*Italian Heritage Doubtful/Unlikely

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tony robello image from Baseball Reference Bullpen
Image from BR Bullpen

Player: Robello, Tony


Position: 2B/3B/Scout

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Image from Texas History: left to right, of Jim Talley, Tony Robello, Lee Stebbins and Jim Hukill


Thomas Vardasco "Tony" Robello (b. February 9, 1913 in Hawaii – d. December 25, 1994 in Fort Worth, TX) was an American professional baseball player who appeared in 16 games in Major League Baseball, primarily as a second baseman, for the 1933–1934 Cincinnati Reds, and later spent 49 years as a scout for four big-league teams. He is credited with scouting and signing Johnny Bench, Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, for Cincinnati in 1965. Other lines in Robello’s résumé are his major-league time, stint as a minor-league manager, two holes-in-one in a single round of golf, and hitting 58 home runs in a minor-league season.

While he played briefly for the Cincinnati Reds in 1933 and 1934, he gained greater fame during a long career in the minors. The slugger won five home run titles in the minors in six years. In 1937, he led East Texas League with 33, and the next season he retained his crown with 38. In 1939, he moved to the Pioneer League and paced the circuit with 58. He also led the league in 1940 with 22 and in 1942 with 20. He also led in RBI in 1937 (130), 1938 (146), and 1940 (179).

Robello missed the 1943-1945 seasons due to military service in the US Navy during WW2.

As a supervisor in the Big Red Machine’s scouting department Tony not only signed Johnny Bench, he signed Don Larsen, who pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. Tony signed or approved other signings that helped build the Reds clubs of the 1970s that made the playoffs six times, with four National League pennants and two world championships.

His direct signings for those clubs included Gary Nolan, Pat Zachry, Darrell Chaney, Milt Wilcox, Joel Youngblood, and Frank Duffy. Duffy was included with Vern Geishert in the trade that brought George Foster to the Reds. He was also a scout for the Yankees and the Cardinals.

Robello died on Christmas Day 1994 in Fort Worth. He is buried next to his wife in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Fort Worth.

(excerpted from SABR, Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


Image from Baseball Reference


Tony is part of the Military Service during Wartime Tour – go to the Next Stop

*Tony is also part of the Italian Ancestry Unsure/Doubtful Tour – go to the Next Stop

“Tony” is also part of the Cincinnati Reds Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Tony has NO baseball cards at TCDB

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2 thoughts on “Thomas “Tony” Robello*: Scout for 49 years, signed Johnny Bench, played in 16 games for the 1933-34 Cincinnati Reds

    1. BaseballAmoreRR says:

      My research also indicated that Tony was, perhaps, not Italian American. I handle these lineage questions by indicating “Italian Ancestry Unsure/Doubtful” on the player’s page – as appears above on this page. Thank you for sending feedback and for visiting the site!

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