By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
In this spotlight story, we’ll look into the baseball career of Ed Abbaticchio. Besides playing baseball, he also played professional football.
He was the first player in MLB history, along with in professional football, of Italian ancestry. Abbaticchio was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on April 15, 1877.
In his MLB career, he began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent two season with the Phillies in 1897 and 1989.
He then moved to the Boston Beaneaters, where he played from 1903 through 1905. In 1907, he moved to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he played three plus seasons from 1907 through 1910, before returning to Boston
In 1910, he began the season with the Pirates, where he played three seasons. He then played 52 games with the Boston Doves.
Besides playing professional baseball in MLB, he also played from 1895 to 1900 with the Latrobe Athletic Association as a professional football player. He was one of the first professional football players.
He was a fullback and kicker, while receiving $50 per game. In 1896, he was part of the Latrobe players, who traveled to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania while playing a local team from DuBoise.
Just 12 minutes into the game, there was a riot with Punxsutawney leading 12-0.
According to Fielding H. Yost, Abbaticchio is believed to be credited with the first spiral punt.
In his nine-year MLB career, Abbaticchio had a .254 batting average with 11 home runs and 324 RBIs in 855 games. He also had 99 doubles and 43 triples on772 hits, while scoring 355 runs.
He also won the World Series with the 1909 Pirates. He had one at-bat and struck out in one game of the seven-game series with the Pirates winning 4-3 over the Detroit Tigers.
Abbaticchio died on Jan. 6, 1957 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is buried in St. Mary Cemetery in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
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