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John Castino

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John Anthony Castino

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[edit] Biographical Information

John Castino was the 1979 Rookie of the Year whose career ended prematurely due to chronic back pain. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 3rd round of the 1976 amateur draft, after being a high school teammate of pitcher Ross Baumgarten in the Chicago area.

He started in Single A at Wisconsin Rapids of the Midwest League in 1976. He hit .286/~.390/.433 with 6 home runs in 65 games. The next year, he moved up to the Visalia Oaks for 72 games, hitting .329/~.397/.589 slugging percentage. John had 54 runs, 54 RBI, 16 homers and 13 steals in half a season there. Brought up for 36 games to Orlando in Double A, he hit only .189/~.262/.278. The next year, though, he was ready for Orlando, hitting .275/~.325/.413 with 11 home runs in 137 games. He led Southern League third basemen in fielding percentage (.967) and made the league All-Star team as a utility man.

He became the regular third baseman for the 1979 Twins, sharing the rookie award with Alfredo Griffin of the Toronto Blue Jays. He played in 148 games, although he had only 393 at-bats. His batting line was .285/.331/.397, and he had 8 triples. The 1979 Twins were managed by Gene Mauch, and players included Jerry Koosman, Roy Smalley III, Rob Wilfong, and Ken Landreaux. Rod Carew had left the Twins after the 1978 season.

The next year, 1980, was even better for Castino. He hit .302/.336/.430, with 13 home runs and 7 triples. In both 1979 and 1980, Castino was 2nd in the league in sacrifice hits. In 1981, Castino led the league with 9 triples in the strike-shortened season, and hit .268/.301/.396.

1982 was a drop-off for Castino, to .241/.304/.344 with 6 homers and 6 triples. The following year was better, as he hit .277 with 30 doubles, 4 triples, and 11 home runs. In both of 1982 and 1983, he played primarily 2nd base, although he had had excellent range at 3rd base in 1980 and 1981. By 1983, he had good range at 2nd base, too.

The back problems got to him, though, as he played only 8 games in 1984, hitting .444/.531/.481 at the age of 29.

Castino went back to college, getting his degree with honors from Rollins College in 1984. He went on to get an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. In 1987, he became an investment advisor. As of 2005, he was senior vice president at Wealth Enhancement Group in Wayzata, MN, where he works with his cousin Jay Feely, formerly with the Atlanta Falcons football team.

"When I was 24 and in the majors, I felt invincible. I thought I could play until I was 45" - John Castino

[edit] Notable Achievements


AL Rookie of the Year
1978 1979 1980
Lou Whitaker John Castino & Alfredo Griffin Joe Charboneau

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