The Obit For Ralph DiLullo


The Record, Hackensack, NJ August 10, 1999

Ralph A. "Corp" DiLullo of Paterson, a former major league baseball scout responsible for discovering several stars, died Sunday. He was 88.

DiLullo served as a scout for the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates and was involved in semi-professional and professional baseball for more than 60 years.

"He had a very good eye for talent," said his longtime friend and former baseball player James LaBagnara of Paterson. "He could see far ahead of other scouts."

A former minor league catcher who coached and managed with the Pirates and the Detroit Tigers organizations until 1948, DiLullo became a scout the following year. He was affiliated with the Cubs for 22 years and was responsible for signing pitchers Bruce Sutter and Joe Niekro.

"He signed them both for $500 before the days of the million-dollar contracts," said his son, Louis DiLullo of Easton, Pa. "He found both of them in semi-pro ball because the other scouts overlooked them."

DiLullo also managed former Phillies Hall-of-Fame pitcher and current Senator Jim Bunning during his time in the Tiger organization. In 1995, when Bunning was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he brought DiLullo on the field with him as he was being honored at Veterans Stadium.

In 1975, DiLullo left the Cubs to join the Major League Scouting Bureau, which served all teams, and he worked there until he retired in 1993. He returned to the Cubs organization in 1994 and retired again the following year.

Born it Italy, DiLullo came to the United States 82 years ago, settling in Paterson. Nicknamed "Corp" after his father, a corporal in the Italian Army who was killed during World War I, DiLullo played semi-pro baseball with the Paterson Emblems and the Newark Bears. He was signed by the Pirates in 1931.

DiLullo was inducted into the New Jersey chapter of the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and was a parishioner of St. Anthony R.C. Church, Paterson.

In addition to his son, Louis, DiLullo is survived by his wife, the former Rosalie Portelli; another son, Ralph Jr. of Charlotte Courthouse, Virginia; a daughter, Patricia Vogel of Paterson; a sister, Emily Bojczak of Florida; three stepbrothers, Fr. Eugene A. Palumbo SDB of Ramsey, Vincent Palumbo of Wayne, and Albert "James" Palumbo of Toms River; a stepsister, Mary Ventricelli of Parsippany; six grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.

Arrangements are by the Della Torre Funeral Home, Paterson.