A. Bartlett Giamatti

Angelo Bartlett Giamatti (/dʒiːəˈmɑːti/; April 4, 1938 – September 1, 1989) was an American professor of English Renaissance literature, the president of Yale University, and the seventh Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Giamatti served as Commissioner for only five months before dying suddenly of a heart attack. He is the shortest-tenured baseball commissioner in the sport's history and the only holder of the office not to preside over a full Major League Baseball season. Giamatti negotiated the agreement resolving the Pete Rose betting scandal by permitting Rose to voluntarily withdraw from the sport to avoid further punishment.

A. Bartlett Giamatti
7th Commissioner of Baseball
In office
April 1, 1989 – September 1, 1989
Preceded byPeter Ueberroth
Succeeded byFay Vincent
14th President of the National League
In office
June 10, 1986 – April 1, 1989
CommissionerPeter Ueberroth
Preceded byChub Feeney
Succeeded byBill White
19th President of Yale University
In office
December 20, 1978 – June 10, 1986
Preceded byHanna Holborn Gray (Acting)
Succeeded byBenno C. Schmidt Jr.
Personal details
Angelo Bartlett Giamatti

April 4, 1938
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedSeptember 1, 1989 (aged 51)
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, U.S.
Cause of deathHeart attack
Spouse(s)Toni Marilyn Smith
ChildrenPaul Giamatti
Marcus Giamatti
Elena Giamatti
ParentsValentine John Giamatti (father)
(a graduate of Yale College)
Mary Claybaugh Walton (mother)
ResidenceMartha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
EducationYale College (BA, PhD)
Alma materPhillips Academy
OccupationPresident of Yale University (1978–1986)
National League President (1986–1989)
MLB Commissioner (April 1, 1989–September 1, 1989)

Personal life

Giamatti was born in Boston and grew up in South Hadley, Massachusetts, the son of Mary Claybaugh Walton (Smith College 1935) and Valentine John Giamatti. His father was professor and chairman of the Department of Italian Language and Literature at Mount Holyoke College.[1] Giamatti's paternal grandparents were Italian immigrants Angelo Giammattei (Italian pronunciation: [dʒammatˈtɛi]) and Maria Lavorgna (Italian pronunciation: [laˈvɔrɲa; -orɲa]): his grandfather Angelo emigrated to the United States from Telese, near Benevento, Italy, around 1900.[2] Giamatti's maternal grandparents, from Wakefield, Massachusetts, were Helen Buffum (Davidson) and Bartlett Walton, who graduated from Phillips Academy Andover and Harvard College.

Giamatti attended South Hadley High School, spent his junior year at the American Overseas School of Rome, and graduated from Phillips Academy in 1956. At Yale College, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon (Phi chapter) and as a junior in 1960 was tapped by Scroll and Key,[3] a senior secret society. He graduated magna cum laude in 1960.

In 1960, he married Toni Marilyn Smith, who taught English for more than 20 years at the Hopkins School in New Haven, Connecticut, until her death in 2004.[4] Together the couple had three children: Hollywood actors Paul and Marcus and jewelry designer Elena.


Giamatti stayed in New Haven to receive his doctorate in 1964, when he also published a volume of essays by Thomas G. Bergin he had coedited with a philosophy graduate student, T. K. Seung. He became a professor of comparative literature at Yale University, an author, and master of Ezra Stiles College at Yale, a post to which he was appointed by his predecessor as Yale president, Kingman Brewster, Jr.

Giamatti taught briefly at Princeton but spent most of his academic life at Yale. Giamatti's scholarly work focused on English Renaissance literature, particularly Edmund Spenser, and relationships between English and Italian Renaissance poets. When Giamatti's tenure as Stiles master ended in 1972, he was so popular that his students wanted to honor him with a present. Giamatti told them he wanted a joke gift and they got him a moosehead (from a yard sale), which was ceremoniously hung in the dining hall.

Giamatti served as president of Yale University from 1978 to 1986. He was the youngest president of the university in its history and presided over the university during a bitter strike by its clerical and technical workers in 1984-85. As university president, he refused student, faculty, and community demands to divest from apartheid South Africa. He also served on the board of trustees of Mount Holyoke College for many years, participating fully despite his Yale and baseball commitments. Giamatti was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1980.[5]


Shoeless Joe Jackson by Conlon, 1913.jpeg
In 1989, Giamatti declined to reinstate Shoeless Joe Jackson because the case was "now best given to historical analysis and debate as opposed to a present-day review with an eye to reinstatement".[6]

Giamatti had a lifelong interest in baseball (he was a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan). In 1978, when he was first rumored to be a candidate for the presidency of Yale, he had deflected questions by observing that "The only thing I ever wanted to be president of was the American League." His articles "Tom Seaver's Farewell", published in Harper's Magazine in September 1977, and "Baseball and the American Character," published in that magazine in October 1986, are but two of many of his baseball publications. Giamatti became president of the National League in 1986, and later commissioner of baseball in 1989. During his stint as National League president, Giamatti placed an emphasis on the need to improve the environment for the fan in the ballparks. He also decided to make umpires strictly enforce the balk rule and supported "social justice" as the only remedy for the lack of presence of minority managers, coaches, or executives at any level in Major League Baseball.

While still serving as National League president, Giamatti suspended Pete Rose for 30 games after Rose shoved umpire Dave Pallone on April 30, 1988. Later that year, Giamatti also suspended Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jay Howell for three days, after Howell was caught using pine tar during the National League Championship Series.

