From BR Bullpen
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.
Cerbone was born in Cooperstown, home to the Hall of Fame. After college, he signed with the 1996 Catskill Cougars and went 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in nine outings. He spent 1997 with the Sioux City Explorers, going 2-2 with a save and a 4.99 ERA. He battled arm and ankle problems in 1998 and saw action with the Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs (0-3, 7.98) and Johnstown Johnnies (2 Sv, 6.38). He got into 7 games with Johnstown in 2004, going 2-2 with a 5.45 ERA while battling a spinal injury.
That off-season, Marc added 4 mph to his fastball (now in the 90-94 range) by adjusting mechanics. The Rimini club of the Italian Serie A1 contacted him, thinking he might qualify for Italian citizenship given his last name and possible heritage. Cerbone looked into his family background and found that his father came to the USA from Italy at 2 months old in 1934. By the time he got back to Rimini, they had found another player, but they passed on the information to the weaker Caserta BC club, who signed Cerbone.
In 2000, the right-hander was 2-1 with five saves and a 2.70 ERA for Caserta. He won a spot on the Italian national team for the 2000 Haarlem Baseball Week, giving up one run in 3 2/3 innings. He then remained with the Azzurri for the 2000 Olympics, something he likely never expected while with Johnstown just a year prior. He was Italy's top pitcher in the Olympics, with 5 1/3 shutout innings, despite five hits and four walks (all intentional). He also got one of Italy's two wins (future big leaguer Jason Simontacchi had the other), topping host Australia. He tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings that day, the 5th of 6 Italian hurlers in a 8-7 win; Fabio Betto got the save.
Cerbone went 3-4 with 4 saves, a 2.68 ERA, 49 strikeouts in 43 2/3 IP and a .192 opponent average for Caserta in 2001. He was with Italy for the 2001 European Championship, giving up two runs in 4 2/3 innings for the team's second-highest ERA, but striking out eight. Italy fell to a Bronze Medal, their worst finish since the 1957 European Championship (they had skipped 1967).
Marc moved to Fortitudo Bologna for 2002. He went 2-2 with 3 saves and a 3.25 ERA but walked 23 in 27 2/3 innings. He bounced around in 2003, between the Brockton Rox (2.79 in 4 G), Long Island Ducks (1.62 in 12 G) and Fortitudo Bologna (3-0, 2.23 in 6 G). In 2004, Cerbone had a 6-5, 4.67 record for The Aces, a traveling team. Returning to Bologna late in the year, he allowed one run in 9 1/3 IP but dropped both of his decisions in the finals.
Cerbone split 2005 between Grosseto (2-3, 6 Sv, 3.49) and the Shreveport Sports (0-2, 3.42), his final look at US ball. He ended his career in 2006 with the Grosseto club, going 0-1 with a save, 4.50 ERA and 11 walks in 14 innings. He tossed one shutout inning in the finals but Grosseto lost.
Overall in Italy, he had a 12-13, 3.05 record with 19 saves in 99 games. Opponents hit just .222 but he walked 113 in 215 1/3 IP. In the minors, he had a 12-14, 4.73 record in 98 games.