Card: 2003 Topps #609
Anthony Joseph Graffanino (born Graffagnino, June 6, 1972 in Amityville, LI, NY) is a former second baseman, third baseman, and shortstop who played for the Braves, Rays, White Sox, Royals, Red Sox, Brewers and Indians over a 13 year career.
Graffanino was born Anthony Graffagnino but dropped the "g" after numerous mispronunciations from minor league announcers. Even with that, some announcers had trouble with his last name, including fellow Italian-American Harry Caray. Graffanino was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 10th round of the 1990 Amateur Draft.
Graffanino was primarily a contact hitter (just 481 strikeouts in 2787 big-league at-bats) who was able to get on base (career .336 OBP) – and with above-average speed. He excelled as a situational hitter, capable of hitting behind the runner and dropping down a bunt. As a fielder, he has the ability to play every infield position and left field. He also had an above-average arm, which helped him in the LF and on the left side of the infield.
Clearly a solid major league contributor who could win games for a team in many ways, unfortunately he received some notoriety, particularly in New England and the South Side of Chicago, for making an error in the fifth inning of Game Two of the 2005 American League Division Series which led to three unearned runs.
Graffanino is a Christian who remained active in the community during his career. In 2002, he coordinated and led baseball clinics for boys and girls from Mercy Home at U.S. Cellular Field and signed autographs at the James R. Thompson Center to promote the need for organ donors.
His son A.J. Graffanino was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 29th round of the 2015 amateur draft, went on to play for the University of Washington in the 2018 College World Series, and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 8th round of the 2018 amateur draft.
Tony Graffanino is part of the New York City Born Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Tony is also part of the Chicago White Sox Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Tony is also part of the Boston Red Sox Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Tony is also part of the Cleveland Indians Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See Tony’s baseball cards at TCDB
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