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Pepitone Shines in Yankees Camp

Feb. 7, 1962 - The New York Mets have acquired such former Brooklyn Dodger favorites as Gil Hodges, Charlie Neal, Billy Loes, and Roger Craig. The Yankees, on the other hand, are raising their own Brooklyn-breds. The world champions have three Brooklyn boys in their advanced camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. They are Joe Pepitone, Ron Solomini, and Louis Romanucci. Pepitone is a first baseman-outfielder and Solomini an outfielder. Romanucci is a right-handed pitcher. Pepitone has made a positive impression on manager Ralph Houk and others. He averaged .316 and hit 21 homers with Amarillo last season. Normally, Richmond would be his next stop on the Yankee ladder, but there’s a chance he will hop right to the parent club this spring. As a teenager, Pepitone played summer baseball for Nathan’s, the hot dog concession in Coney Island. He still lives in Brooklyn, a few blocks from the site of Ebbets Field. Manager Ralph Houk considers Pepitone a standout prospect. “He certainly has come a long way,” said Houk today as Joe took his cuts in batting practice. “He can run, throw, hit, play the outfield, and also first base. I would say he has an awful lot going for him.”

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