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Ralph DiLullo

From BR Bullpen

Ralph A. DiLullo (Corp)

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Ralph DiLullo was a minor league player, manager and scout.

DiLullo's father, a corporal in the Italian Army, was killed in World War I. He came to America with his family in 1917, when he was only 6 years old, and settled in Paterson, NJ. He signed his first minor league contract with the St. Louis Browns in 1931 and he played in the minor leagues as a catcher for a number of years. In 1946, he was hired as a scout by the Pittsburgh Pirates, then became a minor league manager in 1948 in the Detroit Tigers chain. He was future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning's first minor league manager while at Detroit's employ. He managed the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1948, the Thomasville Tigers in 1949, the Richmond Tigers in 1950 and 1951, and the Greenville Spinners in 1952. In 1953, he became a scout for the Chicago Cubs, concentrating on the northeastern United States, and stayed with the team until 1974. During this time, he signed Joe Niekro and Bruce Sutter, both as undrafted free agents at a cost of $500.

In 1974, DiLullo went to work for the Major League Scouting Bureau. That is where he met and nurtured a young Billy Blitzer, who would also become a long-time scout.

His son, Ralph DiLullo, Jr., was a multi-sport star at Wagner College who played in the minor leagues as an outfielder in 1959 and 1960.

Honors, awards and recognition[edit]

In 1986, he was named the East Coast Scout of the Year by the Scout of the Year Foundation. The Ralph DiLullo Award, handed out by the East Coast Scouts Association, and the Ralph DiLullo Memorial Award, handed out by the New York Professional Hot Stove League, are named in his honor. He was elected to the Professional Baseball Scout's Wall of Fame, located at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, in 2006. A book, Foresight 20/20: The Life of Baseball Scout Ralph DiLullo, was written about him. Upon his death in 1999, Grahame Jones of the Los Angeles Times called DiLullo, "baseball's premier scout."[1]

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1947 York White Roses Interstate League 67-70 5th Pittsburgh Pirates
1948 Fargo-Moorhead Twins Northern League 8th Pittsburgh Pirates replaced Bruno Haas
1949 Thomasville Tigers Georgia-Florida League 60-80 5th Detroit Tigers
1950 Richmond Tigers Ohio-Indiana League 80-58 3rd Detroit Tigers includes interim by Kenneth Holtcamp August 10-17
1951 Richmond Tigers Ohio-Indiana League 53-74 4th Detroit Tigers
1952 Greenville Spinners Tri-State League 63-76 6th none

Further Reading[edit]

  • Lee Lowenfish: "29 Years and Counting: A Visit with longtime Cubs Scout Billy Blitzer", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 40, Number 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 49-52.

Related Sites[edit]