The Baseball Life of Ernie Lombardi


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About the Book

One of the most popular players in Cincinnati Reds history, Ernie “Schnozz” Lombardi played 1931–1947 as an eight-time All-Star catcher. A big man with huge hands, a cannon for an arm and a namesake nose, he held two National League batting titles and a career average of .306. Yet he was so famously slow a runner that the infielders took to the outfield, where they could still throw him out. Fastballs not thrown hard enough were caught barehanded and fired back to the mound.
One unfortunate play in the 1939 World Series dogged Lombardi for the rest of his life and kept him from the Hall of Fame until long after his death. This first full-length biography gives a complete account of this outstanding player.

About the Author(s)

David L. Fleitz is a web developer and database analyst who lives in Troy, Michigan. A longtime SABR member, he has written nine other books on baseball history.

Bibliographic Details

David L. Fleitz
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 221
Bibliographic Info: 26 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8921-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5050-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

 1. The Early Years 3

 2. Brooklyn 13

 3. Cincinnati 23

 4. “The Giant Italian Catcher” 33

 5. The Crosley Era 40

 6. Night Baseball 49

 7. An ­All-Star Year 57

 8. Back to Last Place 66

 9. MVP 77

10. Pennant 89

11. Tragedy and Triumph 101

12. Letdown 115

13. Boston 124

14. New York 135

15. The War Years 143

16. Backup 152

17. Back to the Minors 162

18. Aftermath 170

19. Later Years 176

20. The Hall of Fame 188

Appendix: Ernie Lombardi’s Statistics 197

Chapter Notes 199

Bibliography 207

Index 209