Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Lou Piniella Biography - Born In Tampa, Florida, Wins Al Rookie Of The Year Award, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - SELECTED WRITINGS BY PINIELLA:

Lou Piniella - Born In Tampa, Florida

school played baseball team

He was born Louis Victor Piniella in Tampa, Florida, on August 28, 1943. The grandson of Spanish immigrants, he spoke Spanish until he began school, but even before school he had begun to play ball. His mother, Margaret, told Bruce Lowitt of the St. Petersburg Times that Piniella's first bat was a trimmed-down broom handle, swung at a tape-wrapped cork. "Lou was just 3 years old, but you should have seen the way he hit that ball." When he was five years old, his family moved to a new home, conveniently located across the street from a playground, which quickly became Piniella's home away from home. "There were times I had to drag him off the field," his mother told the St. Petersburg Times. "He would come home from school, do his homework, and then go to the playground and play baseball. He always wanted to be a baseball player." The Tampa neighborhood Piniella grew up in also produced other baseball greats, including Ken Suarez, Tino Martinez, and Tony La Russa.

Lou Piniella

Baseball remained Piniella's passion throughout his boyhood. He played the game while a student at St. Joseph's Catholic School and later at Jesuit High School. He also played on Colt League and American Legion teams. After high school, Piniella attended the University of Tampa for a year, playing baseball and basketball while there. In 1962, at the age of 18, Piniella was signed as an outfielder by the Cleveland Indians. For the next two years he played for minor league teams in Cleveland's farm system. In 1964 Piniella was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Buster Narum. He first played for an Orioles' minor league team in Aberdeen, South Dakota, making his major league debut on September 4, 1964. He played only four games for the Orioles before being sent back to the minor leagues, playing for an Orioles' farm team in Elmira, New York. In 1966 Piniella was traded back to the Indians and assigned to the team's top farm team, the Portland Beavers, for whom he played until 1968. After six games for the Indians, Piniella was selected in the expansion draft of 1968 by the Seattle Pilots, which traded him to the Kansas City Royals in the spring of 1969.

Lou Piniella - Wins Al Rookie Of The Year Award [next]

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