Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#569 Gino Cimoli

#569 Gino Cimoli
Wow, Gino Cimoli is impeccably coiffed. His pompadour has a pompadour.

Fun facts about Gino Cimoli:

-Gino was born in San Francisco and signed with the Dodgers as a teenager in 1949.

-Despite hitting .292 in the minors, he did not get a crack at the big leagues until 1956. That year, the 26-year-old was used primarily as a defensive replacement in the outfield. He batted only 38 times in 73 games, scraping out four hits and a walk (.111 AVG, .135 OBP).

-1957 saw Gino flourish in a starting role, batting a career-high .293 with 10 home runs and 57 RBI. He was named to his only All-Star team.

-His first two home runs as a Dodger were both notable. On April 16, 1957, he handed future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts a 12-inning complete game loss with a solo shot. On May 6 of that year, he hit his only walkoff homer to give Brooklyn a 14-inning win over the Braves. The latter home run gave young reliever Sandy Koufax his fifth career win.

-After being dealt to the Cardinals, he hit .279 with a personal-best 72 RBI in 1959, his lone season with the club. His 40 doubles were fourth-most in the National League, and he placed eighth with 7 triples.

-Cimoli served as the fourth outfielder for the 1960 Pirates, but started five of the seven World Series games after Bob Skinner hurt his thumb. He filled in admirably, scoring four runs and batting .250 in the Fall Classic. His pinch single in the deciding game sparked a five-run Pittsburgh rally and set the stage for Bill Mazeroski's dramatic home run in the ninth inning.

-He played sparingly for the Pirates and Braves the following year, but found himself back in the starting lineup after being drafted by the Athletics. In 1962, he led the American League with 15 triples. Though the rest of his offensive numbers dipped in 1963, he banged out another 11 triples to place fourth in the league.

-Gino's decline came on abruptly. He saw action in just 42 games in 1964, batting .119 with the A's and Orioles before being demoted to AAA Rochester. The Angels barely used him the next year before releasing him in May. In parts of ten seasons, he hit .265 with 44 home runs and 321 RBI.

-In his post-baseball career, Cimoli became a UPS driver. In 1990, the company honored him for 21 years of service without a single traffic accident. He was light-heartedly referred to as "the Cal Ripken of UPS".

-Today, the 81-year-old still calls San Francisco his home.
#569 Gino Cimoli (back)


  1. It's "Hatless guys with oily hair" week here at TG65TP!!!

    Hey, it worked once didn't it?

  2. Curious about one thing. What did you mean about him being "drafted" by the Athletics? I know there was an expansion draft when the leagues expanded, but the Athletics were not an expansion team. And Cimoli was already in the majors so he couldn't have been a Rule 5 draftee (if that existed then). Was there some other kind of process back then?

    And, again, it's jarring to see a big league player that was a UPS driver.

  3. Thats a tremendous amount of triples while playing the 2 years in k.c.--wodering if the ballpark there could have been a factor. I remember this card as a kid in '65...probably because the face has alot of character

  4. Bob - You don't know how right you are.

    Marc - It actually was the rule 5 draft. I guess the terms have changed since then.

    Brox - It's also an interesting name. Leaves an impression.

  5. Remembrances and condolences for GINO CIMOLI upon his departure from the scene ...

    Every team should have as good a utilityman coming off the bench as he was throughout his career ...

    This card is by far the best issued during his career.


  6. Gotta love that hair. Here are a couple more guys with pompadours and marcels and other tonsorial abominations from the golden age: