Joe Pignatano
vs. the Mets
Joe Pignatano
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Game Log Memories of
Joe Pignatano
Joe Pignatano
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 152 of 1043 players
Joseph Benjamin Pignatano
Born: August 4, 1929 at Brooklyn, N.Y.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 5.10 Weight: 180

Joe Pignatano was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on June 9, 2011, August 6, 2011, July 13, 2013, and December 26, 2015.

Non-playing roles with Mets
  • Coach 1968 - 1981

First Mets game: July 14, 1962
Last Mets game: September 30, 1962

Cousin of Pete Falcone

Share your memories of Joe Pignatano


In the winter of 1987 my friend and I snuck into Shea Stadium and had a gay old time running all over the field and standing on the pitcher's mounds. I took back with me a souvenir of that day -- a frozen tomato from the bullpen tomato plant that Piggy planted during his days as a coach. It was kind of disgusting so I threw it out.

C Montgomery Burns
Loved the tomato patch in the bullpen. Was this guy famous for anything else?

David Mo
June 27, 2001
To answer C. Montgomery Burns: Joe Pignatano’s claim to fame is that In his last major league at bat (playing for the Mets, of course!) he hit into a triple play. I believe it was the last or next to last game of the Mets "amazin;" inaugural season (1962)...

Won Doney
July 13, 2001
Isn't it funny how when a former Met (Gil Hodges) is hired as the Mets' manager, he brings another former Mets with him as a coach (Piggy)?

November 24, 2001
My dad knew Piggy from his Brooklyn youth days. In '68 at a game against Pittsburgh, Piggy let my brother and I sit on the dugout bench with him and he got some autographs for us. That was beyond cool for a fourteen year old Met fan. Nice guy for doing that for us.

March 3, 2002
I used to bring a butterfly net to Shea to snag ground balls off the field during batting practice. One day Pignatano comes walking by, snags my net, and breaks it over his knee. I've been terrified of that man ever since.

Edgy DC
October 11, 2002
Piggy, among other things, was the last man to see Gil Hodges alive, at his side when the sudden and fatal heart-attack hit.

Don't dis' the Pigman.

Jonathan Stern
December 17, 2002
Put in many years as a coach - left when Torre got fired, along with Rube Walker. Maury Allen's book on the '69 Mets features a section on Piggy. You will find it hard not to cry when you read his description of Gil Hodges's death. A Brooklyn guy who made good - even with the career-ending, '62 season-ending triple play.

Joe P.
September 24, 2004
A former neighbor of my parents in Brooklyn. I have met him many times, a real gentleman. The answer to a great trivia question- who was the catcher for the last out in Ebbets Field for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Rico Q.
November 18, 2004
Back in February 1997, when I was cooking for Outback Steakhouse, I was selected to cook at the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame in Florida. It was there that I met Joe Pignatano (And many other oldtimers and HOFers).

It was the day before the inductions and we were setting up for a lunch we had to do for the oldtimers at a golf course. Joe came over while I was setting up the grill and asked "How long before we eat? I'm starvin'!" I recognized Joe right away, which wasn't hard since he had a Brooklyn Dodgers hat on, a heavy New York accent and that familiar face. I told Joe we'd be ready to go by the time he got back from his round of golf and added, half kidding, "But I'll cook you anything you want right now for that Dodgers hat!!" Joe laughed and said he needed the hat.

Later, after his round of golf, Joe was walking over towards me for that chicken sandwich he wanted. I saw him coming and grabbed a baseball out of the box of baseballs I brought with me. I walked over to hand him the baseball to sign and, at the same time, Joe pulled off his Brooklyn Dodgers hat and handed it to me. I was shocked! I asked if he was serious that I could have it and he said yes. Before Joe and I were done, He had signed the hat and baseball for me and even had his picture taken with me. We talked about baseball and New York, which is where I was born.

He was so down to earth! It was just so cool!! I still have that hat, baseball and picture to this day. Mr. Joe Pignatano is an awesome individual!!

February 21, 2005
I just saw him yesterday, 2/20/2005. He's good friends with my grandpa. He calls my grandpa Sonny and my grandpa calls him Piggy. He's really nice and cool.

August 20, 2006
I remember a story that when the Mets bought Pignatano he arrived at the stadium earlier than expected. He put on his new uniform and went out to the field to warm up. He sat next to Casey Stengel on the bench and figured he would talk himself up. He gave Stengel a glowing report on his hitting and catching prowess. Stengel nodded and Pignatano walked away figuring Casey had all he needed. A reporter walked up to Stengel and asked him who was catching and he replied, "Pignatano if he ever gets here."

jim tagariello
August 5, 2007
I will always remember Joe Pignatano out in the bullpen . He was very proud of the gardens he grew out there during each season. The Met announcers had a habit of bringing up the fact that he hit into a triple play in his last major at bat.

August 5, 2007
Piggy is one of the coaches at Mets fantasy camp. He was my team's bench coach. He is a wonderful and fun man. He tells great stories about his days in baseball. I got fined at kangaroo court for calling him an sob after he told me I struck out on a 35 mile an hour pitch. He was grinning. I was grinning. The most fun I have ever had.

Joe Figliola
May 20, 2010
My favorite Pignatano moment was his interview during the wild post-game celebration that occurred after the Mets beat the Cardinals for the eastern division title in 1969. Amid all the champagne that everyone was drinking and spraying and pouring on people's heads, Joe recalled how great it was to have the bubbly around. He explained that when he was with the champion Dodgers in 1959, all they had to celebrate with in the clubhouse was Coca-Cola!

larry kelly
July 13, 2010
My mother's maiden name was Rose Pignatano. She was Joe's first cousin. Joe was named after my granfather, so I was told. I heard about him all my young life but never met him. I never met my grandfather either. But I knew Joe's parents that lived in Coney Island Brooklyn. It's been some time since I last saw them and I remember his father liked his high balls. They were very nice people and I miss them.

July 7, 2012
I never really knew who Joe Pignatano was till about three years ago. Now I look up the guy frequently to see how much info I can get. I was introduced to knowing Joe Pignatano existed when I bought a large lot of memorabilia from an auction. The lot consisted of 25 baseballs all signed "To Joe, To Piggy, To Joe Pignatano, My true friend Joe Pignatano". By all the great legends, Banks, Mathews, Berra, Jackson, Musial, Mays, Kaline, Snider, Killebrew. I found out that I had bought Joe Pignatano's personal collection of baseball autographs. I treasure these autographs and will name my 1st born boy "Joe" just so I came pass his collection along.

Larry C
July 7, 2012
I played golf for many years with Joe on Staten Island from the late 80's thru the millennium. He's a great person and has many stories I'll always remember. In particular, when asked if it was true that he ended his last career at bat hitting into a triple play, his response was typical Joe. He said "I came in with a bang (hitting a double his first major league at bat) and went out with a bang!"

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