Card: 1978 TCMA The 1960’s #NA
Ernest Joseph Fazio (b. January 25, 1942, Oakland, CA – d. December 1, 2017 - Danville, CA) was an MLB second baseman who played for the Houston Colt .45s (1962–63) and Kansas City Athletics (1966).
Ernie was born in Oakland, CA, went to high school there, and attended college a bit down the road at Santa Clara University during 1961 and 1962. Several other future major leaguers were there at the same time, including John Boccabella, Nelson Briles and Tim Cullen among others.
He was the first player ever signed by the newly-created Colt .45's. Ernie came to the majors very quickly, making his debut in July 1962. He was in 12 major league games that year and also played in 50 games for the AAA Oklahoma City 89ers.
Ernie was part of the Houston Colt .45's "youth movement" in 1962. In 1963, he was able to play in 102 games for Houston by filling in at second base, third base and shortstop. At 21, he was not the youngest regular as Rusty Staub was 19, and there were numerous youngsters trying for a job on the team, including the 19-year-old Joe Morgan who was also a second baseman and had also gone to high school in Oakland. He hit both of his major league home runs that year, off lefthanders Denny Lemaster and Hall of Famer Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves.
After the 1965 season, he was the "player to be named later" in an earlier trade that sent Houston pitcher Jesse Hickman to the Athletics for slugger Jim Gentile. Despite his small stature, he had shown power that year by hitting 23 home runs for Oklahoma City. He played in 27 games for the Athletics as a backup infielder during the 1966 season.
An interview with Ernie in 2007 revealed that he suffered a life-threatening virus in spring training of 1966, and that he worked at the time of the interview as a manager at a sanitation company. Early in his major league career he hurt his arm and although he played well in the minors, by the time he was ready to return, Houston had rightly decided Morgan would be the second baseman of the future. While in the majors became a friend of Joe DiMaggio.
All told, Fazio appeared in 141 MLB games, and garnered 50 hits in 274 at bats. After his playing career, Ernie worked as a salesman for a meat company in New York.
Ernie is part of the Born in San Fran/Oakland/Sacramento Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Ernie is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop
View all Ernie’s baseball cards at TCDB
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