Saturday, September 16, 2006

September 16th, 1928

Vito Valentinetti Born

Well, this ends the discussion. This is absolutely the most Italian name in the history of baseball. I had long thought the title belonged to Archi Cianfrocco but it turns out I was wrong, Vito takes it, hands down. Something else I like about Vito, his listed place of birth is "West New York, NJ." I don't know if that's a typo or what, but it works on a couple of levels since you can definitely see some gangster types being from West New York (this is "Vito, from West New York, we brought him for some protection) but then, we all know there are also gangsters in New Jersey.

His name aside, Vito wasn't much of a player, he pitched just over two hundred and fifty innings for his career and finished with a 13-14 record and a substantially below average 4.73 ERA. Vito seemed to have a special talent for pitching a good half a season with one team, only to be accquired by another and let them down, performing the trick twice in a five a year career, burning the Indians in 1957 and Senators in 1958. After ten terrible innings with the Senators in 1959 Vito was out of baseball for good, and into Italian-named legend.

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