Jim Duffalo

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James Francis Duffalo

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Biographical Information[edit]

"(Johnny) Bench was 18 and playing in Buffalo. A pair of older pitchers, Dom Zanni and Jim Duffalo, pulled him aside. They noticed that for all his natural talent, he was flailing at breaking pitches. The next afternoon they met at the park. 'They threw me curveball after curveball after curveball,' Bench recalls. 'Two games later I hit two home runs off curveballs.' " - from Sports Illustrated, July 15, 2018 about Jim Duffalo's assistance to a young Johnny Bench

Jim Duffalo spent seventeen years in pro baseball, of which five were in the major leagues. Primarily a reliever, the bulk of his big league career was with the San Francisco Giants. He was two years older than teammate and fellow pitcher Juan Marichal.

Jim was born in Helvetia, PA, 95 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, PA. He attended high school in the same area, and at age 19 went 17-4 for the D level Brunswick Pirates. He was in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization from 1955 to part of 1958. He followed up his first minor league year by going 16-8 in 1956 with the Kinston Eagles and then was 9-9 with the Lincoln Chiefs in 1957.

In the following season, 1958, after a few more games with Lincoln, he was acquired by the Giants organization where he would be until 1965. He was 15-8 in 1959 with the Springfield Giants and in 1960 was 16-5 with Springfield. Half of 1961 was spent with the Tacoma Giants, for whom he was 6-3, and half was in the majors with the big league Giants.

With the exception of 1958, Jim had mostly been a starter, but with the Giants he was primarily a reliever. He went 5-1 with 1 save as a rookie in 1961. He was also 5-1 in 1964. In all, Duffalo was in 119 games with the Giants over five seasons, with 14 starts and a 3.39 ERA.

He was traded in May 1965 to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the 37-year-old reliever Bill Henry, who would stay with the Giants through part of 1968. Duffalo finished out his major league career pitching 22 games for the Reds in 1965, with an ERA of 3.45.

Jim continued to play in the minors through 1972 in several different organizations.

Jim was pitching coach for the Phoenix Giants in 1980 and Shreveport Captains in 1981.

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