Card: 1936 World Wide Gum #127
Hall of Fame pitcher Red Ruffing surrendered 254 home runs in his 22-year career, but one stood out in his mind more than the rest – a ferocious clout at Yankee Stadium on May 8, 1936, by a big right-handed hitter, George “Pooch” Puccinelli of the Philadelphia Athletics. “There was a detonation when the bat met the ball,” said Ruffing, “and then a weird noise as the ball dynamited into the left top deck, deep, far – and very disconcerting to me.” The two-run homer, in the third inning of Philadelphia’s 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees, introduced Pooch to Ruffing.
Yankees Joe DiMaggio, Tony Lazzeri, and Frankie Crosetti already knew him – they all came from the same Italian neighborhood in San Francisco.
San-Francisco-born Creonte "George" Lawrence Puccinelli (June 22, 1907 – April 16, 1956) was an MLB outfielder during seasons between 1930 to 1936. His parents, Antonio and Lucia (Bianchi) Puccinelli, came to the United States in the 1890s from Tuscany, Italy. Antonio was a fruit peddler in San Francisco. George trained at a local gym to become a boxer, but his parents discouraged it and he switched to baseball.
He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Browns, and Philadelphia Athletics. In 187 games over four seasons, Pooch posted a .283 batting average (172-for-607) with 109 runs, 19 home runs, 102 RBI and 78 bases on balls. He recorded a .947 fielding percentage playing right and left field. He had one at-bat in the 1930 World Series for the Cardinals.
In 2008 George was elected to the International League Hall of Fame after leading the 1932 International League with .391 BA, leading the 1935 International League with .359 BA, 53 HR, 172 RBI, 49 2B, 135 R, and 209 H and leading the 1939 Pacific Coast League with 123 H. He was also voted into the Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame in 1999.
In the 1950s, Puccinelli operated a television and radio repair shop out of his home in San Francisco. On April 16, 1956, at age 48, he suffered a fatal heart attack while playing golf.
(excerpted from SABR, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)
George is part of the Born in San Fran /Oakland /Sacramento Tour – Go to the Next Stop
George is also part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop
George is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See Puccinelli’s baseball cards at TCDB
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