Dan Carnevale

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Professional Baseball Player and Scout

Dan Carnevale’s sports journey began with a three-sport, nine-letter career at St. Joe’s which gained him membership in that school’s Sports Hall of Fame. However, baseball soon took center stage in his life, and in the spring of 1937, Canisius College freshman Carnevale signed a contract to play professional baseball for the Buffalo Bisons. With that contract, Carnevale embarked upon a life-long career in the national pastime, which featured more travels than Gulliver, and resulted in a resume likely unequaled in the annals of the sport.

Carnevale distinguished himself as a ballplayer, beginning with a stint with Cornwall, Ontario in the Canadian-American League in 1938. His eye-catching .354 batting average and 100 runs-batted in (in 100 games) were a forecast of good things to come. Carnevale would attain the .300 mark five more times in a 15-year playing career which featured 1,570 games in 14 cities (including Buffalo) in nine leagues. His lifetime batting average was .284 and he plated 100 runs on three other occasions. In addition, he led his position in fielding percentage for six consecutive seasons, for six teams in six different leagues.

While these statistics are impressive, they don’t begin to measure up to Carnevale’s numbers as a minor league manager. In the eight seasons in which he managed from start to finish, his teams won 627 games and lost 445 for an outstanding .585 percentage. In the playoffs, “Buffalo Dan” was nearly unbeatable, with five championships in six years (1948-53). Remarkably, these titles were achieved with five different teams in four different leagues: Carbondale (North Atlantic) in 1948; Bradford, PA (Pony) in 1949, Terre-Haute (Three-I) in 1950; Wilmington (Interstate) in 1951, and Jamestown (Pony) in 1953.

Carnevale returned to the Bisons as manager in 1955, and was team general manager in 1956 and 1957. In 1957, the Bisons won the International League playoffs after finishing last the previous year. That team drew over 452,000 fans, a total not exceeded until the team took up residence in Pilot field in 1988.

After leaving the Bisons in 1962, Carnevale scoured the nation as a major league scout for the Athletics and Orioles, and saw duty as a first base coach for the A’s in 1970. Carnevale joined the Cleveland Indians in 1972 and, as a special assignment scout, has played a major role in the development of the outstanding farm system which produced a long-awaited 1995 American League pennant for the Tribe.

Despite his travels, Carnevale continues to reside in Buffalo, and can be spotted at any Bison home game scouting for the Indians. Dan has never stopped boosting Buffalo during his illustrious career, and it is that spirit as much as his baseball accomplishments, that we honor in 1996 with his induction into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.