John Papa

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John Paul Papa

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Biographical Information[edit]

John Papa pitched three games in the majors and was in the minors for eight seasons.

He was a highly touted high school pitcher from Connecticut and Pat Jordan's main rival as the best player from the state in 1958 when he signed with the Baltimore Orioles. He threw hard but was very wild. He made his major league debut on April 11, 1961, pitching in relief of Milt Pappas against the Los Angeles Angels. The Orioles were already down 4-0 in the 2nd inning and the Angels had two men on with aging slugger Ted Kluszewski coming up. As Jordan tells it in his memoir A False Spring, manager Hank Bauer told the youngster that Kluszewski could no longer get around on the fastball, so that's all he should throw him. Papa threw a couple of pitches by him, then tried to fool him with a change-up, which the big man propelled into the upper deck for a three-run homer. Papa would make only one more appearance before being sent down to the minors, and returned for a single game at the end of the 1962 season. His career ERA was 22.50 in those three games.

An article [1] states that after baseball he was elected as an alderman in Shelton, CT and also served as chairman of the parks and recreation commission there. He worked for Remington Arms, GE and Guard-All Chemical. He earned a degree in business administration. He stated that the ball Kluszewski hit for a home run happened when Papa "got the ball down, where I didn't want it".

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