At Cobb’s Hill. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, May 27th, 1947. Johnny Antonelli pitched a one hitter and struck out twenty.
Today, “Johnny Antonelli dies: Was MLB All-Star and World Series hero for New York Giants in 1954” (D & C), we learned that Rochester’s baseball icon Johnny Antonelli died at age 89.
In The RCAC is back at Cobb’s Hill (where Johnny Antonelli struck out 20) we wrote of Antonelli’s heroics for Flower City Post and Jefferson High School , including a May 1947 game when he struck out 20 batters (out of 21 outs) at Cobb’s Hill.¹
Cobb’s Hill is also rich in baseball history. From what I’ve discovered, the Monroe High School Redjackets played baseball in the park at least as far back as 1930. The greatest player at the Hill was probably Jefferson High School’s Johnny Antonelli who still lives in Rochester.
From 1946 – 1948 for Jefferson and the Flower City Post of the American Legion, Antonelli’s brilliant pitching captivated Rochester. At only 18, Antonelli signed with the Boston Braves, going directly to the major leagues, debuting in July during the Braves’ National League pennant winning season. Antonelli’s greatest game in Rochester was May 26th, 1947 when at Cobb’s Hill he struck out 20 batters (out of 21 outs) and gave up only one hit.
Recently, Antonelli became a baseball trivia answer. On March 31st, Elvis Luciano became the first player born in the 21st century to reach the major leagues. As compiled by Elias Sports Bureau, Antonelli was the first player born in the 1930s (April 12th, 1930) to reach the major leagues (July 4th, 1948). — from The RCAC is back at Cobb’s Hill (where Johnny Antonelli struck out 20)
¹ Reader James Hart writes: “I had the pleasure of meeting Johnny Antonelli when I was a kid. He was signing autographs at the Cobb’s Hill ice skating pond.”
Johnny’s greatest season was in 1954 when he won 21 games for the National League pennant winning New York Giants. In the World Series — best known for Willie Mays’ over the shoulder catch and the Giants’ sweep over the much favored Cleveland Indians — Antonelli won game two and saved game four as New York clinched the title.
SEE ON ANOTHER GREAT JEFFERSON TEAM