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lou rochelli, 1990 Target Dodgers 100th Anniversary #1055

Player: Rochelli, Lou

Card: 1990 Target Dodgers 100th Anniversary #1055

Position: 2B

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Louis Joseph Rochelli (b. January 11, 1919 in Staunton, IL – d. October 23, 1992 in Victoria, TX) was a Major League Baseball second baseman who appeared in five games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944.

The Illinois native spent nineteen seasons in professional baseball from 1939 through 1958. The infielder spent all of those seasons in the minor leagues with the exception of a short time in the major leagues with the 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers. He made a short five game appearance with the Dodgers from August 25, 1944 to August 29. He played in five games at the second base position, had 17 at-bats and 2 base-hits for a .176 batting average. This was the sum-total for Lou in the big leagues. Rochelli is one of many ballplayers who only appeared in the major leagues during World War II.

Lou was inducted into the armed forces after the 1944 season and spent the 1945 season serving with the United States Navy during World War II. He was back for the 1946 year and had a split season with the Mobile Bears of the Southern Association and the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, where he appeared in 107 games and hit at a .241 clip.

During spring training of 1946 it was Rochelli who, despite nominally being the incumbent AAA 2nd baseman, taught Jackie Robinson how to make the double play pivot at second. Robinson had previously only played shortstop and some outfield. In his autobiography, Robinson singled out Lou for praise. He said Rochelli was completely generous despite the fact that Robinson was bumping him to another position from his station at second base.

During Lou's minor league career he hit over the .300 mark in three seasons, the first came in 1940 when he hit .333 with 13 home runs and the other two came in 1954 and 1955, hitting .309 and .306 respectively. His minor league stats show that he appeared in 1,431 games and hit for a .268 minor league average.

Rochelli also spent twelve seasons as a player-manager from 1947 through 1958, winning the league title and play-off championship with the Victoria Rosebuds of the class B Big State League in 1957. Lou's teams came up, over his 12 year managerial reign, with 848 wins and 763 losses for a .526 winning percentage, in 1611 games.

Lou moved to Victoria, TX in 1957 when he managed the minor league team there. After baseball he worked for Radio Shack in Victoria until his death on October 22, 1992. Louis Joseph Rochelli was 73 years of age.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


Image from Minor League Baseball in Greenwood, MS site


Lou is also part of the LA/Brooklyn Dodgers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

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

See all Lou’s baseball cards at TCDB

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