Dave Cash, Archie Cianfrocco and Charles “Boots” Day.
All three former Major League Baseball hitters from the Mohawk Valley. Local legends—Cash, from Utica, Cianfrocco, Rome, and Day, from Ilion—are all featured in a new book by Montreal Expos author Danny Gallagher, a Canadian historian.
Gallagher, who covered the Expos from 1988-94 for the Montreal Daily and the Ottawa Sun News, has written nine books about the team, the most recent coming out June 18 titled “Around the Horn: Cash, Boots, Duq, Gully & the Expos. “
Cianfrocco, who graduated from Rome Free Academy in 1984 and played college baseball at Onondaga Community College and Purdue University, played in the majors for seven years with the Expos and San Diego Padres. Cianfrocco, who was drafted twice by the Pittsburgh Pirates in January and June of 1986, was drafted by the Expos in the fifth round of the 1987 MLB June amateur draft. The infielder had a .241 career batting average. After the 1998 season with the Padres, he headed to Japan, playing one year with the Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball.
Gallagher’s chapter in Romano’s new book is titled ‘Cianfrocco was a pain dude.’
“I was drawn to Cianfrocco’s book because he was a part-time player and he was born not far from Montreal and went to Purdue,” Gallagher said. “The connection to Purdue struck me as illuminating. Camur was a purdue story. He was a pain, dude.”
Cianfrocco, who is a member of the Rome Sports Hall of Fame, is also the only player from the city of Rome to make it to the major leagues. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is also from Rome.
“I’m interested in strikers who don’t get enough recognition and who contribute to the team as they play,” Gallagher said. “Fisor doesn’t have to be a star in my books. That’s why Cianfrocco fits the bill.
The book highlights the 1997 season, Cianfrocco was honored when the Padres played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 51st annual National Baseball Hall of Fame game at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. He also won the home run contest before the game.
Cianfrocco in the book “It is strange. Probably one of my weekends, so much experience playing in that game. To see support from people, to see people on the tarmac with signs supporting us. It was great to see so many Romans at the game.’
Coin, who is a member of the Utica Sports Hall of Fame, is on the cover of the book. Thomas R. Proctor graduated from high school in 1966 and was drafted by the Pirates in the fifth amateur draft of that year. The second baseman played twelve years in the major leagues with the Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Expos and Padres. His career batting average was .283 and he was a three-day National League all-star.
“As the Expos moved into Olympic Stadium from Jarry Park for the 1977 season, Dave Cash was a big name free agent brought to the club to add some pizazz,” Gallagher said of “Captain Cash” who headlines the Cash. “Cash was a very experienced second baseman from his days with the Phillies. He brought so much expertise to the Expos table with defense and offense. Under that leadership, the Expos came closest to winning a playoff berth for the first time in 1979.”
Day, who is also a member of the Utica Major League Sports Hall of Fame, played six years in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs and the Expos from 1969-74. On April 10, 1971, Caesar was the first in Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium. Day is the only native of Ilion to play in the major leagues.
“Boots was a solid player for the Expos and the fans loved him for all his efforts, even though he wasn’t a star player,” Gallagher said. “Fables also fell in love with his nickname.”
“Around the Horn: Cash, Boots, Duq, Gully & Expos” is available on Amazon.