OK, Red Sox faithful, remember last week when even die-hard Boston fans had to suffer through that insufferable three-hour-plus rain delay in Minnesota? Some ingenious staff member of the Twins (probably an underpaid college intern) came up with the astoundingly brilliant idea to entertain the faithful few who hung in during the lengthy delay with a movie. And of course, the movie chosen just had to have a baseball theme, so they showed the entire film “The Sandlot.”
Bosox announcers Orsillo and RemDog had a field day with quotes from the movie.
The unique time-killer gave me pause to ask: What would I do if I were in charge at Fenway and we encountered a long weather-induced delay? I would copy what Minnesota did. But my favorite movies are gangster movies, especially Mafia gangster movies cause I’m Italian-American. So I decided to add a twist to fill the time. Why not combine the best of both worlds? Mafia gangster movies with the selection of the All-Time Boston Red Sox Italian-American Player team?
A search through the Red Sox archives revealed a great many Italian Americans have, in fact, played for the Red Sox, while out on parole. (Sarcastic humor intended here for the politically correct).
Consider this totally tongue-in-cheek with no offense meant toward anyone of any ethnic background. If you want to file suit, fugidhaboutit. So here’s what my research revealed, broken down position by position–with one exception: the outfielders were a little hard to figure out because some played multiple outfield positions–so we will lump them all together. And to tell you the truth, some of the names were difficult to distinguish as to whether they were Italian or Latino/Hispanic players. But my crack research team, consisting of my Golden Retriever Rocky, who likes to fetch baseballs but refuses to retrieve them to his owner, did the best he could in making the ethnic and cultural distinction.
To add even more Italian-American flavor to this post and combine my love of baseball with enjoyment of Mafia gangster movies, each position is brought to you by a memorable gangster movie quote.
So, without further ado, cue the orchestra with strains of “The Godfather” theme and we are off to the races.
Here is the Boston Red Sox All Italian-American team by position:
1st Base-Sponsored by Don Vito Corleone: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”–The Godfather
Dolph Camilli 1945
Jeremy Giambi 2003
Rick Lancelotti 1990
Mike Napoli 2013-present
2nd Base-Sponsored by Al Capone: “I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground!”–The Untouchables
Ken Aspromonte 1957
Tony Graffanino 2005-2006
Mark Loretta 2006
Ski Melillo 1935-37
Dustin Pedroia 2006-present
Andy Spognardi 1932
3rd Base-Sponsored by Henry Hill: “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”–Goodfellas
Sam Dente 1947
Carmen Fanzone 1970
Frank Malzone 1955-65
Jeff Manto 1996
Lou Merloni 1998-2003
Eddie Pellagrini 1946-47
Nick Punto 2011-2012
Danny Valencia 2012
Short Stop-Sponsored by Tony Montana: “In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then, when you get the money, you get the power. Then, when you get the power, you get the women.”–Scarface
Joe Giannini 1911
Rico Petrocelli 1963-76
Marco Scutaro (Honorary Selection) 2009-20012
Outfielders-Sponsored by Al Capone: “There was an old saying in my neighborhood that you would get further with a kind word and a gun than you would with a kind word.”–The Untouchables
Dante Bichette 2000-2001
Bernie Carbo 1974-1978
Rocco Baldelli 2009
Shane Victorino 2013-present (yeah, we know he’s Hawaiian, but Sons of Italy is claiming him as their own. Never know when you might need a really fast guy for a clean get-a-way).
Babe Barna 1943
Joe Cicero 1929-1930
Billy Conigliaro 1969-1971
Tony Conigliaro 1964-67, 69-70, 75. (God rest your soul, Paisan).
Dom Dallassandro 1937
Dom Dimaggio 1940-1953
Bob DiPietro 1951
Phil Gagliano 1971-72
Al Zarilla 1949-53
Pitchers-Sponsored by Richard Castellano (in the role of Clemenze): “It’s a Sicialian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”–The Godfather
Eddie Cicotte 1908-1912
Lenny DiNardo 2004-2007, 2011
Dick Drago 1974/1980
Jeff Fassero 2000
Pete Margrini 1966
Mike Meola 1933-1936
Spike Merena 1934
Matt Perisho 2005
Bill Pertica 1918
Joe Sambito 1986-87
Frank (Sweet Music) Viola 1992-94
So there you have it. BadaBing. Hope we didn’t leave anybody out.
So, in reviewing our All Italian American Boston Red Sox team, remember the immortal words of Richard Costellano playing the role of Clemenze in “The Godfather.”–“Leave the gun, take the cannolis.”
That quote was later paraphrased for baseball purposes and was translated into: “Take two and go to right.”
Until next time, Arrevederci!