Tony Tarasco

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Anthony Giacinto Tarasco

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Biographical Information[edit]

Tony Tarasco is most famous for leaping to catch a Derek Jeter fly ball at the wall in the 1996 American League Championship Series when young fan Jeffrey Maier hauled the ball over the fence for a home run. The call of fan interference was never made by umpire Rich Garcia, in spite of Tarasco's vehement protestations. Tony was playing for the Baltimore Orioles at the time.

When playing, he would cross himself before every at-bat and point at the sky, in remembrance of a former high school friend and teammate who was murdered at a young age.

While serving as minor league outfield coordinator for the Washington Nationals in 2011, Tarasco was given the assignment of working with über-prospect Bryce Harper when he began his career in organized baseball. He had to teach him about how to play the outfield - Harper had been a catcher in the amateur ranks - but also coach him on his mental approach and the need not to see himself as being an immediate big leaguer, but as someone who needs to learn what there is to learn at the different levels of the farm system. He helped Harper make the adjustments necessary to succeed in the minors and his advice was highly appreciated by the budding star. In 2013, following the nomination of Bo Porter as manager of the Houston Astros, Tarasco was named first base coach of the Nationals. He stayed until the end of the 2015 season, when he was dismissed along with manager Matt Williams and the rest of the coaching staff.

After working in the San Diego Padres minor league system from 2016 to 2020, he was hired by the New York Mets as their first base coach in 2021, a sort of homecoming for the New York native, but stayed there for only one season.

He is a cousin of shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

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