Thursday, October 9, 2014

Browns Pitcher Al LaMacchia Elected to San Antonio Sports Hall Of Fame; Was Young 'Benchwarmer' for 1944 American League Champs

St. Louis Browns right-handed pitcher Al LaMacchia was elected to the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.  LaMacchia, a native St. Louisan, pitched for the Browns farm club, the San Antonio Missions, in the 1940s as well as stints with the Browns and the Washington Senators.  He went on to become a very successful pro scout, working for several MLB teams.

LaMacchia did service with the Browns club for parts of four seasons (1943-46). In 1944, the year the Browns won their only American League championship, he was with the club through May, and later in the fall, but was never called upon to play in an official game. While on the roster, he served as batting practice pitcher for the wartime/arm-weary team until he injured his thumb during the "Streetcar" World Series versus the Cardinals.   

In between call-ups to the Browns roster, LaMacchia went 12-3 in '44 as a starter for the Toledo Mud Hens, leading the American Association in winning percentage with an .800 mark. 

He was a successful scout for many teams, most notably the Toronto Blue Jays (whom he joined as an expansion team and helped lead to back to back World Series titles) and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Active for the latter club up until the mid 2000's, LaMacchia scouted outfielder Andre Ethier, who is still with the Dodger ballclub as of 2014.

LaMacchia, with fellow ex-Brown Bud Thomas at the '09 BFC

In 2009 he was a guest speaker at the St. Louis Browns Fan Club (BFC) annual luncheon at the Missouri Athletic Club West.

Other inductees in this Hall Of Fame class include former San Antonio Spurs head coach Doug Moe.

Alfred Anthony LaMacchia died in his adopted hometown of San Antonio in 2010. 

For further information on Al LaMacchia, see the Society of American Baseball Research Bio Project.