The Obit For Santy Gallone

Construction worker who died in collapse never realized baseball dream

The New York Dauily News

Tuesday, March 18th 2008, 1:02 AM


BY THOMAS ZAMBITO and JOE GOULD
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

One of the men who was found dead Monday had baseball in his blood and could see his field of dreams from the Manhattan towers where he toiled as a construction worker.

Santino Gallone was a standout second baseman at Fordham University who went into construction when he couldn't break into the major leagues.

"All I needed was a chance to show the scouts that I could play," a frustrated Gallone told Newsday in a 1995 interview. "I don't know what held me back after college."

Gallone, 37, of Long Island, was unstoppable in college. He was named the Patriot League player of the year two times and held the league record for being hit by pitches.

Once, Gallone dislocated his shoulder diving headfirst into first base while trying to leg out a bunt. That's how hard he played. Despite a stellar collegiate career, "Santy" went undrafted.

In 1993, Gallone signed with the independent league Sioux Falls Canaries, where he caught the eye of scouts for the Philadelphia Phillies. He made it to the highest-level of A ball, last playing for Clearwater in the Florida State League in 1995.

After that, Gallone went into construction - a job that sometimes gave him the chance to see Yankee Stadium in the distance.

In recent years, Gallone was a devoted husband to his wife, Jessica, and a doting dad to his 18-month-old daughter Giuliana.

"He talked about his daughter all the time," said family friend John King, 43. "He used to race home to change diapers."