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Joe Altobelli
First Baseman / Manager
Born: May 26, 1932 (1932-05-26) (age 77)
Detroit, Michigan
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
April 14, 1955 for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1961 for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
Batting average     .210
Hits     54
Run batted in     28
As Player

As Manager

Joseph Salvatore Altobelli (born May 26, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American former player, manager and coach in Major League Baseball. In 1983, he succeeded Hall of Famer Earl Weaver as manager of the Baltimore Orioles and led the team to their sixth American League pennant and their third (and most recent) World Series championship.


Personal life

Born and raised in Detroit, the versatile Altobelli earned All-City recognition in football, basketball and baseball while attending Eastern High School.[1][2] Joe married Patsy Ruth Wooten on May 3, 1952; they had six children: Mike, Mark, Jody, Jackie, Jerry and Joe.

Baseball career



As a player, Altobelli was a slugging first baseman and outfielder who enjoyed his greatest success at the AAA level. He batted only .210 in 166 games for the Cleveland Indians (1955, 1957) and Minnesota Twins (1961), with five home runs and 28 runs batted in. However, he was frequently in the double-digits in homers as an AAA player. As a member of the Montreal Royals, he led the 1960 International League (IL) in homers (31) and RBI (105). He batted and threw left-handed.


Minor Leagues

In 1966, Altobelli began an 11-year apprenticeship as a manager in the Baltimore farm system, culminating in six seasons (19711976) managing the Rochester Red Wings of the IL. During his tenure, the Red Wings finished first four times. In 1977, Altobelli got his first big league managing job, leading the San Francisco Giants. Although his 1978 club finished 16 games above .500 and in third place in the National League West Division, Altobelli was dismissed in 1979, his third season, with a mark of only 225–239 (.485) as Giants' manager.

He then joined the New York Yankees as manager of their AAA farm club, the Columbus Clippers.

New York Yankees (coach)

After another first-place IL finish in 1980, Altobelli became a Yankees coach in 19811982, working under Gene Michael, Bob Lemon and Clyde King.

Baltimore Orioles

Before the 1983 season, he was named the surprise successor to Weaver, finishing a legendary, 14½-season career as Baltimore's manager. Altobelli rose to the occasion, leading the O's to 98 wins, the AL East championship, then a three-games-to-one triumph over the Chicago White Sox in the American League Championship Series. The Orioles then dominated the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1983 World Series, winning in five games.

The Orioles fell to fifth in the AL East in 1984, despite playing eight games over .500. In May 1985, when they continued to tread water at 29–26, Altobelli was let go. Weaver came out of retirement, but of 105 games under his command, Baltimore won only 53.

After Baltimore

Altobelli then returned to coaching. He worked with the Yankees again (19861987), then served under Don Zimmer with the Chicago Cubs from 19881991, and filled in as interim manager when Zimmer was fired in 1991 until eventually replaced by Jim Essian.

Later years

He then returned to Rochester and took over as general manager of the Red Wings in 1991, a position he held for three years. After that he served as special assistant to the club president until 1997, and in 1998 he began serving as color commentator for Red Wings home-game broadcasts. In early 2009 he announced his retirement from that position, making 2009 the first year he will be out of organized baseball since 1950[3]. He has long considered Rochester his home, having lived there since 1966, and he plans to continue attending games at Frontier Field.

His career Major League managing record is 437–407 (.518).


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External links


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