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Joe Palmisano

Player: Palmisano, Joe

Card: 1930 Zeenut #NA (Blank Back)

Position: C/2B

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joe palmisano image from baseball reference
Image from Baseball Reference


Joseph Palmisano (b. November 19, 1902 in West Point, GA – d. November 5, 1971 in Albuquerque, NM) was a professional baseball player.

Antonio Palmisano and the former Agata Polito left Termini Imerese, Sicily, around the turn of the last century, settling in the town of West Point, Georgia, about 80 miles southwest of Atlanta. The Palmisanos had two children (Leon and Liboria) in Sicily, and two more (Joseph and Josephine) in their new hometown. For many years Antonio ran “Palmisano’s,” a corner fruit stand and grocery store in West Point, and he remained one of the most popular men in the town. The children all grew up in West Point, where their parents remained for the rest of their lives

More than 25% of all major league players have careers of fewer than 20 games. Joe played 19 games for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1931. Palmisano made his major league debut May 31 in the second game of a double header against the Red Sox in Fenway Park, replacing Mickey Cochrane mid-game. He was hitless in two at bats and made an error. In his first game at Yankee Stadium, a start on July 11, his got his first hit, a first-inning double off Red Ruffing in a 3-1 loss at Yankee Stadium. Palmisano played just 19 games for the Athletics that season as the third-string catcher.

His best game turned out to be his last one: on September 25, he caught Lew Krausse‘s four-hit shutout in the hurler’s major league debut, and also went 3-5 with a double, raising his batting average from .179 to its final .227 (10 for 44).

Palmisano had been at the Georgia Institute of Technology and came out of college into the Virginia League in 1925. He played minor league baseball through 1943, mostly in the South although he spent three years in the Pacific Coast League. In 1940 and 1941 he managed in the North Carolina State League.

He is listed in some references as "Joe Palm", a last name that he himself may have also used. His Italian heritage was noted when he came to the majors. Mickey Cochrane, the Athletics' regular catcher, took some criticism during the 1931 World Series and there was some possibility that Palmisano would be given a start in one of the games, but it didn't actually occur.

He left baseball for a year after the 1936 season at his wife's urging since she was tired of the life connected with baseball. When he decided to come back, she helped by writing letters to baseball executives. He and his family moved to Albuquerque, NM for the rest of his life, and he worked at several jobs.

Teresa Palmisano, his granddaughter, is a two-time All-American basketball player at the University of California-Berkeley in the early 1990s, who went on to play professionally in Europe for several years including playing for a team in Termini Imerese, Italy, from where her family had descended.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


Palm isano’s Grocery in West Point, GA


Joe is part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See all of Joe’s baseball cards at TCDB

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