Sunday, February 1, 2015

1978 Topps Baseball #256 - Joe Altobelli


  • Joe Altobelli was originally signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1951.Joe spent  most of the decade in the minor leagues as a first baseman with some pop. Altobelli played parts of two seasons with the Indians (1955 and 1957), but he didn't hit much. Joe led the International League in home runs and RBI in 1960. Joe played for the Minnesota Twins for part of the 1961 season, then it was back to the minors for the rest of his playing career.
  • Altobelli managed in the Baltimore Orioles system from 1966-1976 (except 1968). He was a successful AAA manager -- the Rochester Red Wings finished in first place four times in six years. 
  • The Red Wings had a .638 winning percentage in 1976. Joe got his chance to manage in the majors with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants weren't much of a team in 1977, but they were surprise contenders in 1978. The Giants won 89 games and finished third behind the Dodgers and Reds in the NL West. After the Giants struggled early in the 1979 season, Joe was let go.
  • Altobelli managed the AAA Columbus Clippers in 1980 and then was a coach with the New York Yankees in 1981 and 1982.
  • Joe was hired to succeed Earl Weaver as manager of the Baltimore Orioles in 1983. The Orioles won the World Championship that year, but they finished fifth in 1984. After Baltimore got off to a slow start in 1985, Altobelli was replaced by Weaver in mid-June.
  • Altobelli coached with theYankees in 1986 and 1987, then coached with the Chicago Cubs from 1989 to 1991. Joe was the interim manager of the Cubs after Don Zimmer was fired in 1991. Joe managed part of one game (he was ejected from the game for arguing with the umpired) before giving way to Jim Essian.
  • Joe worked as the General Manager of the Rochester Red Wings from 1991-1994 and then was a special assistant to the club president until 1997. Altobelli then worked as  a color commentator for Rochester home games until 2009.
  • Managerial Record:
    • San Francisco Giants (1977-1979): 225-239 (.485)
    • Baltimore Orioles (1983-1985): 212-167 (.559) - World Championship in 1983
    • Chicago Cubs (1991): 0-1 (.000)