Bob DiPietro

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Robert Louis Paul DiPietro

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Biographical Information[edit]

Bob DiPietro went to Lincoln High School in San Francisco, CA where he was a pitcher on the All-American Boys Team in 1945. But during a stint in the United States Army, prior to his signing as an amateur free agent with the Boston Red Sox in 1947, he switched to the outfield.

DiPietro stormed out of the gate with a career year in his first professional season with the San Jose Red Sox of the class C California League. He led the league in games played with 140 and 160 bases on balls. He also had 148 base hits, including 21 home runs, 24 doubles and 6 triples, in addition to 111 RBIs; he also stole 23 bases.

After hitting only .279 with the Scranton Red Sox in 1948, he didn't hit below .300 until he reached Boston in 1951. He put up seasons of .301 and .306 in Scranton in 1949 and 1951 respectively, sandwiching in a .300 year with the Birmingham Barons in 1950.

The day DiPietro made his major league debut, September 23, 1951, everything was right in the Red Sox camp. They were set to make a run for the flag, just a few games behind the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians in the race. As the game goes, DiPietro had arrived on the scene of one of the biggest collapses in Red Sox history. They lost their last nine games in a row, seven of them to the Yankees. Cleveland followed suit, losing their last four, handing the New York team the pennant.

DiPietro played in four of his team's last nine games, coming to the plate a total of eleven times, garnering one base hit, a single; he picked up one base on balls and struck out one time. The 24-year-old had the experience of a lifetime, watching as his team went through a monumental collapse to lose the title.

Bob spent 1952 between the San Antonio Missions, Birmingham Barons and the Louisville Colonels. His best showing was in Louisville, were he hit .273. He became a more valuable player though, spending time at first and second base as well as in the outfield. He would also spend time at third, becoming a true utility player. DiPietro was in Louisville all of 1953, appearing in 109 games and hitting .205.

The next six seasons (1954-1959) were spent in the Pacific Coast League with the San Francisco Seals and the Portland Beavers. Of these six years, his best was in 1958, when he hit .280 with 14 home runs for Portland. DiPietro retired after the 1959 season, when he hit only .230 for the Beavers. Bob had spent 13 seasons in pro ball from 1947 through 1959. He appeared in 1,480 games, went to bat 4,756 times, had 1,341 base hits, including 255 doubles and 120 home runs and a minor league career .281 batting average.

His stay in the majors was brief, but he experienced the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry at its best, during a heated pennant chase and although the race did not end in his team's favor, he would always have that one hit to remember.

DiPietro resided in Yakima, WA, where he owned an advertising agency, worked in sales for KIMA-TV, and was past president of the Yakima Golf and Country Club. He died in 2012.

His son, also named Bob, was a pitching star at Stanford University who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1974.

Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

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