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Ron Villone
Villone with the Washington Nationals
Born: (1970-01-16) January 16, 1970 (age 53)
Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.
Batted: Left
Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 28, 1995, for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 2009, for the Washington Nationals
MLB statistics
Win–loss record61–65
Earned run average4.73

Ronald Thomas Villone, Jr. (born January 16, 1970) is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) left-handed relief pitcher and current minor league coach. Villone played for 12 teams in his career, tied for 3rd all time with pitcher Mike Morgan and outfielder Matt Stairs, and trailing only Octavio Dotel and Edwin Jackson.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • 7/21: Ron Villone Feature
  • 2009/05/27 Villone's alert defense
  • St Louis Cardinals Ron Villone Yadier Molina
  • 2000 08 28 - Reds v Braves (Villone vs Maddux, Condensed Game)
  • 2009/05/19 Villone's barehanded play


College career

Born in Englewood, New Jersey,[2] Villone grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey.[3] He attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was a two-sport star, playing baseball and football. Villone was a tight end when he played football, and he had success with it. In 1990, he was selected as a first team All-Yankee Conference tight end.

In 1991, Villone was the recipient of the Atlantic-10 Left Handed Pitcher of the Year award. In 1992, he was a third-team All American Selection after striking out 89 in just 5913 innings. After the season, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League,[4][5] and pitched for Team USA at the Barcelona Olympics. Villone was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the first round (14th overall) of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft.

Professional career

Seattle Mariners

In 1993, the Mariners assigned him to the Riverside Pilots, their Advanced-A affiliate. He went 7–4 with a 4.21 ERA in 16 starts. He pitched 8313 innings, allowing 74 hits, walking 62, and striking out 82. He earned a promotion to their AA affiliate, the Jacksonville Suns. At Jacksonville, he went 3–4 with a 4.38 earned run average in 11 starts. In 6323 innings, Villone allowed a total of 49 hits, 41 walks, and 66 strikeouts. Meanwhile, his walks per nine decreased in Jacksonville, as well as his walks and hits allowed per innings pitched. However, his strikeouts per nine innings pitched increased to 9.33, averaging more than one strikeout per inning.

Villone stayed in Jacksonville for the 1994 season, going 6–7 with a 3.86 earned run average. In 41 games, (only five of them were starts); he pitched 7913 innings, allowing just 56 hits, 19 walks, and 43 strikeouts. Although he was not the full-time closer, Villone compiled eight saves in the 1994 season.

Because of his stellar 1994 campaign, Seattle promoted him, effective at the start of the 1995 season, to their AAA affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers. He had a magnificent start to the 1995 season, going 1–0 with a 0.61 earned run average. In 22 appearances as the full-time closer, Villone saved 13 games and struck out 43 batters.

Villone was recalled from AAA on April 28, 1995. He made his Major League debut on April 28, 1995 working a scoreless ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers. During that inning he stuck out Travis Fryman of the Tigers for his first career strikeouts.[6]

He posted an 0–2 record with a 7.91 earned run average in 19 games for the Mariners. He walked 23 batters, but struck out 26. He was a victim of the long ball, allowing six home runs.

San Diego Padres

On July 31, 1995, the Mariners General Manager at the time, Woody Woodward, dealt Villone and Marc Newfield to San Diego in exchange for Greg Keagle and Andy Benes.[7] Villone spent the remainder of the season with the Padres, going 2–1 with a 4.21 earned run average. In 2523 innings, Villone gave up 24 hits, 11 walks while striking out 37.

He started the 1996 season with San Diego’s AAA Affiliate, Las Vegas. Villone proved that he could be dominant, so, San Diego called him up. He was just as good with the Padres, going 1–1 in 21 games with a 2.95 earned run average. He pitched 1813 innings, recording 17 hits, 7 walks, and 19 strikeouts.

Milwaukee Brewers

On July 31, 1996, the Padres shipped Villone, Bryce Florie, and Marc Newfield to the Milwaukee Brewers for Gerald Parent and Greg Vaughn.[8] Despite the trade, Villone still had success in Milwaukee, pitching 2423 innings (23 games), allowing 14 hits, 18 walks, and 9 earned runs (3.28 earned run average).

