Thursday, June 02, 2011

#402 Joe Amalfitano

#402 Joe Amalfitano
I know I'm the guy who's supposed to provide the facts around here, but I find myself wondering what the inscription "A102" on Joe Amalfitano's bat means. Anyone?

Fun facts about Joe Amalfitano:

-Joe was born in San Pedro, CA and attended Loyola Marymount University before signing with the Giants for a $40,000 bonus in 1954.

-At age 20, he found himself on the big league roster due to the bonus baby rules. He went hitless in five at-bats, but still received a full share of bonus money when New York won the World Series that fall.

-After seeing action in 36 games in 1955, he was finally eligible to be sent to the minors. He hit for high averages over the next four years, and returned to the Giants in 1960.

-Amalfitano played regularly for San Francisco in 1960, seeing time at second and third base. He hit a career-high .277 in 106 games, with a home run and 27 RBI.

-On April 30, 1961, he was indirectly involved in a rare feat. The infielder did not play that day, but teammate Willie Mays borrowed one of his bats and used it to hit four homers and drive in eight runs against the Braves!

-With increased playing time for the Giants in 1961 and Houston in 1962, his offensive production slipped.

-He hit only nine career home runs, but his solo shot off of Roger Craig on May 17, 1963 gave the Giants a 4-3 walkoff victory over the Mets in 11 innings. It capped a day in which he went 3-for-4 with a walk.

-Joey joined the Cubs in 1964 and had his best all-around year. Despite hitting only .241, he drew 40 walks to boost his on-base percentage to .331 and his OPS+ to a near-average 96. (The N.L. averages that year were .254 batting and .311 OBP.) He had career highs of 19 doubles, 6 triples, 4 home runs, and 27 RBI, and led the National League in range factor per nine innings at second base.

-Chicago released him in mid-1967, bringing an end to his playing career. In parts of 10 seasons he batted .244 with 9 homers and 123 RBI.

-Joey is still active in baseball nearly sixty years after his debut with the Giants. He coached for the Cubs, Giants, and Padres in the decade following his retirement, and then managed the Cubs on an interim basis for the last week of the 1979 season. Preston Gomez was hired to the post in the offseason, but Amalfitano replaced him in midseason. He helmed the team through the rest of 1980 and 1981, but was fired after running up a 66-116 record. He spent the following season coaching the Reds, and then was hired as Tommy Lasorda's third base coach for the Dodgers, a post he held from 1983-1998. Since then, he's worked for the Dodgers and Giants in front office and instructional capacities.
#402 Joe Amalfitano (back)


  1. The A102 means that Amalfatano is the 102nd player whose last name begins with the letter "A" for which Adirondack manufactured a bat with specific specs.

    Not every player has bats made to spec. Mickey Mantle for example used a K55 for much of his career which had first been made to Chuck Klein's specs. I believe he later had his own bat specs and that bat was designated as "M200" something as I recall.

    I have a bat used by Eddie Murray and it's designated as M47 I think. Check out this thread for more bat info than you could ever possibly want.

    Yes, I used to be a bat nut.

  2. And now that I think about it.... it's possible that that A102 bat was made for another player with "A" as a last initial and Amalfatano using it is just a coincidence.

    Crap, now I've confused myself.

  3. Bob - Either way, it's pretty interesting! Thanks for lending your expertise.