Lazzeri had brief stints with the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Giants, but most of his 14-year career came donning the Yankee pinstripes.
Tony Lazzeri was an important member of “Murderer’s Row,” the tough Yankee lineup of the late 1920s. He was seen as a hero by his Italian-American fans in the Bronx, who nicknamed him “Poosh ‘Em Up,” because of his powerful clutch hitting. He was a feared clutch-hitter with long-ball power even during his days with the minors, belting home 60 home runs for Salt Lake City (Pacific Coast League) in 1925.
Lazzeri made his major league debut with the Yankees in 1926. One year later, he knocked in 102 runs, one of seven seasons he drove in 100 or more runs. For most of his 14-year career in the major leagues, Lazzeri wore Yankee pinstripes, though he also played for the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Giants near the end of his career. During his prime, he became one of the most popular men in baseball.
In 1929, he had his best year, batting .354, with 18 home runs and 106 RBIs. Lazzeri batted over .300 five times, appeared in seven World Series, and played in the very first major league All-Star Game in 1933. He still holds the American League single-game record with 11 RBIs on May 24, 1936.
Lazzeri retired in 1939, finishing with a career batting average of .292, and went to the minor leagues as a player/coach until 1943.
He died on August 6, 1946 in San Francisco. He was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, and inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.