Ron Villone stayed in the majors for the entire 1997 campaign. He pitched another season for the Brewers, going 1–0 with a 3.42 earned run average. His workload increased, as he pitched in 50 games (5223 innings), giving up 54 hits, and 36 walks. For the second straight year, Villone averaged less than one strikeout per inning pitched. (In 1997, he fanned 40 in 5223 innings)

Cleveland Indians

On December 8, 1997, Milwaukee traded him, Ben McDonald, and Mike Fetters to Cleveland. As part of the deal, Jeff Juden and Marquis Grissom went to Milwaukee.[9] This was the third consecutive year that Villone was traded, but this was the first year in which he was not dealt midway through the year.

Villone split 1998 with Buffalo (Cleveland’s AAA affiliate) and the major-league club. He had a better time in Buffalo, going 2–2 with a 2.01 earned run average in 23 appearances. In 2213 innings, he gave up 20 hits, walked 11, and struck out 28 batters. In Cleveland, he walked 22 in 27 innings. He also gave up 30 hits, and had an earned run average of 6.00.[10]

Before the 1999 season started, Villone and the Indians agreed to a one-year contract worth $462,500.[10] On April 2, he was released by the Indians.[11]

Cincinnati Reds

Three days later, the Cincinnati Reds signed him to a minor league deal.[12] During the 1999 season, he went 9-7 with an ERA of 4.23. He pitched in 29 games (22 starts) pitching 14223 innings.

In 2000, he was not as effective, yet he posted a .500 record (10–10). He walked more batters (78), struck out less (77), allowed more hits (154), and had a higher earned run average (5.43) than the 1999 season.

Colorado Rockies

On November 8, 2000 he was dealt to the Colorado Rockies for Jeff Taglienti and Justin Carter.[13][14] As a spot starter and long reliever, he went 1–3 with a 6.36 earned run average. In 22 games (6 starts), he pitched 4623 innings, allowing 56 hits and 29 walks, and striking out 48.

Houston Astros

On June 27, 2001, Villone was dealt to the Houston Astros for Jay Powell.[15] He continued to struggle, going 5–7 with a 5.56 earned run average as a spot starter/long reliever on the Astros’ pitching staff. In 68 innings, he gave up 77 hits, but lowered his walk total to 24. and struck out 65 batters. Villone was granted free agency on November 5, 2001.

Pittsburgh Pirates

On February 16, 2002, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed him to a one-year contract.[16] He was the team's Opening Day starter.[17] On July 15, Villone broke the sesamoid bone in the big toe of his landing leg while covering first base. Though he continued to pitch through the injury, he later chose to have the bone removed.[18]

With the Pirates, he went 4–6 with a 5.81 earned run average. Over 45 games (seven starts), he pitched 93 innings, allowed 95 hits, 34 walks, and had 55 strikeouts. Villone was granted free agency on October 29, 2002.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Five months later, he signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.[19] They assigned him to Tucson, their AAA affiliate.[20] While at Tucson, Villone posted a 1–1 record with a 3.55 earned run average. However, they assigned him to pitch exclusively out of the bullpen. In 2513 innings, he allowed 20 hits and 12 walks while recording 22 strikeouts. Despite this limited success, he was released on May 15, 2003.

Houston Astros (2nd time)

On May 19, 2003, he returned to the Astros on a one-year deal.[18] He was assigned to AAA New Orleans. A 3–1 record and a 1.23 earned run average in 5 starts (2913 innings) earned him a trip to the big leagues, where he went 6–6 with a 4.13 earned run average. All 19 outings with the Astros were starts, amassing 10623 innings. He allowed a total of 91 hits and 48 walks, and had 91 strikeouts.

Seattle Mariners (2nd time)

On November 2, 2003, Villone chose to test the free agent market, once again. The Mariners signed him to a one-year contract.[21] Villone had a decent season with them, going 8–6 with a 4.08 earned run average. Again, Villone was used in a long relief/spot starter role, something that he was accustomed to from his days with Houston, Colorado, and Pittsburgh. In 117 innings, Villone gave up 102 hits and 64 walks, while striking out 86.

His contract expired at the end of the season, and he declared free agency once again. The Mariners inked him to a two-year deal.[22] In the 2005 season, Villone went 2–3 with a 2.45 earned run average. Used primarily as a lefty specialist, he pitched 4013 innings, allowing 33 hits, 23 walks, and 41 strikeouts.

