Joe Lonnett

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Joe Lonnett
Catcher
Born: February 7, 1927
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Died: December 5, 2011(2011-12-05) (aged 84)
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 22, 1956, for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
September 26, 1959, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average.166
Home runs6
Runs batted in27
Teams
As player
As coach

Joseph Paul Lonnett (February 7, 1927 – December 5, 2011), was an American professional baseball catcher, and coach, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies.[1] During his playing days, Lonnett stood 5 feet 10½ inches (1.79 m) tall, weighing 185 pounds (84 kg). He threw and batted right-handed.

Playing career[edit]

Lonnett signed with the Phillies in 1948, and spent much of his career with the Phillies as a Minor League Baseball (MiLB) catcher and manager, and MLB catcher and scout. He missed two seasons while serving in the United States Navy in World War II and the Korean War. Lonnett spent four MLB seasons a second-string receiver, appearing in 143 games, while batting .166, with six home runs (HR) and 27 runs batted in (RBI) — never once cracking the .200 level for a season.

Coaching career[edit]

He returned to MLB as the third-base coach on Chuck Tanner's Chicago White Sox staff, from 1971 to 1975, and the Oakland Athletics in 1976. (Tanner — also a native of Western Pennsylvania and a former big league outfielder — had promised that if he ever became a MLB manager, Lonnett would be one of his coaches; Tanner honored his word, and Lonnett worked with him with the ChiSox and A's.)

When Tanner was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for catcher Manny Sanguillén — only the second trade in MLB history to involve a manager — Lonnett followed him to Pittsburgh. He wore Sanguillén's No. 35 jersey until the Pirates re-acquired Sanguillén a year later; after which, he wore No. 32. Eventually, Lonnett served as third-base coach on the Pirates' 1979 world championship team. In all, he coached eight seasons (19771984), for the Buccos.

In 1987, he was named the manager of the St. Catharines Blue Jays of the Short-Season 'A' affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays in the New York–Penn League, which finished at 41-36, 4th in the NY–P Western Division.

Later life and death[edit]

In the final years of his life, Lonnett battled Alzheimer's disease and was cared for by his wife of 56 years, Alvida. In 2004, he attended the 25th anniversary celebration of the 1979 World’s Champs, at PNC Park.

Lonnett succumbed to his long-standing illness, in his home town of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on December 5, 2011. He was 84.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gorman, Kevin (December 8, 2011). "Pirates' Lonnett was a man who valued family". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Tribune-Review Publishing Company. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2011.

Resources[edit]

  • Marcin, Joe, and Byers, Dick, eds., The Official 1977 Baseball Register. St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1977.
  • Thorn, John, and Palmer, Peter, eds., Total Baseball. New York: Warner Books, 1989.

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Bill Adair
Chicago White Sox third base coach
1971–1975
Succeeded by
Jim Busby
Preceded by
Bobby Winkles
Oakland Athletics third base coach
1976
Succeeded by
Cal Ermer
Preceded by
Jose Pagan
Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach
1977–1984
Succeeded by
Bob Skinner