Sal Fasano – 2006 Topps Update

October 13, 2010

President – Local 115 Backup Catchers’ Union

Sal Fasano was a normal, typical journeyman catcher. He rose from a 37th round draft pick to the majors in just 2 1/2 seasons thanks to some great power numbers. But he had flaws. He wasn’t a great hitter for average and didn’t have good strike zone judgment.

So they jerked him up and down. Oakland purchased him for one year, 2000. KC bought him back, then the Royals traded him and Mac Suzuki (wow, remember when he was going to be a BIG DEAL?) for Brett Mayne. Then he spun on the minor league caravan quickly, was out of baseball in 2003 (I guess the independent leagues weren’t interested or he was hurt or something) and then came back as a AAA catcher in 2004.

In 2005, he landed in Baltimore and returned as a backup to Javy Lopez. (Sidebar: Wow, what an old team – Palmeiro, Sosa, Surhoff, et. al. The average age was 31.5. The total plate appearances for any position player under 25 was 47. B one guy.) He again showed his strengths (power) and weaknesses (patience).

In 2006, he wound up in Philly.

And Sal Fasano, backup catcher, became Sal Fasano, superstar backup catcher. And he remains, beloved to his day.

He was to backup Mike Lieberthal, and the Phils had Carlos Ruiz in the wings. But then Chris Coste became a sensation. So even though Fasano was well loved, he moved to the Yanks, and then continued his itinerant career. Now, he’s a minor league manager.

But why did Fasano become such a hit?

Just look at him.

This pic doesn’t do it justice – but you know. It’s the 90’s perm mullet combined with the mega-fu manchu. That, and a guy in Philly named Sal Fasano meant that he was an immediate folk hero to the guidos and guidettes.

And he remains to this day.

Yo, Sal! Hit a homah!


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