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"Al (Lamacchia) was the epitome of a baseball scout. He loved the game and the people in it... His recollection of players long since out of the game along with those of today was truly remarkable... I found his wisdom of life and baseball to be rare." - Ned Colletti, Dodgers General Manager
"Everyone thinks they do all these analyses before they make a trade, but, in the end, I'm a Dodger because of that crazy old man. I can't thank him enough." - Andre Ethier
One of the most personable and knowledgeable men in baseball, Al LaMacchia pitched 16 seasons in the minors and 16 games in the majors before embarking on a legendary scouting career.
Scouted by Lou Maguolo, LaMacchia began his career with the Paragould Browns of the Northeast Arkansas League in 1940 and paced the circuit with 16 wins. He recorded 15 victories for the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League two years later before missing most of the 1943 season while serving in the Army during World War II.
He returned late in the 1943 campaign and made his big league debut for the St. Louis Browns on September 27th. He started that contest against the Philadelphia Athletics and gave up five earned runs in six innings to take the loss.
After spending 1944 in the minors, LaMacchia was with the Browns again for 5 games in 1945, posting a 2-0 mark. He played in 8 games for St. Louis in 1946 before being traded to the Washington Senators in June. He played in his final two big league games for Washington that year and continued to pitch in the minors through 1954.
Late in the summer of 1948, Al broke his wrist while playing for the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association. Since the injury ended his season, he was packing up to head home to San Antonio, where he had lived during the offseason ever since he married a San Antonio girl before World War II.
But the Barons’ manager caught him on the way out the door. Knowing LaMacchia was a student of the game — it was the only way a guy with an average fastball had survived almost ten seasons, mostly in the minors — the organization wanted to know if he could scout some players in the East Texas League on the way home. Traveling by bus — he didn’t own a car — LaMacchia found and signed two players the next week.
After briefly managing the Bryan Indians in 1954, LaMacchia went on to scout for the Philadelphia Phillies for four years. He was a Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves scout from 1961 to 1976. He joined the Toronto Blue Jays for their inaugural season of 1977, and the club named LaMacchia and Bobby Mattick vice presidents in 1984. While he was with the team, the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Series crowns in 1992 and 1995. After 20 years with Toronto, he was a Tampa Bay Devil Rays scout from 1996 to 2002. He then went on to scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a position he held until his death in 2010 at age 89.
LaMacchia's signees and discoveries include Rick Mahler, Bruce Benedict, Dale Murphy, Cito Gaston, Larvell Blanks, Ted Savage, Jim Breazeale, Jimmy Freeman, Adrian Devine, Jamie Easterly, Mike Beard, Mickey Mahler, Joey McLaughlin, Larry McWilliams, Willie Upshaw, Larry Whisenton, Rick Matula, Ken Smith, Jim Gott, George Bell, Lloyd Moseby, Dave Stieb, Andre Robertson, Jim Acker, David Wells and Mike Coolbaugh.
LaMacchia was the focus of an article in the August 16, 2006 Los Angeles Times, largely because he was insistent that a little-known minor-leaguer, Andre Ethier, would become a star.
Al is part of the Military Service during Wartime Tour – go to the Next Stop
Al is also part of the Philadelphia Phillies Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See Al’s baseball cards at TCDB
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