The Next Page: Baseball’s Italian Heritage

Nov 25, 2015 868

By Richard Peterson

My wife, Anita, and I live in southern Illinois, about 10 miles from Herrin, a community with a rich Italian-American heritage. Its historical society recently asked me to give a talk on Italian-Americans in baseball history.

Once I began my research, I was surprised by the number of notable Italian-Americans who played baseball in Pittsburgh, beginning with Lewis Pessano. Recognized as the first Italian-American in professional baseball, Pessano played under the name Buttercup Dickerson.

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