|Born: October 4, 1910|
San Francisco, California
|Died: February 11, 2002 (aged 91)|
|April 12, 1932, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 1948, for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||649|
|Career highlights and awards|
Frank Peter Joseph Crosetti (October 4, 1910 – February 11, 2002) was an American baseball shortstop. Nicknamed "The Crow", he spent his entire seventeen-year Major League Baseball playing career with the New York Yankees before becoming a coach with the franchise for an additional twenty seasons. As a player and third base coach for the Yankees, Crosetti was part of seventeen World Championship teams and 23 World Series participants overall (1932–1964), the most of any individual.
Crosetti was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in North Beach, which was something of a hotbed of Italian-American talent on the baseball field during the 1920s and 1930s (Tony Lazzeri, Charlie Silvera and the three DiMaggio brothers also hail from the same neighborhood). Before joining the Yankees, Crosetti played four seasons with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League.
Crosetti joined the Yankees in 1932, and batted .241 with five home runs and 57 runs batted in at the bottom of the Yankees' batting order. He was part of a World Series championship his first year in the big leagues as the Yankees completed a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series two days shy of Crosetti's 22nd birthday.
The finest year of Crosetti's career came in 1936, when he batted .288 with fifteen home runs, 78 runs batted in, and 137 runs scored, all career highs. Batting lead-off, he was named an American League All-Star for the first time in his career, and reached the World Series for the second time. Crosetti batted .269 in the Yankees' six game victory over the New York Giants in the 1936 World Series, and drove in the winning run in the Yankees' 2–1 victory in game three. The 1936 season was the first of a string of four World Series titles for Crosetti and the Yankees.
After a poor 1940 season, he lost his starting shortstop job to Phil Rizzuto in 1941. He was given back the starting shortstop job when Rizzuto joined the Navy for battle in World War II; however, he became a reserve once again when Rizzuto rejoined the club in 1946. Crosetti then became a player/coach for the club through the 1948 season.
In 29 World Series games, Crosetti batted .174 with one home run, 11 runs batted in, and 16 runs scored. His only World Series home run was a two-run shot off Dizzy Dean in game two of the 1938 World Series that gave the Yankees a 4–3 lead over the Cubs. Perhaps Crosetti's second most memorable moment in postseason play occurred in game three of the 1942 World Series when he shoved umpire Bill Summers, an act for which he received a $250 fine from Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis and was suspended the first 30 games of the 1943 season.
He led the American League in plate appearances twice (1938 and 1939), stolen bases once (1938), strikeouts twice (1937 and 1938) and in being hit by pitches eight times (1934, 1936–40, 1942 and 1945). Crosetti was known as the weak link in the Yankees batting order, but he was also known as a slick fielder and for his ability to pull off the hidden ball trick. He earned eight World Series rings as a player, and was a two-time All-Star (1936 and 1939).
Crosetti became third base coach with the Yankees in 1947 and was part of an additional nine World Series championships as a coach with the franchise after he retired as a player following the 1948 season. He was said to be the "perfect coach", because he had no ambition whatsoever to manage, turning down numerous offers over the years to do so. After 37 years, longing to be closer to his family in Northern California, he left the franchise to join the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969. He moved to the Minnesota Twins from 1970 to 1971, after the Pilots (who became the Milwaukee Brewers) didn't renew his contract.
It has been said of Crosetti that he has waved home 16,000 runners in 25 years in the third-base coaching box.
Crosetti died in 2002 at age 91 from complications of a fall in Stockton, California and was entombed at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. He was survived by his wife of 63 years, Norma, his son, John, and his daughter, Ellen. He was the last surviving member of the 1932, 1936, 1937, and 1939 World Champion New York Yankees.