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Al Brancato

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Albert Brancato
(Bronk)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9½", Weight 188 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Al Brancato played four years in the majors with the Philadelphia Athletics and was the team's starting shortstop for two seasons prior to World War II.

Signed by the Athletics out of high school, Brancato hit .279 with 5 homers with the Williamsport Grays in his second pro season of 1939 while leading the Eastern League with 98 RBIs. Based on this success, he earned a September callup to the majors, and he made his big league debut on September 7th, going hitless against Ken Chase of the Washington Senators. Facing the Senators again on September 26th, he went 2-for-4 with 3 runs scored and 3 runs batted in, and he hit his first major league homer on the season's final day (again against Washington). Overall, he hit .206 in 21 games in his first taste of big league ball.

Brancato was the starting shortstop for Philadelphia for the next two years, hitting .191 in 1940 and .234 in 1941, and was teammates with players such as Sam Chapman, Bob Johnson, Wally Moses, Frankie Hayes, Dick Siebert, Benny McCoy and Phil Marchildon. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and he served for more than three years. After the war, he returned briefly to the Athletics late in the 1945 season.

Brancato later played eight more seasons in the minors after his major league days, mostly in the American Association (notably with the St. Paul Saints). In his final year, he was player-manager for the Elmira Pioneers in the Brooklyn Dodgers chain, going 70-80 and finishing in fifth place in the Eastern League.

Brancato later was the head coach at Saint Joseph's University from 1959 to 1964.

Many years later, at a meeting of the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society, he reminisced about how the long train rides helped the players bond during card games and in the diner car. See A's Historical Society and pictures of Al Brancato

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