Feb 5, 2016

Former New York Giants Player: Sam Calderone (1950/1953)

Samuel Francis Calderone was born February 6th 1926, in Beverly, New Jersey. Beverly is located in South Western New Jersey near the Pennsylvania border.

There he played football, golf & baseball in his High school years. The five foot ten catcher was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945, but was soon taken away by the New York Giants as a rule V draftee. 

In 1949 Calderone hit .317 at AA St. Paul, playing in sixty games as a back up to Ferrell Anderson. He made the Giants club as a backup catcher to Wes Westrum in 1950, playing in 33 games behind the plate. He posted a .972 fielding % throwing out one of the nine runners attempting to steal on him. He hit .299 (20-67) with one HR & 12 RBIs. 

Calderone made his debut on April 19th, 1950 finishing off a game at the Polo Grounds against the Boston Braves. In his second career game he drove in his first run in a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. On May 21st, he had a huge game against the Pittsburgh Pirates going 4-5 with a double & an RBI. That August he hit his only career HR, an inside the parker at the Polo Grounds against the Brooklyn Dodgers. 


 Calderone then went on to serve two years military service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. One of his team mates while playing at Fort Meyer Virginia was pitcher Johnny Antonelli. He then returned to the Giants in 1953, playing in 35 games behind the main catcher Wes Westrum, as well. That season the Giants also had backups Ray Noble & Sal Yvars. Calderone batted .222 & threw out four of the ten base runners trying to steal on him. 

 In February 1954 he was involved in a huge trade that sent Giants star Bobby Thomson to the Milwaukee Braves for Johnny Antonelli, Don Liddle & Billy Klaus as well as $50,000. Calderone was the team's third string catcher behind Del Crandall & Charlie White. He then played with the Braves organization for three seasons, with AA Portland in the Pacific Coast League. There on one historic Opening Day, he caught every inning of a 26 inning epic game for Portland. 


In his brief three year MLB career he played in 91 games batting .291 (41-91) with five doubles one HR & 25 RBIs. 

 Retirement: Calderone managed for the Giants minor leagues in the early sixties & then locally in New Jersey. 

Passing: He passed away at Mount Holly, New Jersey at age 80 in 2006.

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