Aug 2, 2015

Former Italian / American New York Giants Player: Joe Lafata (1947-1949)

Joseph Joseph Lafata was born on August 3rd, 1921 in Detroit Michigan. He began his career playing for an affiliate of the home town Detroit Tigers before going off to serve two years in World War II.

When he returned he was signed by the New York Giants & hit .298 at AAA Jersey City in 1946 as a team mate of Bobby Thompson. He made the Giants club in 1947 playing in 62 games overall, seeing action in twenty games as an outfielder & two games at first base. He hit just .221 but walked 15 times to post a .33 on base %. 

On May 30th he hit his first career HR helping the Giants to a 5-3 win and a doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. Three days later he hit his second & only other HR of the season against the Cincinnati Reds. In 1948 he played at AAA Minneapolis batting .289 with 14 HRs & 76 Ribs, getting to New York for just one game with the Giants.

In 1949 he had his last year in the majors batting .236 with 3 HRs & 16 RBIs in 64 games for the 5th place club. In a short three year career he batted .229 with 5 HRs 34 RBIs & a .303 on base %.

Lafata went on to play in the Pacific Coast League through 1952. In nine minor league seasons he hit .263 with 59 HRs & 303 RBIs. He went on to live a long life passing away in Roseville Michigan in 2004 at age 82.

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