John August Antonelli (born April 12, 1930) is an American former left-handed starting pitcher who played for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves, New York and San Francisco Giants, and Cleveland Indians.
Antonelli received the biggest bonus in history to that point when he signed with the Braves for $52,000 in 1948. He then served in Korea and became a regular in 1953.
He was later dealt to the Giants along with several other players for Bobby Thomson. In the 1954 season, Antonelli went 21–7, led the league in ERA (2.30), was selected an All-Star, and led the Giants to a pennant, facing the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. Antonelli started and won Game 2, then came into Game 4 as a reliever to shut down an Indian rally, as the Giants pulled off a sweep. Antonelli pitched well for several more years, making four straight All-Star teams from 1956 to 1959. After his four All-Star appearances, he spent one more year with the Giants (1960) before being traded to the Cleveland Indians with Willie Kirkland for Harvey Kuenn.
He split the 1961 season between the Indians and the Braves before his retirement in 1962 after having been recently acquired by the New York Mets. Antonelli said he was "tired of traveling" and wanted to be home with his family. After his baseball career, Antonelli returned to Rochester and for many years ran a chain of Firestone Tire stores bearing his name.
- ^ a b Rathet, Mike (January 23, 1962). "Jackie Jensen and Johnny Antonelli announce retirement from baseball". The Florence Times (AP). p. 11. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
By Dean Hanley
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