Saturday, July 29, 2017

#303  Joe Pepitone #304 Joe Pepitone-In Action

Groomed to be the next legendary Yankee....known for his 1960’s New York days, just like another Joe of NY Jets football fame....Pepitone never reached the stardom, notoriety, and controversy of Namath....although Namath was never shot in abdomen like Pepitone was....came on like gangbusters in second year of 1963 leading the Bronx Bombers....reached 100 RBIs in 1964 and hit a grand slam in the WS....future looked bright but the following years in NY were uneven...sometimes showing good power (31 HRs 1966) sometimes a disappointment (13, 1967) far off from Mickey’s body of work....BA did not deviate far from .250....Mostly a 1st baseman but had forays in Centerfield....unusal...NYY not foreseeing a major upgrade in output swapped Joe to Houston for Curt Belfrey for 1970....bad deal on both sides.....Joe free form style clashed badly with traditionalist Harry Walker (although production did not decline) refused to play.... trade to Chicago Cubs was a god send for two reasons....catalyst for playoff drive and could manage his chain of local hair stylist shops....Stuck around Wrigley-ville for 1971....had best BA of .307 about 50 point over career average....1972 Joe was stopped cold by injuries mid seasons....never fully recovered....bizarre comeback attempt in 1973....started in Chicago, then a month  Atlanta, released and tried his luck in Japan for few games....totally alienated (might have been a worst situation than Houston).... laid low for a few years....resurfaced in 1976 AAA Hawaii, baseball answers to a pseudo-retirement home....another ill fated adventure but at least it was a paid vacation trip for the three time all star and two time gold glovers....I like to think that’s how Joe looked at it.


  1. And he was beaned by Cosmo Kramer!

    1. Even though I loved Seinfeld I can't recall the episode (was it the softball game with the cast of the play Rachel Rachel?). But it makes perfect sense though, since Joe was a NY 60's fixture and on teams that ended up being a bit more human. No NY Met could have reached the same notoriety because no stuck around that long.

  2. Wrote a book Joe, You Coulda Made Us Proud. Quite an interesting read when I was a teenager...wasn't Ball Four that's for certain!

  3. A true representative of the life and times of being a Yankee in the 60's