Anthony 'Nino' Spatafore
Born: May 6, 1933
Died: February 25, 2009
After a stellar career as a high school athlete, Mr. Spatafore was drafted and played professional baseball in the Boston Red Sox organization. The longtime coach, who helped create the Optimist All-Star game, died Wednesday at the age of 75.
Mr. Spatafore attended Mission High School in San Francisco, where he remains a high school sports legend. In 2000, he was elected into the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame.
In 1949, Mr. Spatafore was drafted by the Red Sox and signed to a then eye-popping $15,000 bonus.
After his baseball career fizzled out in the minors, Mr. Spatafore moved to his wife Louise's hometown of Sacramento.
Mr. Spatafore was one of the first in east Sacramento to get air conditioning, family members said.
Although he left professional baseball and worked a variety of jobs in Sacramento, including owning an L Street parking garage, managing a Grant-area liquor store and working part time for National Car Rental, he almost always had a hand in baseball.
Services: Rosary, 11 a.m. Saturday at Presentation Catholic Church, 4123 Robertson Ave.