Pagnozzi, Tom (1987-1998)

Thomas Alan Pagnozzi (born July 30, 1962 in Tucson, Arizona) is a former Major League Baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals. He played collegiately for Arkansas. Primarily a catcher, Pagnozzi also made 40 appearances at first base and seven appearances at third base during his 12-season career, which spanned from 1987 to 1998.

Initially a backup catcher and utility player for the Cardinals, in 1990 Pagnozzi impressed Cardinals manager Joe Torre enough to move Todd Zeile, then the Cardinals’ hot catching prospect, to third base to make room for him. Pagnozzi remained the Cardinals’ regular catcher until 1996. While he had moderate power and was considered an RBI threat, he was primarily regarded for his defense, for which he won Gold Gloves in 1991, 1992, and 1994. Pagnozzi also made the National League All-Star team in 1992.

Pagnozzi retired in 1998 at the age of 36 after being released by the Cardinals in August. He finished with a career batting average of .253 with 44 home runs and 320 RBI. He also finished in the top five in Cardinals franchise history in catcher defensive categories such as games caught, innings, putouts, stolen bases allowed, caught stealing, and fielding percentage. He also played in the Puerto Rican Winter League with the Mayaguez Indians from 1986 to 1990.

Pagnozzi now makes his home in Fayetteville, Arkansas, giving extensively to the youth of the community, as well as the community as a whole. He recovered well after an auto accident on December 22, 2008, near his home. Pagnozzi, who was driving with Cardinals farmhand Casey Rowlett, hit a patch of ice and that caused his truck to flip several times. The two men emerged with minor injuries; however, another passenger was seriously injured.

MLB statistics
Batting average .253
Home runs 44
Runs batted in 320

Tom Pagnozzi’s nephew, Matt Pagnozzi, is also a catcher, and made his debut with the Cardinals on September 29, 2009.