Card: 1978 Topps #358
Mark Lemongello (born July 21, 1955 in Jersey City, NJ) is an American former professional baseball player who pitched in Major League Baseball from 1976 to 1979 for the Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays. He is the cousin of singer Peter Lemongello.
Mark was known throughout his career for his erratic, sometimes violent behavior, which sometimes overshadowed his on-field accomplishments. He would often furiously slap himself in the face after a bad inning, and after bad games he was known to destroy locker room equipment such as hair dryers and light fixtures in fits of anger. He admitted to reporter Allen Abel: "My head was messed up."
On April 15th, 1978 he had a no hitter going through seven innings in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. In the 8th, Johnny Bench led off with a long HR, but Mark won the game 6-1.
In 1979, after he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, he almost immediately got the Toronto fanbase upset with him in asking if Canadians "spoke American." His tenure with Toronto was little short of disastrous, as Lemongello spent half a season with the club going 1–9. In his final start on June 3, he fired a baseball at manager Roy Hartsfield when Hartsfield came to remove him from the game. Later in the season, when informed he was being sent down to the Syracuse Chiefs, he threw an ashtray at the head of Blue Jays general manager Peter Bavasi, barely missing him.
Lemongello never appeared in another major league game. Sold to the Chicago Cubs in 1980, his playing career ended that same year with the Triple-A Wichita Aeros.
In 1982, a few years after leaving baseball, Mark and Manuel Seoane, a former Wichita teammate, were arrested for the kidnapping and robbery of Lemongello's cousins Mike Lemongello, a former professional bowler, and Peter Lemongello. Mark was sentenced to seven years probation after he pleaded no contest to the charges. By 1989, he was living in Phoenix, Arizona, working for Coca-Cola.
Mark is part of the Topps Card Tour – 1978 Topps – Go to the Next Stop
Lemongello is also part of the Born in New Jersey Tour – go to the Next Stop
See Mark’s baseball cards at TCDB
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