John Orsino, one of the San Francisco players who hit a record-tying five home runs in a 12-run ninth inning of a 1961 game at Cincinnati, has died. He was 78.
Orsino died Tuesday at Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, following a lengthy illness, according to his wife, Honey.
A catcher and first baseman who was born in Fort Lee, New Jersey, Orsino spent seven seasons in the major leagues with the Giants (1961-62), Baltimore (1963-65) and Washington (1966-67), hitting .249 with 40 home runs and 123 RBIs.
His best season was 1963, when he homered in his first five spring training games with the Orioles and went on to bat .272 with 19 home runs and 56 RBIs.
Orsino was part of the home run barrage by the Giants in a 14-0 win at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field on Aug. 23, 1961. Orlando Cepeda and Felipe Alou hit consecutive home runs, Jim Davenport had an inside-the-park homer, Willie Mays went deep and Orsino capped the burst with a three-run homer.
Orsino was the baseball coach at Fairleigh Dickinson from 1970-76 and later became the golf pro at Emerson Country Club in Emerson, New Jersey, and the Indian Spring Country Club in Boynton Beach, Florida. He was men’s golf coach at Florida Atlantic from October 2004 to November 2006.
He is survived by his wife and two children from an earlier marriage, a daughter, Jeryl, and a son, Jay. A funeral is scheduled for Saturday at Landmark Funeral Home in Hollywood, Florida.