Originally posted on Hall of Very Good  |  Last updated 6/27/13
You’ve probably heard the name Frank Catalanotto before.  During the early 2000’s he was one of the great role players in all of baseball.  While he may not have had a Hall of Fame career, or won any MVP awards, he did accomplish some pretty remarkable feats.  In his career, he accumulated more than one thousand hits and had a career .291 batting average. That’s nothing to shake a Louisville-built stick at. His greatest accomplishments may have come off of the field, however.  Whether it is his never ending work ethic, his dedication to charity and the community, his new book or his family…Catalanotto is the type of person we should all strive to be. HOVG:  You played for six different Major League teams, so you've had an opportunity to play in almost every big league ballpark.  Is there one in particular where you felt the most comfortable or maybe just felt like it played to your strengths? CATALANOTTO:  Fenway Park was always one of my favorite ballparks to play at. The atmosphere was great and I seemed to always feel comfortable there. There's a real good backdrop behind the pitcher that made it easy to see the ball out of the pitchers hand. The dimensions worked out well for me too. At other ball parks, if I ever hit the ball in the air, the opposite way to left field, it was usually an out. But with the Green Monster being so close in left field, I was able to get doubles off the wall without even hitting the ball real well. The rare time I would drive the ball in the air down right field line the Pesky Pole benefited me. HOVG:  You hold quite a few interesting records...most hits in a game for both the Toronto Blue Jays (six) and the Texas Rangers (five), you also reached base in record 13-straight plate appearances with the Rangers.  Not to mention, you recorded more than one thousand hits in your career.  What, in your mind, was the greatest moment of your big league career? CATALANOTTO:  I will never forget my first Major League hit.  But in my mind, the greatest moment of my career was when I had six hits in a nine inning game with the Blue Jays against the Chicago White Sox. HOVG:  In your post baseball life, you're an honorary chairman for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation.  Can you tell us a little bit about the organization and how people can get involved or help?   CATALANOTTO:  The Vascular Birthmark Foundation is a great foundation that has help me and my family. My oldest daughter was born with a vascular birthmark on her nose in 1999. The VBF helped us find the right doctors that were able to perform the proper treatment. My wife and I have helped promote awareness and have raised funds for the VBF over the past 13 years. You can go to fcatalanotto.org for more information and to help out. HOVG:  You are also an author now!  Your book, Heart & Hustle, has been very highly praised in the baseball community.  I also saw on your website that you will sign every copy purchased directly through your site.  Other than the free autograph, why should everyone own your book? CATALANOTTO:  Heart & Hustle not only shares my experiences through the Minor and Major Leagues, but it touches on how a small kid from Long Island was able to make it to the Major Leagues with only mediocre baseball skills. Like most kids, I was never the best player on my little league and high school teams, but through drive, determination and the will to be the best that I could be, I was able to defy the odds. I believe there are stories in my book that could not only help the baseball player but all athletes young and old. HOVG:  Now for a Milwaukee Brewers fan question.  I have never had the chance to interview someone who was coached by Ken Macha.  In 2009, when you were a Brewer, Ken Macha took over.  It's no secret that he didn't have a great relationship with a lot of the players.  Having played under several different Major League skippers, why do you think he wasn't a good fit for the team? CATALANOTTO:  Personally, I liked Macha. He was always good to me when I was with the Brewers in 2009. I did notice that he didn't seem to connect with all of the guys on the team. Managing 25 different personalities in a clubhouse has to be a very difficult job. In my mind, he wasn't as bad as some people made him out to be. HOVG:  Quick follow-up...did you ever see Prince Fielder eat a piece of meat? CATALANOTTO:  No, I never saw Prince eat a piece of meat and if I did, I don't think I would tell on him. (Laughs) You can follow Frank Catalanotto on Twitter at @fcat27.  If you'd like to purchase his book, Heart & Hustle, you can find it at (and yes, he will sign your copy, I wasn’t just making that up) his website. Lastly, to help Catalanotto's charity, visit fcatalanotto.org.

This article first appeared on Hall of Very Good and was syndicated with permission.

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