Joe Kirrene

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Joseph John Kirrene

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Biographical Information[edit]

Joe Kirrene was signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago White Sox before the 1950 season. The youngster had gone to Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, CA and played semi-pro ball for the local Sacramento Smokies. The White Sox assigned Joe to the Waterloo White Hawks of the class B Three-I League where he appeared in 83 games and hit .233 and finished up the split season with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox of the class A Western League. With the Sky Sox he hit .333 in 28 games for a .263 hitting average, with 14 home runs, his first season in the pros.

The parent club, the Chicago White Sox, decided to give the 18-year-old third baseman a late-season look in 1950 and Joe went 1-for-4 at the plate for the Sox in his debut on October 1st. The United States military were the next callers and Kirrene spent the next three seasons (1951-1953) in the service during the Korean War. On his return in 1954 Joe had another split season with the Colorado Springs club again and the Memphis Chickasaws of the class AA Southern Association, hitting .331 with 11 home runs in 143 games. He returned to Comiskey Park for a second chance in the majors and hit .304 in 9 games, concluding his time in the big leagues with a .296 average in 10 games at age 22.

In 1955 Joe played for both his hometown San Francisco Seals and the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League, as well as the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League, hitting .273 with 7 homers in his three-team trifecta year. Kirrene spent his fourth and final season in the minors in 1956 with the Memphis club again, and after hitting just .250 in 142 games, Joe said goodbye to his pro baseball career with a minor league record of .280 with the stick, along with 39 home runs in 540 games.

After baseball Joe became the manager of the AAA automobile club in San Jose, CA, and made his home in San Ramon, CA. That's where he passed away in 2016.


Baseball Players of the 1950s

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