Sam Perlozzo – Twins 2B and baseball lifer

Sam Perlozzo played 2B for the Twins in 1977.

Samuel Benedict Perlozzo was born in Cumberland, Maryland on March 4, 1951. Growing up in Maryland, Sam enjoyed playing football and baseball and was probably better known as a football player playing running back and safety but his lack of size kept him from pursing the gridiron. Sam earned a baseball scholarship to George Washington University where he played for three seasons from 1970 to 1972. In his final year, Sam was the star of the team hitting .345, leading the nation in stolen bases and getting named as an Academic All-American. Sam ended up signing a free agent contract with the Minnesota Twins on August 15, 1972. Perlozzo started his professional career in “A” ball with Fort Lauderdale in 1973 and played in Dubuque in 1974 and Reno in 1975. Back in those days some of the big league clubs had co-op teams where a team was made up of players for several big league clubs so even though Sam was signed as a Minnesota Twin, he did not get to play on a team of Twins minor leaguers until he joined the Orlando team in 1976. Sam Perlozzo made his major league debut on September 13, 1977 at Comiskey Park replacing Bob Randall at 2B in the seventh inning but he did not get an at bat that day. Sam ended up playing in 10 games for the Twins in 1977 going 7 for 24 (.292 average) and scoring 6 runs. As it turned out, those 10 games would be the only games that Sam played in a Minnesota Twins uniform as he spent 1978 in AAA Toledo. In the spring of 1979 Perlozzo and the Twins had reached an agreement that if Sam did not make the Twins ballclub coming out of spring training he would be granted his release and that took place on March 30, 1979. Perlozzo signed with the San Diego Padres and spent the season playing in Hawaii before getting a September call-up. Unfortunately for Sam he was suffering from a groin injury at the time and only got two at bats with the Padres before being carted off the field after he reinjured his groin. That my friends marked the end of Sam Perlozzo’s big league playing career. In January of 1980 the Padres sold Perlozzo to the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese League and Sam played ball there in 1980 hitting .281 with 15 home runs and 43 RBI’s in 118 games. In 1981 Sam joined the New York Mets as a player/coach in AAA Tidewater but after that season, Sam, who was 30 at the time, walked away from his playing days and moved into coaching and managing.

Perlozzo managed various teams in the Mets minor league system from 1982-1986 winning three league titles while never having a losing season. Perlozzo ended his minor managing league career with a 364-263 (.581) record in five seasons. The following season (1987), Sam was promoted to the New York Mets as a third base coach and he stayed in that role through the 1989 season. Perlozzo then went on to coach for the Cincinnati Reds from 1990-1992, the Seattle Mariners from 1993-1995, and the Baltimore Orioles from 1996-2005. In August of 2005 Perlozzo was named as the Baltimore Orioles manager after Lee Mazzilli was let go. After nearly two years at the helm, Perlozzo could not get the Orioles over the hump and on June 18, 2007 Sam was replaced by Dave Tremblay as the O’s skipper. Sam then returned to coaching with the Seattle Mariners from 2008-2009 before joining the Philadelphia Phillies as a coach in 2009. Perlozzo is still coaching with the Phillies and has now been a big league coach or manager for 25 straight seasons. Sam obviously loves the game of baseball. In the off season, Sam lives in Tampa, Florida and enjoys playing golf and spending time with family and friends. Sam’s son Eric was drafted by the Orioles in the 2007 amateur draft.

You can listen to the Sam Perlozzo interview by clicking here. Be sure to check out our other interviews with former Twins players by going to the Interview Archives page, there are 35 different interviews you can check out.

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