A baseball favorite in Cleveland, Colavito was voted “Most Memorable Personality in Indians History.” “You can’t tell how much spirit a team has until it starts losing.” –Rocky Colavito
Rocky Colavito began his major league career in Cleveland in 1955, and even after he was traded to the Tigers in 1959, the town still loved him. In 1976, he was voted “Most Memorable Personality in Indians History.”
He finished up the 1958 season with a .303 average, 41 home runs and 113 RBIS. The next year, he finished tied for the American League lead with 42 home runs, the first Indians player to have two 40-home run seasons. That summer, in a game with Baltimore, he hit four consecutive home runs. It’s no surprise that Indians fans were bitterly disappointed when Colavito was traded to the Detroit Tigers the following season.
Colavito reached his career peak in Detroit during the 1960 season, hitting .290 with 45 home runs and 140 RBIs. He played with the Tigers until 1964, when he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics. However, in 1965, he returned to Cleveland for two and a half seasons, a small concession for Indians fans. He finished out the 1967 season with the White Sox and split the 1968 season between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the NY Yankees.
Rocky Colavito was a member of five All Star teams (1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, and 1966). He hit 30 or more home runs in seven seasons, and ended his career with a .266 batting average, 374 home runs, and 1159 RBIs. He was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.