|Batting average .258|
Role Baseball player
Home runs 219
Height 1.88 m
|Runs batted in 721|
Weight 91 kg
Name Joe Pepitone
|Ex-spouse Barbara Kogerman, Stephanie Deeker, Diana Sandre|
Similar People Tom Tresh, Mickey Mantle, Walter Doniger
New york yankees whitey ford joe pepitone shane spencer in poughkeepsie ny
Joseph Anthony "Joe" Pepitone (born October 9, 1940) is a former Major League Baseball first baseman and outfielder who played the bulk of his career for the New York Yankees. He also played several seasons with the Chicago Cubs and had short stints with the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. During his time with the Yankees, Pepitone was thrice-named to play in the All-Star Game and also won three Gold Glove awards.
- New york yankees whitey ford joe pepitone shane spencer in poughkeepsie ny
- Joe pepitone
- Astros, Cubs, and Braves
- Other work
- Personal life
In 1958, Pepitone was signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent. After playing four seasons in the minor leagues, he broke in with the Yankees in 1962, playing behind Moose Skowron at first base. A much-discussed legend was that while on his way to 1962 spring training in Florida, Pepitone spent his entire $25,000 ($207,526 today) signing bonus.
Yankee management believed he could handle the first base job and traded Skowron to the Dodgers before the 1963 season. Pepitone responded, hitting .271 with 27 HR and 89 RBI. He went on to win three Gold Gloves, but in the 1963 World Series he made an infamous error. With the score tied 1-1 in the seventh inning of Game Four, he lost a routine Clete Boyer throw in the white shirtsleeves of the Los Angeles crowd, and the batter, Jim Gilliam, went all the way to third base and scored the Series-winning run on a sacrifice fly. He redeemed himself somewhat in the 1964 Series against the Cardinals with a Game 6 grand slam.
The ever-popular Pepitone remained a fixture throughout the decade, even playing center field after bad knees reduced Mickey Mantle's mobility.
Astros, Cubs, and Braves
After the 1969 season, despite having won his third Gold Glove Award, Pepitone was traded to the Astros for Curt Blefary. However, he played only about half the 1970 season before being traded to the Cubs. In Chicago, Pepitone replaced Ernie Banks at first base. He stayed with the Cubs through the 1971 and 1972 seasons, and was traded to the Atlanta Braves in May 1973. In Atlanta, Pepitone played only three games, which marked the end of his major-league career in the United States.
In June 1973, Pepitone accepted an offer of $70,000 ($377,654 today) a year to play for the Yakult Atoms, a professional baseball team in Japan's Central League. While in Japan, he hit .163 with one home run and two RBI in 14 games played. Pepitone spent his days in Japan skipping games for claimed injuries only to be out at night in discos, behavior which led the Japanese to adopt his name into their vernacular—as a word meaning "goof off."
Jim Bouton talks extensively about Pepitone in his book Ball Four. Pepitone is described as being extremely vain. Bouton said that Pepitone went nowhere without a bag containing hair products for his rapidly balding head. Pepitone even had two toupees, one for general wear and one for under his baseball cap, which he called his "game piece." Bouton told a humorous story about how the game piece came loose one day when Pepitone took off his cap for the national anthem.
In January 1975, Pepitone published his own tell-all baseball memoir, titled Joe, You Coulda Made Us Proud. The book received substantial attention for its many revelations, particularly about his abusive father and his self-lacerating candor about his self-destructive ways. Later that year, he posed nude for Foxy Lady magazine, featuring full frontal nudity.
In the late 1970s, Pepitone played for the New Jersey Statesmen in the American Professional Slow Pitch League (APSPL), one of three men's professional softball leagues active during this period. Pepitone would also serve the front office of the North American Softball League (NASL) for their only season in 1980.
In June 1982, Pepitone was hired as a batting coach with the Yankees, but was replaced by Lou Piniella later in the season. Pepitone was given a job in the Yankees' front office in the late 1990s.
He spent four months at Rikers Island jail in 1988 for two misdemeanor drug convictions. He and two other men were arrested in Brooklyn on March 18, 1985, after being stopped by the police for running a red light in a car containing nine ounces of cocaine, 344 quaaludes, a free-basing kit, a pistol and about $6,300 in cash. Coverage of the story by WOR-TV (Channel 9) in the New York area featured clips of an incredulous Pepitone declaring, "I didn't know cocaine was illegal", and his brother Vinnie, a NYPD detective, staunchly defending his character. He was released from jail on a work-release program when Yankee owner George Steinbrenner offered him a job in minor-league player development for the team.
In January 1992, Pepitone was charged with misdemeanor assault in Kiamesha Lake, New York, after a scuffle police said was triggered when Pepitone was called a "has-been." He was arraigned in town court and released after he posted $75 bail. In October 1995, the 55-year-old Pepitone was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after losing control of his car in New York City's Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Police found Pepitone bloodied, disoriented and mumbling as he walked through the tunnel. Authorities charged Pepitone with drunken driving after he refused to take a sobriety test. Pepitone pleaded guilty. When asked if he was staying away from alcohol, Pepitone responded: "I don't drink that much."
Pepitone was a member of the 1963, 1964 and 1965 American League All Star Team. He won the Gold Glove award for first basemen in 1965, 1966 and 1969.