Joseph Anthony Pepitone
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 200 lb.
- High School John Jay High School (Brooklyn)
- Debut April 10, 1962
- Final Game May 25, 1973
- Born October 9, 1940 in Brooklyn, NY USA
Joe Pepitone was the focus of much attention during the time that he played for the New York Yankees. A flashy, often unpredictable free-spirit who could play outfield or first base, he broke in during the 1962 season at age 21, and then in 1963, 1964, and 1965, he was named to the All Star team, primarily because of his power. In 1963 and 1964, the Yankees went to the World Series. All of that combined to make him a big star when he was still in his early and middle 20's.
While his batting averages in the 1960s don't appear very impressive, they are better than they seem because it was the second dead-ball era. For instance, in 1968 when he hit .245, the league hit only .230 and the Yankees hit (believe it or not) .214. Pepitone's .245 average was the second highest average on the Yankees of players with at least 200 at-bats. He also had a few good years with the Chicago Cubs.
He homered 21 times combined off these future Hall of Famers: Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton, Catfish Hunter, Juan Marichal, Phil Niekro, Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, Robin Roberts, Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton, Hoyt Wilhelm and Early Wynn. He won three Gold Gloves, all with the Yankees.
During his playing career, Pepitone had the reputation of being a "playboy" who spent too much time on the New York nightlife. He also ran up a large amount of personal debt. He had the talent to earn close to six figures but his salaries were far less. Pepitone admits to these things in his autobiography, Joe, You Coulda Made Us Proud.
- 3-time AL All-Star (1963-1965)
- 3-time AL Gold Glove Winner (1965, 1966 & 1969)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 5 (1963, 1964, 1966, 1969 & 1970)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1966)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1964)
- Joe Pepitone with Barry Stainback: Joe, You Coulda Made Us Proud, Dell, New York, NY, 1976.