Frank Verdi
Frank Michael Verdi.jpg
Born: (1926-06-02)June 2, 1926
Brooklyn, New York
Died: July 9, 2010(2010-07-09) (aged 84)
New Port Richey, Florida
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 10, 1953, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
May 10, 1953, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Games played1
At bats0
Career highlights and awards

Frank Michael Verdi (June 2, 1926 – July 9, 2010) was an American professional baseball infielder and longtime manager. He spent his career in minor league baseball, except for a single playing appearance in the Major Leagues for the 1953 New York Yankees. As a player, he was listed at 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) and 170 pounds (77 kg); he both batted and threw right-handed. He was selected to the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame in 1999 and the International League Hall of Fame in 2008.

Playing career

Verdi played in the minor league for a total of 18 seasons (1946–1963) mainly with Yankees' farm teams. He spent parts of 12 seasons at the Triple-A level, where he batted .269 with 21 home runs and 284 RBIs in 996 games.

Verdi was famous for his ability to execute the hidden ball trick. In 1949, as a second baseman for the Binghamton Triplets in the Class A Eastern League, he pulled off the trick seven times in 95 games.[1]

Verdi only appeared in a single MLB game, as a one-inning defensive replacement on May 10, 1953.[2] In a Yankees game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Verdi entered the game at shortstop in the bottom of the sixth inning, after Joe Collins had pinch hit for starter Phil Rizzuto. Verdi did not handle any chance in the field. In the top of the seventh inning, Bill Renna pinch hit for Verdi.

Verdi survived a potentially tragic accident on July 25, 1959, when, as a player for the Rochester Red Wings, he was struck in the head by a stray bullet in Havana during a game against the Havana Sugar Kings. Verdi was standing in as the team's third base coach after the ejection of Rochester manager Cot Deal when shooting broke out in the stands. Verdi was still wearing the plastic lining in his baseball cap, in lieu of a batting helmet, and the lining deflected the bullet away from his head; it lodged in his shoulder and caused a minor wound.[1][3]

Managing career

Verdi made a much larger mark as a minor league manager for 21 seasons (1961–70; 1972; 1974; 1977–85) at the affiliated level. He spent much of that period in the Yankees' farm system, winning Triple-A International League championships in 1969 and 1970 (with the Syracuse Chiefs) and in 1981 (with the Columbus Clippers). He won the International League Manager of the Year Award in 1970. Verdi also managed the New York Mets' Tidewater Tides for four seasons (1977–80) and the Baltimore Orioles' Rochester Red Wings farm club from 1984 through June 16, 1985, and spent brief managing stints in the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and Washington Senators organizations. His record as a manager was 1,351 wins and 1,332 losses (.504).

After his managerial career with affiliated minor league teams, Verdi managed in independent leagues during the 1990s. In winter ball, he skippered the Indios de Mayagüez of the Puerto Rico Baseball League from 1984 to 1985, and had previously managed the Leones de Ponce team to the league championship in the 1971–72 season.

Personal life

A 1944 graduate of Brooklyn's Boys High School, Verdi attended New York University. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. A son, Mike Verdi, was also a minor league manager.

Verdi died in New Port Richey, Florida, at the age of 84 in 2010.[4]



  1. ^ a b Montague, John, Baltimore Orioles 1983 Organization Book. St. Petersburg, Florida: The Baseball Library, 1983
  2. ^ "New York Yankees 7, Boston Red Sox 4". Retrosheet. May 10, 1953. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Brosnan, Jim, The Long Season. New York: Harper & Row, 1960
  4. ^ "Frank Verdi, former Chiefs manager, dies at 84". 18 July 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2022.

Further reading