Joseph Anthony Rossi
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Joe Rossi, a catcher who played for Cincinnati in 1952, died on Feb. 20, 1999 in Oakland, Calif.
In 55 games in the major leagues, Rossi had 145 at-bats, collecting 32 hits including a home run. He hit .221 with six RBI and stole a base.
According to "Aaron to Zuverink," Rossi was the catcher for Portland of the Pacific Coast League when Rogers Hornsby was the manager of Seattle in 1951. As the story is related Hornsby said that Rossi would never be a big-league catcher.
In 1952, Rossi got his chance, appearing in 55 games with the Reds. Hornsby had been fired by the Browns in early 1952, but he came to Crosley Field in Cincinnati for a Hall of Fame night. Rossi is said to have pointed the fact that he was in the majors and Hornsby was out.
However, as fate would have it, Reds manager Luke Sewell was fired that season and replaced by Hornsby. It was Rossi's last year in the major leagues.
Sources: "Aaron to Zuverink", by Rich Marazzi & Len Fiorito (1982).