Tony Tarasco
Tony Tarasco Nationals spring 2015.jpg
Tarasco at spring training in March 2015
Outfielder / Coach
Born: (1970-12-09) December 9, 1970 (age 51)
Manhattan, New York City
Batted: Left
Threw: Right
Professional debut
MLB: April 30, 1993, for the Atlanta Braves
NPB: March 31, 2000, for the Hanshin Tigers
Last appearance
MLB: September 1, 2002, for the New York Mets
NPB: October 6, 2000, for the Hanshin Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.240
Home runs34
Runs batted in118
NPB statistics
Batting average.239
Home runs19
Runs batted in57
As player

As coach

Anthony Giacinto Tarasco (born December 9, 1970) is an American professional baseball outfielder and coach. He played in the major leagues for the Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, and New York Yankees between 1993 and 1999 and for the Mets in 2002. He also played with the Hanshin Tigers in the Japanese Central League in 2000.

Early life

Tarasco was born at Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center in Greenwich Village and, until he was 6 or 7 years old, lived in Washington Heights and the Bronx.[1][2] His father, Jack, worked a summer job as a vendor at Yankee Stadium.[2] At 13 years old, after moving to Santa Monica, California, Tarasco joined the Santa Monica Graveyard Crips, a set of the Crips street gang. At 16 years old, with the encouragement of fellow Crips members, he left the gang to focus on playing high school baseball.[2]

Tarasco was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 15th round of the 1988 Major League Baseball draft out of Santa Monica High School.[2]

Professional career

Tarasco was involved in a controversial play in the 1996 American League Championship Series while playing right field for the Baltimore Orioles. While fielding a fly ball hit by New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, 12-year-old fan Jeffrey Maier reached over the fence and tried to catch the ball but instead deflected it into the stands. The umpires called a home run, although the correct call would have been fan interference. The play was the turning point in the series, which the Yankees won.

Tarasco spent the remainder of his career as a part time player, often shuttling between the major and minor leagues. Tarasco and Jeter were teammates for a short time during the 1999 season.[3]

In June 2002, Tarasco's New York Mets teammate Mark Corey suffered a seizure after the two players smoked marijuana outside of Shea Stadium.[4] Under Major League Baseball drug policy at the time, because both players were first-time offenders, they were not subject to discipline from the league.[5]

Coaching career

Washington Nationals

Tarasco began working for the Washington Nationals in or around 2005.[1] For a time, Tarasco was the minor league coordinator for the Nationals.[6] On November 14, 2012, the Nationals announced that Tarasco would join their coaching staff in the 2013 season to coach first base and outfield. Tarasco served as first base coach for the Nationals through the 2015 season. On October 5, 2015, the entire Nationals coaching staff, including Tarasco, were fired after a disappointing 2015 season.[7]

New York Mets

On December 30, 2020, Tarasco was hired to be the first base coach for the New York Mets replacing Tony DeFrancesco.[8]


  1. ^ a b McCarron, Anthony (May 7, 2015). "Tarasco has love-hate relationship with his place in history". NY Daily News. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Curry, Jack (16 May 1999). "BASEBALL; Tarasco's Agenda: Gang Life To Yanks". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  3. ^ Baseball Reference
  4. ^ "Two Met Players Caught Smoking Marijuana". Fox News. 29 June 2002. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  5. ^ Hermoso, Rafael (29 June 2002). "Corey has seizure after smoking pot". Deseret News. New York Times News Service. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  6. ^ Nats officials make unfortunate Harper comparisons. Washington Examiner, July 2011.
  7. ^ Nationals fire Matt Williams after two seasons. Washington Post, October 2015.
  8. ^ "MLB rumors: Mets hire ex-Yankees outfielder with special place in postseason history as first base coach". January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
Sporting positions Preceded byTrent Jewett Washington Nationals First Base Coach 2013–2015 Succeeded byDavey Lopes Preceded byTony DeFrancesco New York Mets First Base Coach 2021– Succeeded by