The Greatest Ever Italian-American Major League Baseball Players
By Loot, MLB Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Italian-Americans have been well-represented in the annals of baseball history. Some of the bigger names are an integral part of the baseball fabric. The success of Italian-Americans in the big leagues crosses many different eras. Here is a look at some of the best Italian-Americans to ever play America's national pastime.
Joe DiMaggio: The Yankee Clipper was one of the best to ever play the game. Historically, he places in the top pantheon of a small handful of greats to ever grace the baseball diamond. His 56-game hitting streak is still a record. He played for 13 seasons and is a 13-time All-Star. During his tenure, the Yankees won 9 World Series. One of the greatest fielding outfielders of all time, DiMaggio was the total package.
Roy Campanella: Still considered one of the best catchers to ever play the game even though his last game was in 1957, "Campy" played for ten seasons for the Brooklyn Dodgers. A car accident cut his career short, as he was paralyzed from the shoulders down. In his decade-long career, he was an 8-time All-Star and won an incredible 3 National League MVP Awards. Of all the runners who tried to steal a base while Campanella was catching, a remarkable 57% of them were thrown out. After his career ended, Campanella remained an inspiration until his passing in 1993.
Yogi Berra: An irreplaceable part of the sport's lore, Berra is probably the sport's most quoted player of all time, in addition to a Hall of Fame career as one of the greatest catchers to ever play. He played for 19 seasons, before serving as a manager for the two teams he played for--the Yankees and the Mets. He was an All-Star an amazing 18 times and his 13 World Series Championships attest to his legacy as one of the sport's greatest-ever winners. The 3-Time MVP is simply one of the greatest and most famous players to ever play the game.
Craig Biggio: While not one of the more famous people on this list, he is the only one who surpassed 3000 base hits. The 20-year Houston Astros star played from 1988-2007 and might just be that franchise's greatest-ever player. The 7-time All-Star had good speed and power, hitting 291 home runs as well as stealing 414 bases. He made the rare transition from catcher to second baseman. His 668 doubles make him 5th on the all-time list. He is the only player in Major League history with 3000 hits, 600 doubles, 250 home runs, and 400 steals.
John Franco: The lefty reliever played for 22 seasons in the bigs--for the Reds, Mets, and Astros. The 4-time All-Star was one of the more accomplished relievers of his era, compiling 424 saves (the most of any left-handed reliever) and a lifetime ERA of 2.89. The two-time Fireman of the Year Award winner led the league in saves three times. Franco had a ton of heart and made the teams he was on better.
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Jason Giambi: It's unfortunate that all the PED accusations have not only sullied Giambi's career, but a good number of the top players of his era. As of now, it's still difficult to figure out exactly how to quantify the accomplishments of players from the Juice Era. At any rate, Giambi was a heck of a ball player. The 5-time All-Star started off with the Oakland A's, before moving on to the Yankees. He would return the the A's, before spending several seasons in Colorado. Out of all the guys from that dicey era of baseball, he was the last one left standing. The 2000 MVP had some truly gigantic seasons and has a lifetime on-base percentage of over .400.
Paul Konerko: He started off with the Dodgers, before going to the Reds, then on to the White Sox--where he forged a career that will demand Hall of Fame consideration. Talk about a guy quietly putting up huge numbers, the 6-time All-Star has compiled a compelling list of career achievements. He always had power, but started off struggling as a hitter. He made himself into a trusted batsman, hitting .300 or better 4 times, in addition to consistently big power numbers. Bet on baseball for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!