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john orsino, 1964 topps #63, orioles

Player: Orsino, John

Card: 1964 Topps #63

Position: C

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John Joseph Orsino (April 22, 1938 – November 1, 2016) was a Major League Baseball catcher. He was signed by the New York Giants as an amateur free agent before the 1957 season, and played for the San Francisco Giants (1961–1962), Baltimore Orioles (1963–1965), and Washington Senators (1966–1967). Born in Teaneck, New Jersey, Orsino grew up in nearby Fort Lee.

John made his major league debut on July 14, 1961 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Candlestick Park. His best season was 1963, when he had career highs in games played (116), hits (103), at bats (379), home runs (19), runs batted in (56), runs scored (53), and on-base percentage (.349). The Orioles had a good year, winning 86 games and losing 76.

One of the most famous games he was ever involved in took place at Memorial Stadium on September 12, 1964. He was the Orioles starting catcher in a rare battle of complete game one-hitters between O's left-hander Frank Bertaina and Kansas City Athletics southpaw Bob Meyer. Orsino doubled to lead off the bottom of the 8th of the 0-0 game, and teammate Bob Saverine came in to pinch run for him. Saverine advanced to third on a Bertaina sacrifice bunt, and then scored when Jackie Brandt hit a sacrifice fly.

Also, on August 23, 1961, he was one of a record five San Francisco Giants players who homered in the 9th inning against the Cincinnati Reds in a 14-0 win. The other home run hitters were Orlando Cepeda, Felipe Alou, Willie Mays and Jim Davenport. Orsino's three-run blast was the last of the five.

Post-retirement, Orsino was the baseball coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University from 1970 to 1976 and again in 1980. He went on to coach a university men's golf team in 2004.

Interestingly, John hit a combined .324 (22-for-68) against All-Star pitchers Jim Bouton, Harvey Haddix, Tommy John, Gary Peters and Stan Williams. He also hit a combined .323 (10-for-31) against Hall of Fame pitchers Jim Bunning and Whitey Ford.

After retiring, John became a golf pro in New Jersey and Florida. He was the men’s golf coach at Florida Atlantic University from 2004 to 2006.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


1963 Topps #418
1967 Topps #207


John Orsino is part of the Topps Card Tour – 1964 Topps – Go to the Next Stop

John is part of the Born in New Jersey Tour – Go to the Next Stop

John is also part of the New York/SF Giants Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See all John’s baseball cards at TCDB

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