Lives Lived: Jim Pagliaroni
April 7, 2010
December 8, 1937 – April 3, 2010
Jim Pagliaroni passed away peacefully in his home on Saturday. He had valiantly battled cancer and heart problems for five years when the dear Lord finally called him home.
Jim was born in Dearborn, MI and grew up in Long Beach, Ca. He lived for 47 years in Grass Valley, Ca, which he loved and appreciated. He is survived by his loving wife fo 54 years, Linda, his daughters, Laura Pagliaroni and Dana Gorman, son in law, Jim Gorman, grandchildren, Ashley Bello, Alex Bello, Cole Gorman and Alyssa Gorman.
Jim served overseas in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958.
His professional career would be the envy of every teen-age, baseball playing boy. Jim was signed as a catcher by the Boston Red Sox at the age of seventeen, while he was attending Long Beach Wilson High School. He made his major league debut with the Red Sox on August 13, 1955. In his first at-bat he scored his first career run, batted in when he pinch-hit a sacrifice fly.
Jim’s baseball career spanned eleven years, playing for the Red Sox, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Oakland Atheltics and the Seattle Pilots. During these years, he participated in 849 games, had 2,465 at-bats, 622 hits, 90 homeruns, 326 runs-batted-in, and a life-time batting average of .252. Not only was Jim a better-than-average hitter, especially for a catcher, but he was also an exceptional defensive player.
During his entire career, he was charged with only 41 errors, giving him a remarkable .991 fielding average. While playing for the Oakland Athletics, he was the catcher for Jim “Catfish” Hunter on the day he pitched a perfect game. Jim played his last major league game at the age of 31, on September 30, 1969, with the Seattle Pilots.
Jim’s teammates will always remember him as a hard working ball player, who was never too ill or injured to be in the game; as a positive presence in the clubhouse, always “at you back” anytime there was a brouhaha on the field; as a roommate extraordinaire, a fun-filled person who could make a 14 day road trip a pleasure with his antics, and always the first to give positive reinforcement to a player fighting-off a slump.
Jim’s teammates respected him to such degree, as to elect him Player Representative to the Players Union for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland A’s. The work he did with the Players Union and Marvin Miller has changed the way baseball players are treated today.
Most recently, Jim became a partner in United States Science Technology(USST) Corp., working on a waste managment project to convert refuse to energy.
All who knew James Pagliaroni will greatly miss him.
Memorial services will be held on Thursday, April 8th, 2 pm at Hooper & Weaver Mortuary, 459 Hollow Way, Nevada City, Ca.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Community Recovery Resources, 440 Henderson, St, Ste. C, Grass Valley, Ca 95945.
Arrangements under the direction of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary.