Chris Pittaro

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Chris Pittaro
Infielder
Born: (1961-09-16) September 16, 1961 (age 53)
Trenton, New Jersey
Batted: SwitchThrew: Right
MLB debut
April 8, 1985 for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1987 for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
Batting Average.221
Runs16
Hits21
Teams
 
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Chris Pittaro
Infielder
Born: (1961-09-16) September 16, 1961 (age 53)
Trenton, New Jersey
Batted: SwitchThrew: Right
MLB debut
April 8, 1985 for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1987 for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
Batting Average.221
Runs16
Hits21
Teams

Christopher Francis Pittaro (born September 16, 1961 in Trenton, New Jersey) is a retired Major League Baseball infielder. Prior to playing professionally, he played college baseball for the University of North Carolina. Pittaro played during three seasons at the Major League level for the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins. He has served as a scout and front office executive for the Oakland Athletics since 1991.

Playing career[edit]

Pittaro attended Steinert High School in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey, and has been enshrined in the Steinert High School Hall of Fame.[1] He then enrolled at the University of North Carolina, where he played college baseball for the North Carolina Tar Heels baseball team in the Atlantic Coast Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I.[2]

The Detroit Tigers drafted Pittaro in the sixth round (152nd overall) of the 1982 Major League Baseball Draft as a shortstop. Pittaro played his first professional season with the Macon Peaches of the Class-A South Atlantic League in 1982. Pittaro moved to second base when he played for the Lakeland Tigers of the Class-A Florida State League in 1983. He was promoted to the Birmingham Barons of the Class-AA Southern League in 1984, where he had a .284 batting average and 11 home runs.[3]

"Pittaro has a chance to be the greatest second baseman who ever lived."

Sparky Anderson[4]

Pittaro was invited to spring training with the Tigers in 1985. Manager Sparky Anderson called Pittaro "the best rookie [he'd] seen in 15 years."[3] Due to a strong performance from Pittaro, Anderson considered moving All-Star second baseman Lou Whitaker to third base so that Pittaro could play second for the Tigers,[5] though the Tigers kept Whitaker at second and moved Pittaro to third when Whitaker said he wanted to remain at second.[6] Though he expected to begin the season with the Nashville Sounds of the Class-AAA American Association, Pittaro made the Tigers out of spring training,[7] serving in a platoon with Tom Brookens.[8] Pittaro debuted in MLB on April 8, 1985, Opening Day.[9]

Pittaro began the 1985 season with a batting average over .300 in April. However, he began to slump in May[10] and continued to struggle offensively with the Tigers.[11] He was demoted to Nashville during the season after he batted .242 with a .299 on-base percentage and .323 slugging percentage.[12]

Before the 1986 season, the Tigers traded Pittaro with Alejandro Sánchez to the Minnesota Twins for Dave Engle.[13] He played with the Twins, batting .095 in a backup role before he was demoted to the Toledo Mud Hens of the Class-AAA International League.[14] Pittaro and split the 1987 season with the Twins and their new Class-AAA affiliate, the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League. While with Portland, his roommate on road trips was Billy Beane.[15] Pittaro didn't make the Twins in 1988.[16] He was assigned to Portland, and retired during the season.[17]

Scouting and executive career[edit]

Pittaro has been a scout and front office executive in the Oakland Athletics organization since 1991. Beane, the Athletics' General Manager (GM), identifies Pittaro as one of the scouts willing to rethink everything he knows about baseball.[18] Pittaro joined the Athletics as a scout and cross-checker. He managed the Southern Oregon Athletics of the Class-A Northwest League in 1992.[19] He was named national field coordinator, serving from 2002 through 2007,[20][21] when he became the club's director of professional scouting from 2008 to 2011.[22] He was named special assistant to the GM after the 2011 season.[23]

Personal[edit]

Pittaro's father, Sonny Pittaro, was an infielder in the Minnesota Twins' minor league organization from 1960 to 1962 and then a longtime coach at Rider University.[7] After his playing career, Pittaro graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in finance from Rider.[17]

Pittaro is mentioned in Moneyball, a book focusing on the 2002 Oakland Athletics season. He was initially cast to play himself in the film version.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Coleman, Anthony (October 12, 2010). "Alderson Favorite for Mets Job". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved March 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ Star-News – Google News Archive Search
  3. ^ a b The Montreal Gazette – Google News Archive Search
  4. ^ Deer Park Tribune – Google News Archive Search
  5. ^ The Sumter Daily Item – Google News Archive Search
  6. ^ The Palm Beach Post – Google News Archive Search
  7. ^ a b Toledo Blade – Google News Archive Search
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Chris Pittaro Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ Star-News – Google News Archive Search
  11. ^ Sparky Anderson's legacy with Tigers had plenty of wit, charm | The Detroit News | detroitnews.com
  12. ^ "Mercury News: Search Results". June 22, 1985. 
  13. ^ Kurkjian, Tim. "Archives – The Dallas Morning News, dallasnews.com". 
  14. ^ The Argus-Press – Google News Archive Search
  15. ^ "Star Tribune Archives". 
  16. ^ "Star Tribune Archives". 
  17. ^ a b "Executive Bio: Chris Pittaro". MLB.com. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  18. ^ Lewis, Michael D. (2003). Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. New York: W. W. Norton. p. 24. ISBN 0-393-05765-8. 
  19. ^ "News Archives - sacbee.com". 
  20. ^ Staff. "Draft fulfills an officer's dream", Contra Costa Times, June 17, 2007. Accessed February 22, 2011. "Chris Pittaro, the A's national field coordinator, is a fellow native of Hamilton Township and has known of Johnston since his days in American Legion ball."
  21. ^ Chris Pittaro: Director of Professional Scouting, Oakland A's. Accessed February 22, 2011.
  22. ^ a b Hits and Misses – NJ.com
  23. ^ "A's hire Feinstein, promote Pittaro". NECN.com. October 25, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]