Fred Caligiuri

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Frederick John Caligiuri

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Biographical Information[edit]

Fred Caligiuri, a late season 1941 call up from the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Inter-State League, had a 1-2 record for the Philadelphia Athletics on September 28th, when he started the second game of a season-finale doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox at Shibe Park in Philly. His opponent was future Hall of Famer and former A's star Lefty Grove. The game lives in baseball history as the one with which Ted Williams completed his .406 season, the first since 1923 in the American League, the first since 1930 in MLB, and the last in the majors.

Williams went 4-for-5 with a home run in the first game, won by the Red Sox, 12-11. In the second game, Fred had a three-run lead when he faced Williams for the first time. Williams singled, then doubled off a speaker in the Shibe Park wall in his next at-bat, but the A's kept picking away at Grove, gone by the 2nd inning, and his successors. Caligiuri retired Williams on a fly to right in his last at bat, did not yield a run until the 9th, and finished with a complete game, six-hit, 7-1 victory in an hour and 21 minutes. The start was Grove's last in the majors; he retired before 1942 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1947. As for Caligiuri, he pitched again for the A's in 1942, but with less success: 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in his final 38 games.

On May 28, 2018, Caligiuri became the Oldest Living MLB Player after Chuck Stevens passed away a couple of months shy of his 100th birthday. He became a centenarian that October but died a little over a month later.

Sources: Personal research, including review of newspaper account and box scores; Acknowledgment: Eric Enders of the Society for American Baseball Research.

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