Anthony Francis 'Tony' Cuccinello (November 8, 1907 – September 21, 1995) was a second baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1930 through 1945 for the Cincinnati Reds (1930–31), Brooklyn Dodgers (1933–35), Boston Bees/Braves (1936–40, 1941–43), New York Giants (1940) and Chicago White Sox (1943–45). Cuccinelo batted and threw right-handed. He was the older brother of Al Cuccinello and uncle of Sam Mele. His surname was pronounced "coo-chi-NELL-oh".
A native of Long Island City, New York, Cuccinello led the National League second basemen in assists and double plays three times and hit .300 or better five times, with a career high .315 in 1931. A three-time All-Star, he was selected to the first All-Star Game, played on July 6, 1933 at Comiskey Park, appearing as a pinch-hitter for Carl Hubbell. He also played in the 1938 and 1945 Games.
During the 1945 season, Cuccinello hit .308 for the Chicago White Sox, and just missed winning the American League batting title, one point behind Snuffy Stirnweiss' .309. Nevertheless, he was released in the offseason.
In a 15-season career, Cuccinello was a .280 hitter with 94 home runs and 884 RBI in 1704 games.
Following his playing retirement, in 1947 Cuccinello managed in the Florida International League for the Tampa team (named the Smokers, after the city's large cigar business), and a year later coached for the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association. He returned to the majors to coach with the Reds (1949–51), Cleveland Indians (1952–56), White Sox (1957–66; 1969) and Detroit Tigers (1967–68). He served under former teammate Al Lopez in Cleveland and Chicago, and was a member of the 1954 and 1959 American League champions and the 1968 World Series champions.
Cuccinello died in Tampa, Florida at the age of 87.
By Dean Hanley
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