Wednesday, January 29, 2014

#151 Archi Cianfrocco

About the Front: Hold your horses! It looks like the third base coach may have thrown up a hasty stop sign as Archi Cianfrocco rounded second base at San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium. Archi appeared in three road games vs. the Padres in 1992, and my best guess is that this photo was taken on Sunday, July 5. In the ninth inning, the rookie faced Mike Maddux with nobody out, Delino DeShields on first, and Montreal down 3-2. He lined a single to right field and moved to second on an unsuccessful attempt to throw out DeShields at third base. Spike Owen followed with a game-tying sac fly and the Expos won it in the tenth.

About the Back: There's a rare back photo cameo, by an unidentified catcher.

Triple Play:

1. "Archi" is short for "Angelo"...somehow.

2. In six seasons with the Padres, Cianfrocco played every position except center field and pitcher. His lone inning at catcher came on June 9, 1996 after San Diego manager Bruce Bochy subbed out regular catchers Brian Johnson and Brad Ausmus. Pitcher Ron Villone tossed a 1-2-3 ninth, and Archi received no defensive chances.

3. When the Padres traveled to Cooperstown to participate in 1997's Hall of Fame exhibition game, Archi was an unlikely winner in the pregame Home Run Derby.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: My favorite baseball book is Lords of the Realm by John Helyar. In a section detailing the Padres' infamous 1993 fire sale, he quotes a letter from a young fan to San Diego ownership: "I am very upset because you had the nerve to trade Gary Sheffield for a very bad player. You guys are stupid. I should know. I'm 11. And I'm smarter than you." Cianfrocco was acquired the day before Sheffield was dealt, ostensibly to take the star's place. That's one cold-blooded middle schooler.

Bill James Said: "(The Padres) wanted Cianfrocco to play third, but he doesn't look anything like a third baseman, and, as Dan Rather said, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it can't play third base."

On This Date in 1993: The Angels sign Jerome Walton, who won the 1989 Rookie of the Year award with the Cubs. He will appear in only five games for California, going 0-for-2 with a walk.


  1. I love this post. Archi Cianfrocco is one of my all time favorite players. If not for the Padres fire sale in 1993, that spot might've gone to Fred McGriff. Anyways, Archi was great. You could always tell who the true Padre fans were, because they knew and loved Cianfrocco. Dude was a gamer and was always the first person that you wanted off the bench.

    The pinnacle of my blogging career was when I googled "Archi Cianfrocco" and a blog post I wrote wound up on the first page. It's probably not that hard to do, but it's something I'm proud of.

  2. One of the best names ever. He's from Rome, NY which is kind of close to Night Owl country. Maybe being close to home inspired him in the Home Run Derby

  3. Marcus - Thanks for sharing! It's always great to be reminded that every player is a favorite to somebody.

    Bob - I wonder if any of Archi's family members were there to root for him.