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Biography

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Overview (5)

Born in Stony Creek Mills, Pennsylvania, USA
Died in Stony Creek Mills, Pennsylvania, USA  (leukemia)
Birth NameCarl Anthony Furillo
Nicknames The Reading Rifle
Skoonj
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Two-time National League All-Star Carl Anthony Furillo was a mainstay in the outfield of the Brooklyn Dodgers dynasty of 1947 through 1956, and even appeared in the 1959 World Series with the World's Champion Dodgers of Los Angeles. He came up with "Da Bums" after the war in 1946, and was released by the team in 1960, at which time he was unceremoniously retired with a .299 lifetime batting average in his 15 year career. An excellent fielder, Furillo was famous for his strong and accurate throwing arm, which won him the nickname of "The Reading Rifle" when he played with the Reading, Pennsylvania franchise of the Interstate League.

With the Dodgers, Furillo played on seven National League pennant winners, appearing in six World Series against the Yankees, whom the Brooklyn Dodgers beat only once, in 1955. He also was on the first Los Angeles Dodgers team to appear in, and win, the World Series, in 1959, when they beat owner Bill Veeck's "Go-Go" Chicago White Sox four games to two. By 1959, Furillo was less than a part-time player, appearing in only 50 games during the regular season. However, he did appear in four of the six World Series games as a pinch-hitter, getting one hit in four at-bats and driving in two runs.

The Dodgers released him on May 7, 1960, after he had appeared in only two games. Furillo went on to sue the team and major league baseball, claiming that his contract forbade him from being released while he was injured. Furillo lost, and he became embittered about the game. His story was prominently featured in Roger Kahn's baseball classic "The Boys of Summer" (1972). Kahn interviewed Furillo for his book, who was then laboring as an elevator installer at the World Trade Center in Nee York City. Furillo felt that he had been forgotten by the game and had not been rewarded sufficiently for his contribution to the Brooklyn dynasty he had been a key part of. It was the fate of such players as Furillo that helped spark the labor movement among baseball players like Furillo that, in the 1970s, helped create the labor movement that eventually freed the slaves under the steady hand of Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Marvin Miller, a seasoned trade unionist.

In his 15 years in The Show, Furillo batted in 80 or more runs eight times, batted .290 or better nine times (including five .300 season, winning the 1953 batting title with an average of .344). As a right fielder, he had nine or more assists in eleven season, including a phenomenal 24 in 1951 after racking up 18 assists in 1950.

After developing leukemia, Carl Furillo died on January 21, 1989 in Stony Creek Mills, Pennsylvania, the town he had been born in 66 years before, of a heart-attack. Though he's been playing on God's team for a generation now, Furillo remains one of The Boys of Summer in memories still green with the heroics of the post-war Brooklyn Trolley-Dodgers.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Fern (? - 21 January 1989) (his death) (2 children)

Trivia (6)

Outfielder for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1946 to 1960.
Selected for Major League Baseball's National League All-Star team in 1952 and 1953.
Led the National League in Batting Average in 1953 (.344). Retired with a lifetime .299 average.
Knew the angles of the right field wall in Ebbets Field better than anyone else and had the strongest throwing arm in baseball when he played. Was always a threat to throw out a runner at first base on a base hit.
Was released by the Dodgers early in 1960 after being injured and sued baseball, claiming his contract stated that he could not be released due to any baseball-related injury. Maintained that he was blacklisted when he was unable to secure a coaching job anywhere, although there was never any evidence to substantiate his claim.
Had an eighth grade education.

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