From BR Bullpen
Edward James Abbaticchio (Batty)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.
- Debut September 4, 1897
- Final Game September 15, 1910
- Born April 15, 1877 in Latrobe, PA USA
- Died January 6, 1957 in Fort Lauderdale, FL USA
 Biographical Information
Ed Abbaticchio was the first known Italian American to play Major League baseball.
He is also the precursor to Bo Jackson, the first person to play both professional baseball and professional football. Abbaticchio was the fullback and kicker for Latrobe, the first professional football team in America, between 1895 and 1900, where he is attributed with inventing the spiral punt.
It was well known at the time that Abbaticchio was independently wealthy, and played baseball for love, not money. In his "missing" 1906 season, Abbaticchio was not injured or cut -- he merely elected instead that year to manage a Pittsburgh hotel that he owned. A possibly apocryphal tale said that he had been given the hotel by his father on the condition that he renounce baseball.