Florida Marlins

On July 31, 2005, the Mariners sent Villone to the Florida Marlins in exchange for Yorman Bazardo and Mike Flannery.[23] As a Marlin, Villone pitched in 27 games (2323 innings), mostly as a lefty specialist. He gave up 24 hits, 12 walks, and 29 strikeouts. Villone struggled in Florida, posting a 6.85 earned run average with the Marlins.

New York Yankees

Villone pitching for the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees

In December 2005, the Marlins traded Villone to the New York Yankees for left-hander Ben Julianel. The Yankees also paid the entirety of his $2 million salary.[24] On February 13, 2007 he was signed to a minor league deal with the New York Yankees.[25] During spring training in 2007, Villone was given a chance to earn a spot in the Yankee bullpen, but was beat out for the last spot by Sean Henn.[26] However, he was called back up in mid-May.

During his tenure with the Yankees, Villone was named in the Mitchell Report. He was one of 53 players identified as possible clients of Kirk Radomski. Radomski claimed he sold Villone six kits of human growth hormone between 2004-2005.[27]

St. Louis Cardinals

In February 2008, Villone was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals to a minor league contract and was invited to spring training.[28] Coming out of camp, Villone made the Opening Day roster.[29]

New York Mets

On February 27, 2009, Villone signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets and was invited to spring training.[30][31] He did not make the team, and was granted his release on March 27.[32]

Washington Nationals

He then signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals on April 10 and was assigned to Triple-A Syracuse.[33] On May 7, Villone's contract was purchased from Syracuse.[34] He led the team in appearances in 2009 with 63. On March 15, 2010, the Washington Nationals released him.[35] He was re-signed on April 19.[36] Villone was recovering from a leg injury at the time of his initial release.[37][38]

During a July 23, 2010 game with the Durham Bulls, Villone took the mound in the eighth inning with a one-run lead but gave up a walk to what would become the tying run. He then threw to first base 12 times to hold the runner, without once throwing to home plate, annoying the crowd who booed Villone mercilessly. When Villone finally threw to home plate, the batter bunted the ball back to Villone, who failed to make the play. Villone walked the next batter and hit the following batter with a two-strike pitch to force in the tying run.[39] He was immediately pulled from the game.

Less than a month later, on August 12, 2010, he was once again released after posting an ERA of 6.59 during his time in Triple A. On March 10, 2011 Villone re-signed with the Nationals.[40]

Somerset Patriots

Cut from the Nationals before the regular season started, Villone then signed with the Somerset Patriots of the independent AA Atlantic League.[41]


Villone pitched in three postseason games and did not allow an earned run.

Coaching career

He became the pitching coach of the Chicago Cubs' Single-A affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs, in 2012.[42] In December 2012, Villone was announced as the pitching coach for the Cubs' new Single-A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars, where he spent the 2013 season.[43] In December 2013, he was promoted to pitching coach for the Daytona Cubs of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League.[44] Villone spent four seasons as the minor-league pitching rehab coordinator before joining the Triple-A Iowa Cubs starting with the 2021 season.[45]

Personal life

Villone married his first wife, Katherine, in January 1994. They had two children, Megan (born March 26, 1996) and Ronald Thomas III (born September 14, 1997), before divorcing in 2004.[46]

Villone is now married to his wife Brooke and resides in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.[47] They have a daughter, Sofia Francesca (born June 9, 2010). His wife Brooke appears on the VH1 reality show "Baseball Wives", which premiered in 2011.[48]

