Dom Zanni

Dominick Thomas Zanni (born March 1, 1932 in The Bronx, New York) is a former professional baseball player. A right-handed pitcher, he pitched in 111 games (all but three in relief) over all or part of nine seasons in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds from 1958 to 1966.

Zanni's Major League career began when he was signed by the Giants (then the New York Giants) as an amateur free agent before the 1951 season. Over the following seasons, Zanni moved up the minor league baseball ranks. On June 5, 1954, Zanni pitched a no-hitter for the Sioux City Cowboys of the Western League. In 1956, Zanni was a spring training roster invitee, but was sent back to the minors before the season started. He spent the following seasons with the Louisville Colonels and the Phoenix Giants, and helped lead the Giants to the Pacific Coast League championship in 1958.

This led to his Major League debut on September 28. He pitched against the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching four innings and allowing one run, earning the victory as the Giants won 7-2.

Zanni spent the offseason in the Dominican League, then was back on the Giants' roster for the 1959 season. During the season, he pitched in 11 innings in nine games, striking out 11. After playing nine games and having an earned run average (ERA) of 6.55, he was sent back to Phoenix. Zanni spent the rest of the 1959 and 1960 seasons with the Tacoma Giants (formerly the Phoenix Giants), then spent the 1960 offseason in the Puerto Rican League, earning an ERA of 2.73 with six victories and no losses. After spending part of the 1961 season with Tacoma, where Zanni had a 2.65 ERA and an 8–4 record, he was called up to the San Francisco Giants' Major League roster on July 22, 1961. He went on to pitch eight games during the 1961 San Francisco Giants season, winning a game and posting an ERA of 3.75. After the season ended, on November 30 Zanni was traded along with player to be named later (Verle Tiefenthaler), Bob Farley, and Eddie Fisher to the Chicago White Sox for Billy Pierce and Don Larsen.

The 1962 Chicago White Sox season ended up being Zanni's most productive season in his Major League career. He pitched a career-high 44 games and pitched over 86 innings, winning six games and losing five with an ERA of 3.75. This season was also the closest Zanni got to pitching a complete game. On June 22, 1962, in a game against the Kansas City Athletics, Zanni relieved Joe Horlen, who left the game due to injury before getting anyone out. In the seventh inning of the same game, he was knocked unconscious in a collision while covering first base, and went on to finish the game, pitching all nine innings in a 5–1 victory for the White Sox. He pitched in five games for the White Sox the following season. On May 5, 1963, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Jim Brosnan.

Zanni played 31 games with the Reds during the 1963 Cincinnati Reds season, finishing 16 of them and earning five saves and finishing with an ERA of 4.19. During the 1965 Cincinnati Reds season, called up after the minor league season was over, he pitched in eight games and had 13 innings pitched, allowing two earned runs. The following season, he was again called up in September, and did not allow a run during the five games he pitched. His final Major League game was October 1, 1966. He played for the minor league Buffalo Bisons in 1967 before retiring.

After baseball, he spent 27 years in the insurance business before retiring to Massapequa, New York on Long Island.

By Dean Hanley

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