Ernesto Natali "Ernie" Lombardi (April 6, 1908 – September 26, 1977), was a Major League Baseball catcher for the Brooklyn Robins, the Cincinnati Reds, the Boston Braves and the New York Giants during a Hall of Fame career that spanned 17 years, from 1931 to 1947. He had several nicknames, including "Schnozz", "Lumbago", "Bocci", "The Cyrano of the Iron Mask" and "Lom". Bill James called him "the slowest man to ever play major league baseball well." The fact that he was so slow spoke to what an outstanding hitter Lombardi was. The Schnozz was a career .306 hitter despite infields playing very deep for the sloth-like baserunner.
He is listed at 6'3" and 230 lbs, but he probably approached 300 lbs towards the end of his career. He was also known as a gentle giant and this made him hugely popular among Cincinnati fans.
By Dean Hanley
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