Feb 28, 2016

1970's Italian / American Pitcher: Steve Mingori (1970-1979)

Steven Bernard Mingori was born on Leap year, 1944 in Kansas City, Missouri. He was a star player at his local Rockhurst high school, having his number retired there.

The five foot ten left hander went to Pittsburgh University and got signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 1965. After posting ERA’s under thee for three straight seasons in the minors, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians organization in 1970. 

 The crafty left hander was tough on right handed hitters especially when he threw his famous screwball. Mingori debuted with Cleveland in August 1970, getting his first win against the Detroit Tigers on September 15th. The next year he posted a 1.43 ERA in 56 innings pitched, making 54 appearances as a middle reliever.

He then struggled in 1972 putting up am 0-6 record with a 3.95 ERA. In June 1973 he was traded to his home town to pitch for the Kansas City Royals as a middle reliever.

He went 3-3 with a save that year, and even got a rare start on the last day of the season. Although he went seven strong innings pitching against the Rangers in Texas he still ended up taking the loss. It was only one of two starts he made in his entire career. Mingori pitched well out of the Royals pen the next six seasons posting ERA’s under three four times. 

In 1974 he had a 23 2/3 scoreless innings streak, and in 1975 he posted a career high ten saves which put him amongst the league’s top ten relievers. In the middle to late seventies during the Mingori Royals era, George Brett would emerge as one of the games best hitters & the Royals would win straight AL Western titles. 

Post Season: In the 1976 ALCS he pitched to just one batter in Game #3 & gave up a game winning double to New York's Elliot Maddox although he took no decision. He came back to earn the save in Game #4, pitching two innings while allowing a HR to Greg Nettles. 

In 1977 he saw action in three ALCS games, his best moment coming when he put out the fire in Game #2 with two runners on & one out. He retired the next two hitters to hold the 3-2 lead until Dennis Leonard blew the lead in the next inning. 

In the 1978 ALCS, Mingori was tagged for three runs on five hits in Game #1 at Kansas City, pitching three innings of middle relief. 

In 1978 the Royals had a great bullpen, which was named "Mungo, Hungo, Duck and the Bird" by manager Whitey Herzog. Mingori (Mungo) Al Hrabosky (Hungo) Marty Pattin (Duck) and Doug Bird (Bird). Mingori posted a 2.74 ERA and was second on the team in appearances with 45.

The 1979 season would be his last year pitching, he went 3-3 with a 5.79 ERA On August 20th he had a horrid outing where he allowed eight runs in an inning and a third against the AL New York club. 

Lifetime he pitched ten seasons going 18-33 with 42 saves, 329 strike outs 225 walks and a 3.03 ERA in 385 appearances. 

Retirement: After baseball he briefly coached for the Toronto Blue Jays organization in the early nineties. He later suffered back issues due to his wiry pitching motion. In July of 2008 Mingori passed away at age 64 due to natural causes.

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