07-15-2007, 04:48 PM
who remembers watching John Antonelli pitch?
07-16-2007, 06:46 PM
I saw Antonelli pitch many times at the Polo Grounds and on television. He was acquired from the Braves for Ebba St. Claire and Bobby Thomson. He had a good fastball and curve ball. For a pitcher he was not a bad hitter. During the season, he lived in Jamaica Estates in Queens. In 1954, he won 21games as the Giants won the pennant and beat Cleveland in the World Series. Antonelli started game 2 of the Series. Al Smith hit his first pitch for a home run. Antonelli settled down and went on to win the game. He also relieved Hoyt Wilhelm in Game 4 in Cleveland to preserve a 10-6 win, which gave the Gaints a sweep of Cleveland.
He went with the Giants to San Francisco. Antonelli disliked the cold, damp and windy conditions, which were prevalent at Seals Stadium and later at Candlestick Park. Antonelli pitched a game against the Dodgers one night when the Giants first moved west. He was leading in the late innings, when Charlie Neal hit a routine fly ball to left field. Jackie Brandt thought he had the ball than the wind started to gust and the ball went over the left field fence. Antonelli was upset and had no problem telling the San Francisco media the wind in San Francisco wreaks havoc on fly balls. Bill Gallo the renowned cartoonist for the New York Daily News decided to due a caricature of Antonelli wailing like a baby with the winds swirling about him.
In 1961, the All Star Game was in San Francisco. Stu Miller came into pitch for the National League. The winds started to gust and blew Miller off the rubber. Antonelli was vindicated. Unfortunately, he was soon traded to Cleveland with Willie Kirkland for Harvey Kuenn.
07-17-2007, 08:07 AM
The guy had the misfortune to be signed in 1948 under the old "baby bonus" rules. Didn't really become a productive major leaguer until 1953. From 1953-1959 he was a productive pitcher but hated Candlestiok Park. I believe arm injuries forced him out of the game before he was 32.
He did hit 15 HR's in his career but his career .480 OPS really descibes him as a hitter.