Card: 1966 Topps #558 (w/Guido Grilli)
“Eddie Popowski, God bless him, was a miracle man in himself. He had something like 11 or 12 kids. A career minor-league guy. We never knew how the hell he could have that many kids when he was playing baseball all the time – when did he have time for his wife? We used to laugh like hell. He encouraged me. I met some great guys. Yastrzemski. Rico Petrocelli was a great guy. I had the pleasure of getting to hear Ted Williams during spring training. The memories were fantastic, just fantastic.” (Pete Magrini)
Peter Alexander Magrini (born June 8, 1942 in San Francisco, California) is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the 1966 Boston Red Sox. In a December 2017 interview, Magrini told of his family background: “My father immigrated from Italy with his family at the age of 3 to a tiny town called Duncan’s Mills, California. It was an old railroad and lumber town up by the Russian River. My grandfather worked on the railroad. It’s still there today. Probably the population today is about 80."
“I always wanted to be a catcher, but I couldn’t hit. They always said that I had a good arm. Dolph Camilli came out here, because his family was from Santa Rosa. He used to come out and have a clinic. I always participated in the clinic and they said, ‘Gee, this kid does have a good arm…but he can’t hit. Why doesn’t he forgo trying to be a catcher and become a pitcher?’ So that’s how that started.”
He attended Santa Clara University where the team was runner up in the 1962 College World Series. While there, on May 13, 1963, he enjoyed a special moment when the Santa Clara Broncos played an exhibition game against the reigning National League Champion San Francisco Giants and beat them, 6-4, in Santa Clara. A Giants rally in the fourth inning was squelched when Magrini picked off Ed Bailey at second base and, on another play, a baserunner was cut down trying to steal third base. In another inning he got Felipe Alou to ground into a double play and struck out Willie Mays on three pitches.
Magrini was originally signed by the Minnesota Twins and began his pro career in 1964. He was then drafted by the Red Sox under the "First-year player rule" in the 1964 Rule V Draft. Pitching for the Pittsfield Red Sox in 1965, he went 18-8 with a 2.26 ERA in 33 starts.
Magrini made the Red Sox's Opening Day roster in 1966 and made his big league debut in the season's second game on April 13th. Facing the Baltimore Orioles, he gave up 3 earned runs in 2 innings of relief work. After another outing out of the pen two weeks later, he made his only big league start on May 9th against the Kansas City Athletics, where the game-time temperature was 36 degrees. He gave up 4 earned runs in 3 innings and took the loss.
After going 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA in those 3 appearances, he spent the remainder of the summer for the AAA Toronto Maple Leafs. Pete was back with Toronto in 1967, and late in the season he was dealt to the New York Yankees for Elston Howard. He spent the following two years with the Syracuse Chiefs.
However, Magrini contributed to Boston's surprise 1967 American League pennant when he was traded with fellow pitcher Ron Klimkowski to the New York Yankees for veteran catcher Elston Howard on August 3, 1967. Howard helped guide the young Red Sox pitching staff through a five-team pennant scramble and the 1967 World Series.
Magrini retired from baseball after the 1969 minor league season and now lives in Santa Rosa, California.
Pete is part of the Born in San Fran/Oakland/Sacramento Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Pete is part of the Red Sox Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
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