He joined the Ogden Reds of the Pioneer League
the following season. "Cassini comes with a fine record," Secretary
Johnny Sarlo of the Ogden Reds told the
on November 24, 1940. "He may make the fans forget the fine work of
Bobby Adams. I understand that he is one of the most promising
rookies in baseball.”
Cassini didn’t disappoint the Ogden fans. He batted .282 before putting his
career on hold to serve in the military. On December 3, 1941,
Cassini entered service with the Army Air Force. He was stationed at Tinker Field, Oklahoma,
home of the air technical service command for the maintenance and
repair of aircraft and the training of air depot groups. Cassini was
a physical training instructor and had plenty of opportunity to play
baseball with the Tinker Field team in the Oklahoma State Service
Cassini also played with the Enid Army Air Field
team that competed in the National Semi-Pro tournament at Wichita, Kansas.
He was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant in January 1945 and
was discharged from service at the end of the year.
The 25-year-old infielder joined the Cincinnati
Reds at their spring training camp in Tamps,
in 1946. Despite making an impression as the fastest player in camp,
he didn’t make the team and spent the season with
Oklahoma City in the Texas League where he
struggled to regain his pre-war form.
In March 1947, Cassini was released by
and joined Tulsa
in the same league. He batted .319 and was acquired by the
Pittsburgh Pirates in the minor league draft. Playing for the
Pirates’ farm team at Indianapolis in the
American Association in 1948, Cassini batted .305 with 63 RBIs, led
the league in stolen bases, and earned promotion to the Pirates for
1949. Utilizing his speed, the Pirates used him as a pinch runner on
eight occasions before he rejoined
and had another .300 season.
|Indianapolis Indians in 1948 (Jack
Cassini is middle row, third from left)
sent Cassini to the Dodgers for 1950. He spent the next four seasons
with St Paul in the American Association, and after batting .274 the
first year, he hit above .300 thereafter and led the league in
stolen bases in 1950 and 1952. Cassini also played in the Cuba
Winter League and for Montreal
before ending his playing career in 1955. Over 12 seasons he played
1,517 minor league games and batted .304.
He later turned his hand to managing and was with Peninsula in 1964 when he made a couple of on-field
appearances at the age of 45.
Jack Cassini lives in