Frankie Crosetti

Last updated
Frankie Crosetti
Frank Crosetti 1969.jpg
Crosetti in 1969
Born:(1910-10-04)October 4, 1910
San Francisco, California
Died: February 11, 2002(2002-02-11) (aged 91)
Stockton, California
Batted: RightThrew: Right
MLB debut
April 12, 1932, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1948, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Batting average .245
Hits 1,541
Runs batted in 649
As player

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Frank Peter Joseph Crosetti (October 4, 1910 – February 11, 2002) was an American baseball shortstop. Nicknamed "The Crow", he spent his whole seventeen-year Major League Baseball playing career with the New York Yankees before becoming a coach with the franchise for an additional twenty seasons. As a player and third base coach for the Yankees, Crosetti was part of seventeen World Championship teams and 23 World Series participants overall, from 1932 to 1964, the most of any individual.

Baseball Sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

Shortstop defensive position in baseball and softball played on the left side of the infield between second and third bases

Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball or softball fielding position between second and third base, which is considered to be among the most demanding defensive positions. Historically the position was assigned to defensive specialists who were typically poor at batting and were often placed at the bottom of the batting order. Today shortstops are often able to hit well and many are placed at the top of the lineup. In the numbering system used by scorers to record defensive plays, the shortstop is assigned the number 6.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, and the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.


Early years

Crosetti was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in North Beach, which was something of a hotbed of Italian-American talent on the baseball field during the 1920s & 1930s (Tony Lazzeri, Charlie Silvera & the three DiMaggio brothers also hail from the same neighborhood). [1] Before joining the Yankees, Crosetti played four seasons with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League.

North Beach, San Francisco Neighborhood in San Francisco, California, United States

North Beach is a neighborhood in the northeast of San Francisco adjacent to Chinatown, the Financial District, and Russian Hill. The neighborhood is San Francisco's "Little Italy" and has historically been home to a large Italian American population. It still has many Italian restaurants, though many other ethnic groups currently live in the neighborhood. It was also the historic center of the beatnik subculture and has become one of San Francisco's main nightlife districts as well as a residential neighborhood populated by a mix of young urban professionals, families, and Chinese immigrants.

Baseball field field on which baseball is played (for the whole stadium, see baseball park)

A baseball field, also called a ball field, sandlot or a baseball diamond, is the field upon which the game of baseball is played. The term can also be used as a metonym for a baseball park.

Tony Lazzeri American baseball player and coach

Anthony Michael Lazzeri was an Italian-American professional baseball second baseman during the 1920s and 1930s, predominantly with the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. He was part of the famed "Murderers' Row" Yankee batting lineup of the late 1920s, along with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Bob Meusel.

New York Yankees

A 1933 Goudey baseball card of Crosetti FrankieCrosettiGoudeycard.jpg
A 1933 Goudey baseball card of Crosetti

Crosetti joined the Yankees in 1932, and batted .241 with five home runs and 57 runs batted in at the bottom of the Yankees' batting order. He was part of a World Series Championship his first year in the big leagues as the Yankees completed a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series two days shy of Crosetti's 22nd birthday. [2]

Batting average (baseball)

In baseball, the batting average (BA) is defined by the number of hits divided by at bats. It is usually reported to three decimal places and read without the decimal: A player with a batting average of .300 is "batting three-hundred." If necessary to break ties, batting averages could be taken beyond the .001 measurement. In this context, a .001 is considered a "point," such that a .235 batter is 5 points higher than a .230 batter.

Chicago Cubs Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The Chicago Cubs are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. The team plays its home games at Wrigley Field, located on the city's North Side. The Cubs are one of two major league teams in Chicago; the other, the Chicago White Sox, is a member of the American League (AL) Central division. The Cubs, first known as the White Stockings, were a founding member of the NL in 1876, becoming the Chicago Cubs in 1903.

The finest year of Crosetti's career came in 1936, when Crosetti batted .288 with fifteen home runs, 78 RBIs and 137 runs scored (all career highs). Batting lead-off, he was named an American League All-Star for the first time in his career, [3] and reached the World Series for the second time. Crosetti batted .269 in the Yankees' six game victory over the New York Giants in the 1936 World Series, and drove in the winning run in the Yankees' 2-1 victory in game three. [4] The 1936 season was the first of a string of four World Series titles for Crosetti and the Yankees.

American League Baseball league, part of Major League Baseball

The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League (AL), is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major league status. It is sometimes called the Junior Circuit because it claimed Major League status for the 1901 season, 25 years after the formation of the National League.

