Bob Ramazzotti

"Jackie Robinson was a loner and the other players didn't associate with him."  According to local baseball historian Tom Sipes, that was how Sipes' close personal friend and former major leaguer Bob Ramazzotti described Robinson.

 

Altoona's own Bob Ramazzotti was born January 16th, 1917 in Elanora, PA and spent seven years in and out of the major leagues with The Brooklyn dodgers and Chicago Cubs, primarily as a second and third baseman.

 

Graduating from Altoona High School in 1936, he was active in intramural sports, winning the school's 135lb boxing championship as a senior.  Shortly after graduation, he began making a name for himself on the sandlots of Altoona and Midland, MD.

 

Early in 1939, he was invited by The Pittsburgh Pirates for a workout.  They offered him a contract, but he didn't like the money.  Later that summer, he also turned down the Pennsylvania State Association's Johnstown Johnnies, the class D affiliate of The Philadelphia Phillies.

 

Ramazzotti was so impressive that he was even referred to by The New York Times as ":an embryonic Honus Wagner"

 

Then, he left behind his days in Altoona and signed with The Brooklyn Dodgers, who ironically assigned him to Johnstown, which became their affiliate over the winter.

 

Ramazzotti made a remarkable professional deburt on May 10, 1940.  In front of a Johnstown crowd which included Brnch Rickey Jr., he blasted a grand slam to help the Johnnies win against McKeesport 15-8.  The 23 year old dominated Class D pitching all season.

 

To read the complete article, please check out the upcoming book release They Came From Blair County due out by the end of the year.

* Photos are from the personal collection of local Baseball historian Tom Sipes

**Research from this article was obtained through the following resources.

 

1. Personal interview with Baseball historian Tom Sipes

2. The Society for American Baseball Research- www.sabr.org

3. Altoona Mirror- August 4-5 1939; June 4, 1945; August 16, 1946; December 16, 1957; May 14, 1988; October 21, 1999; February 17, 2000.

4. Altoona Tribune- August 30, 1939; September 14, 1939

5. Baseball-reference.com

6. Chicago Tribune- April 2, 1949; May 18, 1949; May 23, 1950; June 14, 1950; July 4, 1950; July 20, 1950; July 20-22, 1951; October 14, 1951; June 10, 1952; June 15, 1952; June 29, 1952; July 15, 1952.

7. The horseshoe- 1936

8. Johnstown Tribune Democrat- May 8, 1940; May 10, 1940; July 17, 1940; August 13, 1940; August 22, 1940; August 31, 1940.

9. Los Angeles Times- July 15, 1952; July 28, 1953

10 New York Times- August 2, 1939; August 4, 1939; August 21, 1946; January 7, 1948; May 12, 1949; June 17, 1951; September 3, 1952; May 5, 1953.

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