Card: 1961 Topps #469
Raphael Anthony Lumenti (b. December 21, 1936 in Milford, MA – d. February 7, 2018 in Milford, MA) was a left-handed pitcher for the Washington Senators from 1957 to 1959. He appeared in 13 MLB games: six as a starting pitcher.
Ralph attended Boston University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst before signing a bonus contract with Washington on September 2, 1957. He made his debut five days later, pitching a scoreless ninth inning in a 4–1 loss to the New York Yankees at Griffith Stadium.
Lumenti threw fast at the major league level, getting 30 strikeouts in 33 innings. However, he was also sometimes wild, with 36 walks in his 21 innings in 1958. He also gave up walks in the minors, with 419 in his 544 minor league innings from 1958-1962.
He was the youngest player on the 1957 Senators, with the second-youngest being 21-year-old Harmon Killebrew. He was again the youngest in 1958, but in 1959 he was older than teammates Zoilo Versalles and Jim Kaat. The Bonus Rule then in effect forced the Senators to keep Lumenti on their Major League roster for his first two professional seasons; however, after pitching 11 games in 1957–58, Washington was able to send him to the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Double-A Southern Association. The "Bonus Baby" Rule, by forcing teams to elevate young players and keep them on the MLB roster, resulted in ruining these players careers, as they could not develop properly. Lumenti seems like another example of this.
He made two more appearances in Washington in 1959 before finishing his career in minor league baseball after the 1961 season. Altogether, Ralph hurled 33⅓ innings in MLB, allowed 32 hits and 42 bases on balls, while striking out 30.
After retiring from baseball, he went on to work in the logistics industry working in management for Red Star Express and Yellow Freight where he eventually retired. Lefty was a devoted animal person and especially loved dogs. During his retirement, he enjoyed photography, tinkering with computers and spending time with his family and animals. In 2004 he was inducted into the Milford High School Hall of Fame where he was recognized as being the best left-handed pitcher ever to play at Milford High School. Lumenti died on February 7, 2018.
This player is not associated with any Baseball Amore Tours.
See all Ralph’s baseball cards at TCDB
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