March 27, 1977

Headline from March 27, 1977: Red Sox waive Rico Petrocelli

As one would expect from a consummate pro, Rico Petrocelli took his release by the Red Sox quietly.

“In 15 years, I met a lot of nice people,” Petrocelli said, per the Boston Globe. “But it has to end sometime.”

He played an important role on the 1967 American League pennant winners (far beyond catching the final out of the final game), starting at shortstop for the AL All Star team. In 1969 he hit 40 homers and drove in 97 runs.

Those 40 homers remain the single-season record for home runs by a shortstop.

Don Zimmer said informing Petrocelli of his going on waivers was “the toughest thing I ever had to do in managing.”

That’s completely believable.

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