Sep 29, 2012

Former Italian / American Player of the Day: Bill Consolo (1953-1962)

William Angelo Consolo was born August 18, 1934 in Ohio. His family moved to the West Coast, settling in Los Angeles where his father was a barber at the Statler Hilton Hotel in downtown L.A. He grew up in Los Angeles a long time friend of Sparky Anderson. Consolo was named Los Angeles High School Player of the Year in 1951-1952.


He along with Sparky Anderson & Bill Lacheman played on the American Legion Nation Champion team in 1951. The game was played at Tiger (Briggs) Stadium. The shortstop was signed by the Red Sox as a bonus baby in 1953 right out of high school. The Red Sox supposedly enhanced their offer by arranging to purchase the barber shop confectionery at the Los Angeles Hilton on behalf of his father.

He would play for the Red Sox for as their Opening Day second baseman the following year, Consolo played in a career high 91 games but only hit .227. He would become mostly a utility infielder in his MLB career batting a career high .270 in 68 games in 1957. He told a story on how he hit an inside the park HR at Fenway Park but was called out for not touching second base. He stormed out of the dugout & told the umpire he was wrong, he touched second but missed third base.

He was traded to the Senators in 1959, and then moved on to Minnesota, Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Angels, & the Kansas City A’s before hanging them up in 1962. In a 10 year career he played in 603 games batting .221 with 9 HRs 83 RBIs.

Retirement: After his playing days, he became a barber just like his dad at the Statler Hilton Hotel in L.A. in the sixties. The hotel is now The Wilshire Grand Hotel. He returned to baseball coaching the Detroit Tigers under his old friend Sparky Anderson. He coached in Detroit from 1979 -1992 & again in 1995. Consolo passed away in 2008 at West Lake Village, California at the age of 74.

1 comment:

Webster said...

"The Red Sox supposedly enhanced their offer by arranging to purchase the barber shop confectionery at the Los Angeles Hilton on behalf of his father."

I hear that place wasn't very popular, what with all the stray hairs in the candy.