoring in a decision and ending up with a 3.86 earned run average over 4.2 innings pitched.

Wearing number 45, Distaso made his big-league debut on April 20 in the second game of a doubleheader at old Jarry Park in Montreal. Relieving Joe Niekro, who took the loss, Al retired six of the seven Expos to face him, allowing just one walk. His only other appearance came two days later, at another park of yesteryear, Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field. Bill Hands got knocked out in the second inning, and Distaso allowed two inherited runners to score before retiring the side. He then gave up two runs of his own in the fourth before leaving for a pinch-hitter.

He then was sent back to the minor leagues. Some weeks afterward, he hurt his elbow. Distaso tried to pitch through the injury but enjoyed only sporadic success, never enough to warrant a return to the majors. He quit baseball in the spring of 1971.

After retiring as an active player, Alec became a police officer and then a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department, retiring in 1994. In 1996, he became a public housing administrator in Macomb, Illinois. he died of cancer in 2009.

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


Image from SABR
Image from The Cubs Project Blog


Alec is part of the Chicago Cubs Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See Alec’s baseball cards at TCDB

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