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Joe rossi, Pittsburgh pirates

Player: Rossi, Joe

Card: 1953 Topps #74

Position: C

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Joseph Anthony Rossi (March 13, 1921 – February 20, 1999) played one season for the Cincinnati Reds in 1952, primarily as a catcher. He was born in Oakland, California.

According to "Aaron to Zuverink" (by Rich Marazzi & Len Fiorito, 1982), Joe was the catcher for Portland of the Pacific Coast League when Rogers Hornsby was the manager of Seattle in 1951. As the story is related, Hornsby said that Rossi would never be a big-league catcher HistoricBaseball.com). In 1952, Joe got his chance, appearing in 55 games with the Reds.

Hornsby had been fired by the Browns in early 1952, but he came to Crosley Field in Cincinnati for a Hall of Fame night. Rossi is said to have pointed the fact that he was in the majors and Hornsby was out. However, as fate would have it, Reds manager Luke Sewell was fired that season and replaced by Hornsby. It was Joe's last year in the major leagues.

Overall, in his lone major league season, he served as backup to Reds' starting catcher Andy Seminick. He appeared in 55 games, hitting .221 (32-for-145) with one triple and one home run, driving in six runs and scoring 14 times while stealing a base.

Joe also spent 14 years in the minor leagues between 1941 and 1956, including managing the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League in his last baseball season.

After baseball, Rossi became harbor master at the Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor until the early 1970s. Later he owned a pawn shop in in Richmond, CA. He died February 20, 1999, at age 74, in Oakland, CA.

(excerpted from Wikipedia, BR Bullpen & Baseball Almanac)


1983 Topps 1952 Reprint #379


Joe is part of the Born in San Fran/Oakland/Sacramento Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Joe is also part of the Cincinnati Reds Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

See all Rossi’s baseball cards at TCDB

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