See also


  1. ^ "Stark: Dotel knows all about changing places". 13 March 2012.
  2. ^ Baumbach, Jim. "YANKEES, New home suits Villone , Lefty grew up a fan of Yanks, Gator, Donnie - and now joins them", Newsday, December 17, 2005. Accessed February 17, 2011. "Villone, who turns 36 next month and was born in Englewood, N.J., had a 4.08 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 64 innings (79 games) for the Marlins and Mariners last season."
  3. ^ MARINERS TAKE EX-BERGENFIELD STAR -- VILLONE PICKED 14TH OVERALL. The Record (Bergen County), June 2, 1992. "The call came a little later than anticipated, but Ron Villone of Bergenfield got what he expected Monday afternoon."
  4. ^ "Major League Baseball Players From the Cape Cod League" (PDF). Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  5. ^ "Player Stats". Cape Cod Baseball League. Retrieved July 13, 2023.
  6. ^ "Detroit Tigers at Seattle Mariners Box Score, April 28, 1995".
  7. ^ Farber, Michael (March 31, 1997). "Milwaukee Brewers". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  8. ^ Chass, Murray (1996-08-01). "Padres Thirst for Power and Get Vaughn From Brewers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  9. ^ By (1997-12-09). "INDIANS TRADE GRISSOM, BRING BACK LOFTON". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  10. ^ a b "UTILITY PLAYER DUNCAN SIGNS MINOR LEAGUE DEAL WITH METS". Sun Sentinel. January 23, 1999. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  11. ^ sabr. "July 10, 1999: Vizquel's walk-off home run salvages Candiotti's return to Cleveland – Society for American Baseball Research". Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  12. ^ "TRANSACTIONS". The New York Times. 1999-04-06. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  13. ^ "Reds, Rockies complete trade". Ironton Tribune. Associated Press. December 21, 2000. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  14. ^ "TRADE ROUNDUP". CT Insider. December 21, 2000. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  15. ^ "Colorado deals with Astros". United Press International. June 28, 2001. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  16. ^ "Pirates Sign Villone to Minors". Midland Daily News. 2002-02-12. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  17. ^ "Mets Beat Pittsburgh in Opener". The New York Times. Associated Press. 2002-04-01. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  18. ^ a b ORTIZ, JOSE DE JESUS (2003-08-05). "Villone on right foot again for Astros With poll". Chron. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  19. ^ "Villone and Jackson Sign Arizona Deals". Midland Daily News. 2003-01-29. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  20. ^ "TRANSACTIONS". The New York Times. 2003-03-31. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  21. ^ "Seattle signs LHP Ron Villone for bullpen". 2004-02-10. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  22. ^ Finnigan, Bob (2005-01-19). "Villone signs two-year contract". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  23. ^ staff, Seattle Times (2005-07-31). "Marlins acquire Ron Villone from Seattle for two minor leaguers". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  24. ^ King III, George A. (2005-10-17). "Yankees Land Lefty Villone". The New York Post. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  25. ^ Staff, S. I. (2007-02-13). "HEYMAN: Villone signs minor-league deal with Yankees". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  26. ^ Kepner, Tyler (2007-03-30). "Younger and Cheaper Make Yankees Roster". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  27. ^ Mitchell, pp. 189–90
  28. ^ Leach, Matthew (February 19, 2008). "Cardinals invite Villone to camp". Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  29. ^ "Cardinals set 2008 Opening Day roster". March 30, 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  30. ^ "Villone signed to minor deal". New York Post. February 27, 2009.
  31. ^ "New York Mets Sign Former Minuteman Ron Villone To A Minor League Contract". University of Massachusetts. March 2, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  32. ^ "Mets cut ties with veteran Villone". Sportsnet. Associated Press. September 13, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  33. ^ Nationals sign left-hander Villone
  34. ^ "Nationals call up Villone, designate Hinckley". 2009-05-07. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  35. ^ "Nats release Villone, option 5 pitchers to minors". The Columbian. 2023-11-01. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  36. ^ "". X (formerly Twitter). Retrieved 2023-11-13. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  37. ^ "". X (formerly Twitter). Retrieved 2023-11-13. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  38. ^ Tom Leo, The Post-Standard (2010-07-16). "Chiefs reliever Ron Villone fighting his way back". syracuse. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Ron Villone Stats, Fantasy & News". Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  41. ^ Messenger-Gazette, The (2011-08-19). "Villone, former New York Yankee, now pitches in home state for Somerset Patriots". nj. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  42. ^ "Chiefs coach has brain cancer". Peoria Journal Star. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  43. ^ "Cubs announce 2013 Minor League managers and staff". 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  44. ^ "Cubs announce 2014 minor league managers and staff". 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  45. ^ "Chicago Cubs make minor-league coach changes". Chicago Tribune. 2020-01-14. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  46. ^ "RONALD T. VILLONE, JR. v. KATHERINE VILLONE". Justia Law. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  47. ^ Kepner, Tyler (2005-12-17). "BASEBALL: YANKEES NOTEBOOK; A Longtime Fan, Villone Is the Newest Yankee". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-11-13.
  48. ^ Correspondent, Louise Carroll Ledger. "Ellwood City native stars in VH1 reality show, 'Baseball Wives'". Ellwood City Ledger. Retrieved 2023-11-12.

External links

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