Major League Baseball All-Star Game exhibition game played by Major League Baseball players representing each league

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual professional baseball game sanctioned by Major League Baseball (MLB) contested between the All-Stars from the American League (AL) and National League (NL), currently selected by fans for starting fielders, by managers for pitchers, and by managers and players for reserves.

After a poor 1940 season, he lost his starting shortstop job to Phil Rizzuto in 1941. He reinherited the starting shortstop job when Rizzuto joined the Navy for battle in World War II, however, became a reserve once again when Rizzuto rejoined the club in 1946. Crosetti then became a player/coach for the club through the 1948 season.

Phil Rizzuto American baseball player

Philip Francis Rizzuto, nicknamed "The Scooter", was an American Major League Baseball shortstop. He spent his entire 13-year baseball career with the New York Yankees (1941–1956), and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

Career stats

Games PA AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO Avg. Slg. OBP HBP Fld%

In 29 World Series games, Crosetti batted .174 with one home run, eleven RBIs and sixteen runs scored. His only World Series home run was a two-run shot off Dizzy Dean in game two of the 1938 World Series that gave the Yankees a 4–3 lead over the Cubs. [5] Perhaps Crosetti's second most memorable moment in postseason play occurred in game three of the 1942 World Series when he shoved umpire Bill Summers, an act for which he received a $250 fine from Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis and was suspended the first 30 games of the 1943 season. [6]

Dizzy Dean American baseball player and coach

Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean, also known as Jerome Herman Dean, was an American professional baseball pitcher. During Dean's Major League Baseball (MLB) career, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Browns. A brash and colorful personality, he was the last National League (NL) pitcher to win 30 games in one season (1934). After his playing career, “Ol’ Diz” became a popular television sports commentator. Dean was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. When the Cardinals reopened the team Hall of Fame in 2014, Dean was inducted among the inaugural class.

The 1938 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Chicago Cubs, with the Yankees sweeping the Series in four games for their seventh championship overall and record third straight.

The 1942 World Series featured the defending champion New York Yankees against the St. Louis Cardinals, with the Cardinals winning the Series in five games for their first championship since 1934 and their fourth overall.

He led the AL in plate appearances twice (1938 and 1939), stolen bases once (1938), strikeouts twice (1937 and 1938) and in being hit by pitches eight times (1934, 1936–40, 1942 and 1945). Crosetti was known as the weak link in the Yankees batting order, but he was also known as a slick fielder and for his ability to pull off the hidden ball trick. [7] He earned eight World Series rings as a player, and was a two-time All-Star (1936 and 1939).

Coaching career

Crosetti became third base coach with the Yankees in 1946 and was part of an additional nine World Series championships as a coach with the franchise once he retired as a player after the 1948 season. He was said to be the "perfect coach", because he had no ambition whatsoever to manage, turning down numerous offers over the years to do so. [8] After 37 years, longing to be closer to his family in Northern California, [9] he left the franchise to join the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969. [10] He moved to the Minnesota Twins from 1970 to 1971, after the Pilots (who became the Milwaukee Brewers) didn't renew his contract. [11]

It has been said of Crosetti that he has waved home 16,000 runners in 25 years in the third-base coaching box. [12]


Crosetti died in 2002 at age 91 from complications of a fall in Stockton, California and was entombed at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. He was survived by his wife of 63 years, Norma, his son, John, and his daughter, Ellen. [13]

See also

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  1. Paul Glader (February 21, 2002). "Frank Crosetti". WebCite. Archived from the original on September 2, 2009.
  2. "1932 World Series". September 28 – October 2, 1932.
  3. "1936 All-Star Game". July 7, 1936.
  4. "1936 World Series, Game Three". October 3, 1936.
  5. "1938 World Series, Game Two". October 6, 1938.
  6. "Landis Fines Yanks Stars". The Pittsburgh Press. November 6, 1942.
  7. Mike Sommer (March 6, 2011). "Classic Yankees: Frank Crosetti". Bronx Baseball Daily.
  8. Grayson, Harry (October 3, 1957). "Crosetti Most Typical Yankee". New York World Telegram & Sun.
  9. Durso, Joseph (October 5, 1968). "Crosetti Ends 37 Years as Yankee". The New York Times.
  10. "Crosetti Ends Stint With Yanks". The Windsor Star. October 4, 1968.
  11. Lamey, Mike (April 25, 1970). "Frank Crosetti -- Baseball's No.1 Traffic Cop". Minneapolis Star.
  12. Roy Blount Jr. (May 10, 1971). "A Chance To Stay In A Young Man's Game". Sports Illustrated .
  13. Goldstein, Richard (February 13, 2002). "Frank Crosetti, 91, a Fixture In Yankee Pinstripes, Is Dead". New York Times . p. 2.