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Former Pilots catcher Jim Pagliaroni passes away

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  • Former Pilots catcher Jim Pagliaroni passes away

    Jim Pagliaroni, 72, a former major league catcher who was behind home plate for Jim "Catfish" Hunter's perfect game with the Oakland A's in 1968, died Saturday at his home in Grass Valley, Calif. He had cancer and heart problems.

    Pagliaroni played for the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland A's and the expansion Seattle Pilots in 11 seasons. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Pagliaroni finished with a .252 batting average and had only 41 errors overall and a .991 fielding average.

    In 1962, he came close to catching a perfect game with the Red Sox when pitcher Bill Monbouquette gave up no hits and allowed only a walk against the Chicago White Sox.

    Born Dec. 8, 1937, in Dearborn, Mich., Pagliaroni grew up in Long Beach, where he attended Wilson High School.

    In 1955, he was drafted by the Red Sox, who gave him a bonus contract of $50,000. But he was called to serve in the Army from 1956 to 1958, then played his first full season in the majors in 1960.

    He finished his baseball career with the Pilots in 1969, a season that teammate Jim Bouton immortalized in his brazen, nonfiction account, "Ball Four."

    Pagliaroni later became an executive with a food distribution company in the Western United States. He also raised funds for the ALS Foundation to help honor Hunter, who died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, in 1999.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/obituari...,3940387.story

  • #2
    Supplied a lot of the best one-liners in "Ball Four" -- a funny man.

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    • #3
      RIP Jim.

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      • #4
        Yes, RIP Jim and thanks for being among the many Yankee opponents of my 1960's childhood with memorable exotic sounding names like Andy Etchebarren, Zoilo Versailles, Rico Petrocelli, and team mate Bill Monboquette.

        I know his playing days pre-date Nancy Faust's time as Comiskey organist (she started in 1970), but there was a late 1960's AL organist (from either Tiger, Comiskey, or Baltimore's Memorial) who would play a musical cue whenever a batter from either side stepped up to the plate.

        It MIGHT have been in Chicago, because I remember a game on TV (NBC's Game of the Week?) against the White Sox and Ron Hansen steps up to the plate and after the PA announces his name there was a 3-note tune from the organist that kind of musically chimed his name. In the limited means of computer screen-text describing music, it went something like: "duuuuuuuuuh-DAH-daaaaah." Other improv tunes were sounded for other batters.

        I bring all this up because I remember hearing a Pagliaroni at bat being musically seranaded by the jingle tune for Rice-A-Roni (I wonder how many post-boomers can recall that TV commercial?) and thought about how a funny-sounding name was made even funnier to a 12 year old mind... Or is it possible I read about that in "Ball Four"?

        Thanks for the childhood memories, Pags...

        Dennis
        BrooklynDodger14

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