Monday, May 3, 2010

Final Card: John Orsino

John Orsino only played 1 major-league game in 1967 (September 10th), and it would be his last. Like fellow AL catchers Smoky Burgess and Charlie Lau, Orsino would spend the final seasons of his career pinch-hitting, not catching.

John was signed by the Giants in 1957. After spending 4 full seasons in the minors, he split the 1961 and 1962 seasons between San Francisco and the minor leagues.

After the 1962 season, Orsino was traded to the Orioles (along with pitchers Mike McCormick and Stu Miller) for pitchers Jack Fisher and Billy Hoeft, and catcher Jimmie Coker.

Orsino's seasons with the Orioles (1963-65) were the only years he managed to stay out of the minor leagues. In fact, he was the Orioles primary catcher in 1963, starting 103 games behind the plate. For the next 2 seasons, he shared the starting job with Dick Brown.

John was on the move after the 1965 season, this time to Washington. 1966 and 1967 seem to be lost seasons for Orsino, as his games played during that time were:

1966: 14 games with Senators, 1 with AA York
1967: 1 game with Senators, 16 with AAA Hawaii

He got significant playing time from 1968-69 as a catcher and 1st baseman, but it was in the minor leagues, in the Senators system for 1968 and the Indians' and Yankees' farm teams in 1969.

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