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mickey rocco, 1947 signal gasoline, seattle rainiers

Player: Rocco, Mickey

Card: 1947 Signal Gasoline

Position: 1B

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Signal Oil baseball card drawn by Al Demaree.


St. Paul, MN born Michael Dominick Rocco (March 2, 1916 – June 1, 1997) was an American professional baseball player. Mickey was the only child of immigrant parents Natale and Rose Rocco. Natale had come to the United States from Italy in 1910, eventually settling in St. Paul. His mother, Rosina Campolong (Rose), had immigrated and settled in St. Paul with her family in 1894. They became US citizens in 1919.

Rocco began playing professional baseball in 1935. He was a long-time minor leaguer (1935-1952), hitting over 20 home runs in a season six times and sometimes also hitting over .300. He was with the Buffalo Bisons in the early 1940s and in the Pacific Coast League later that decade. He was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 1946 Rule V Draft from the Los Angeles Angels.

Rocco began 1941 as Buffalo’s starting first baseman. On June 16 during a game in Rochester, Buffalo manager Al Vincent and Rochester manager Tony Kaufmann got into a fight along the third-base line. As the fight ended, Rocco went into the stands along the first-base line and punched a fan who was too vocal for his liking. The league fined Rocco $100. He returned to Buffalo in 1942 and was named to the Northern Division all-star team.

In June 1943, he was promoted to the Cleveland Indians, and served as the team's everyday first baseman during the war years. After the war ended, Mickey played one more season with the Indians in 1946, then returned to the minor leagues. In 440 career MLB games, he recorded a batting average of .258 and accumulated 30 home runs and 186 runs batted in (RBI). He was also considered a good fielder.

There, he played primarily in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) until 1952, retiring after attempting to play amateur baseball in Minnesota and being ruled ineligible. He returned to St. Paul and worked as a liquor salesman for Distillers Distributing and Old Peoria. He stayed involved in baseball by coaching city-league and senior-league teams in the 1950s and American Legion teams in the 1960s. A Rosetown team he coached won the Minnesota Legion championship in 1965.

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


Image from Minot Mallards Baseball Blog


Mickey is part of the Cleveland Indians Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

View all Rocco’s baseball cards at TCDB

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