clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Padres two-game wonder: Sam Perlozzo

New, comments
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Last November I took a look at the six players who played only one game with the Padres, and just last week profiled the two pitchers who joined their ranks this season. Less barroom-trivia-worthy but still as intriguing to me are the 10 others who managed play a pair before they left town. I went into this planning to do a quick post about all 10 of them, but when I got done with the first player I was 361 words deep and didn't want to commit to a 3,610-word-long post, so I guess now it's a series that I'll add to at my leisure.

Sam Perlozzo became the charter member of this group of 10 in 1979. He was no stranger to short stays in the majors, having played in 10 games as a September call-up with the Twins in 1977 before spending all of '78 with their AAA affiliate in Toledo. After being released by Minnesota at the onset of the 1979 season, Perlozzo signed on with San Diego and hit well enough for their top farm club to earn his second September roster spot. He made his Padres debut in the eighth inning of a 5-2 loss in Los Angeles, replacing fellow rookie Tim Flannery at second base and pinch hitter Broderick Perkins in the ninth spot of the batting order. He promptly committed his only major league error and then came close to his first National League plate appearance, but never made it past the on-deck circle as Ozzie Smith grounded out to end the game.

He didn't have to wait much longer. Manager Roger Craig penned Perlozzo into the next day's starting lineup, batting second and once again playing second base. Perlozzo popped up to Dodgers third baseman Ron Cey in his first trip to the plate, and drew a walk off of longtime starter Jerry Reuss with the bases empty in the third inning. After grounding into a 6-4 fielder's choice to end the top of the fifth, Perlozzo exacerbated a preexisting groin injury on his way to first base and had to be carried off the field.  His time with the Padres ended the way it began the day before: as part of a double-switch involving Flannery.

Perlozzo played in Japan and AAA the following two seasons, but never returned to the major leagues as a player. He did, however, work his way back to the bigs as a coach in various capacities for over two decades, including a two-year run as the manager of the Orioles.