Can-Do Catcher

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Chris Cannizzaro

Chris Cannizzaro played for six different National League teams in his 13-season major league career. Actually, make that seven different National League teams, as he was a member of the NL All-Star team in 1969, the first player from the San Diego Padres franchise to achieve that distinction.

Cannizzaro was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1956. He appeared in 13 games over two seasons for the Cardinals, then was selected by the New York Mets in the 1961 expansion draft. He was a backup catcher for the Mets for four seasons, hitting for a combined average of .236 over that period.

Chris Cannizzaro was an accomplished – and well-traveled – catcher for six different National League teams. As the everyday catcher for the San Diego Padres in 1969, he was named to the National League All-Star team.

He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 1966 and then was traded with John Herrnstein to the Boston Red Sox for Julio Navarro and Ed Rakow. He spent the 1966 and 1967 seasons in the minors, and was dealt to the Detroit Tigers and then the Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in 24 games for the Pirates in 1968, batting .241.

In March of 1969, Cannizzaro was traded with Tommie Sisk to the San Diego Padres for Ron Davis and Bobby Klaus. With the Padres, he became a starter for the first time, batting .220 with four home runs and 33 RBIs. He hit .279 for San Diego in 1970 with five home runs and 42 RBIs. In 1971, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, hitting .208 that season. He spent the next two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and retired after a one-year return to San Diego in 1974.

In 13 major league seasons, Cannizzaro hit .235 with a .319 career on-base percentage.

 

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