John August Antonelli was born April 12, 1930. A left-handed starting pitcher who played for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves, New York and San Francisco Giants, and Cleveland Indians.
One of Antonelli’s claim to fame is that he received the biggest bonus in history, at that point, when he signed with the Braves for $52,000 in 1948. Now that was a lot of money and other players took notice. He then served in Korea and became a regular in 1953.
He was later traded to the Giants along with several other players for Bobby Thomson. He split the 1961 season between the Indians and the Braves before his retirement in 1962 after having been recently acquired by the New York Mets. Antonelli said he was “tired of traveling” and wanted to be home with his family.
His last game was September 4, 1961 when the Milwaukee Braves lost to the Chicago Cubs 2-6. Carl Willey was the starting pitcher. Antonelli came in the bottom of the 7th, pitched 2 innings in relief and gave up 2 hits and 1 run. He struck out 3 and had an ERA of 6.75.
After his baseball career, Antonelli returned to Rochester and for many years ran a chain of Firestone Tire stores bearing his name.
|1951||Did not play in major or minor leagues (Military Service)|
|1952||Did not play in major or minor leagues (Military Service)|
|162 Game Avg.||13||12||.534||3.34||40||28||6||11|
|SFG (7 yrs)||108||84||.563||3.13||280||219||39||86|
|MLN (5 yrs)||18||22||.450||3.88||86||42||22||16|
|CLE (1 yr)||0||4||.000||6.56||11||7||0||0|
|NL (12 yrs)||126||106||.543||3.26||366||261||61||102|
|AL (1 yr)||0||4||.000||6.56||11||7||0||0|