Giamatti, whose tough dealing with Yale's union favorably impressed Major League Baseball owners, was unanimously elected to succeed Peter Ueberroth as commissioner on September 8, 1988.[7] Determined to maintain the integrity of the game, on August 24, 1989, Giamatti (who took office on April 1, 1989) prevailed upon Pete Rose to agree voluntarily to remain permanently ineligible to play baseball.[8]


Giamatti's grave in New Haven, Connecticut

While at his vacation home in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, Giamatti, a heavy smoker for many years, died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 51, just eight days after banishing Pete Rose and 154 days into his tenure as commissioner.[9]

He became the second baseball commissioner to die in office, the first being Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Baseball's owners soon selected Fay Vincent, Giamatti's close friend and baseball's first-ever deputy commissioner, as the new commissioner. On October 14, 1989, before Game 1 at the World Series, Giamatti—to whom this World Series was dedicated—was memorialized with a moment of silence.[10] Son Marcus Giamatti threw out the first pitch before the game.[10] Also before Game One, the Yale Whiffenpoofs sang the national anthem,[10] a blend of "The Star-Spangled Banner" with "America the Beautiful" that has been since repeated by other a cappella groups.


The Little League Eastern Regional Headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut is named after Giamatti.[11] One of the three awards given annually by Major League Baseball's Baseball Assistance Program is named the "Bart Giamatti Award".

Giamatti was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.[12]

James Reston, Jr. notes in his book Collision at Home Plate: The Lives of Pete Rose and Bart Giamatti that Giamatti suffered from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, an inherited neuromuscular disease affecting peripheral nerves.[13]


  • Master Pieces from the Files of T.G.B., ed. Thomas K. Swing and A. Bartlett Giamatti (1964).
  • The Earthly Paradise and the Renaissance Epic (1966)
  • Play of Double Senses: Spenser's Faerie Queene (1975)
  • The University and the Public Interest (1981)
  • Exile and Change in Renaissance Literature (1984)
  • Take Time for Paradise: Americans and their Games (1989)
  • A Free and Ordered Space: The Real World of the University (1990)
  • A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti (ed. Kenneth Robson, 1998)

See also

Further reading

  • Kelley, Brooks Mather. (1999). Yale: A History. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-07843-5; OCLC 810552
  • Reston, James. (1991). Collision at Home Plate: The Lives of Pete Rose and Bart Giamatti.
  • Valerio, Anthony. (1991). A Life of A. Bartlett Giamatti: By Him and About Him.


  1. ^ The Giammati Collection at MHC
  2. ^ LaGumina, Salvatore J.; et al. (2000). The Italian American Experience: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland. pp. 263–264.
  3. ^ Notable members
  4. ^ Ward, Patrick D. "Former first lady of Yale passes away," Archived May 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Yale Daily News, September 23, 2004.
  5. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter G" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  6. ^ "MLB won't reinstate Shoeless Joe Jackson". ESPN. September 1, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "Sports Encyclopedia". Archived from the original on 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  8. ^ Rose agreement
  9. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (September 2, 1989). "Giamatti, Scholar and Baseball Chief, Dies at 51". The New York Times.
  10. ^ a b c Pedulla, Tom (October 15, 1989). "Series dedicated to Giammatti". The Journal News. White Plains, New York. Retrieved August 31, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "PDF (englisch)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  12. ^ "A. Bartlett Giamatti: National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame". niashf.org. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  13. ^ Moncreiff, Robert P. (October 1, 2008). Bart Giamatti: A Profile. Yale University Press.

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Hanna Holborn Gray, acting
President of Yale University
Succeeded by
Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.
1989 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1989 season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West for the first time since 1979. The season was defined by allegations of gambling by Pete Rose. Before the end of the season, Rose was banned from baseball by commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti.

1989 Major League Baseball season

The 1989 Major League Baseball season saw the Oakland Athletics win their first World Series title since 1974.

1989 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1989 throughout the world.

1991 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1991 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 62nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 9, 1991, at SkyDome in Toronto, the home of the Toronto Blue Jays of the American League. It was only the second time that the game was played outside the United States, as the National League's Montreal Expos hosted the 1982 Midsummer Classic at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 4-2. Both the winning and losing pitchers represented the Canadian teams; the Blue Jays' Jimmy Key earned the win while the Expos' Dennis Martínez was given the loss. This was also the only All-Star Game to be awarded by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti, who awarded the game to the Blue Jays on Canada Day 1989.

Alan Bernheimer

Alan Bernheimer (born 1948 in New York City) is an American poet, often associated with the San Francisco Language poets.


Something (or someone) that is autotelic has a purpose in and not apart from itself.

Benno C. Schmidt Jr.

Benno Charles Schmidt Jr. (born March 20, 1942) is the Chairman of Avenues: The World School, a for-profit, private K-12 school, and served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY) until 2016. From 1986 to 1992, he was 20th President of Yale University. Prior, Schmidt was Dean of the Columbia Law School, Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Constitutional Law, and chairman of Edison Schools (now EdisonLearning). A noted scholar of the First Amendment, the history of the United States Supreme Court and the history of race relations in American law, Schmidt clerked for Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In 1998, Schmidt was appointed Chair of a task force established by New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to evaluate systemic issues at City University of New York by executive order. After longterm service to CUNY's board of trustees, Governor Andrew Cuomo replaced Schmidt in June 2016, then-Chair, with a new Chair Bill Thompson (New York politician), after an interim report issued, in an ongoing state investigation, issued by the Office of the New York State Inspector General identified a number of systemic problems, largely attributable to CUNY's lack of oversight which led to financial waste and abuse within the CUNY system.

Charles Bailyn

Charles David Bailyn (born October 27, 1959) is the A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University and inaugural dean of faculty at Yale-NUS College. His father is the distinguished American historian Bernard Bailyn. He earned a B.S. in astronomy and physics from Yale in 1981 and a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard in 1987. His Ph.D. thesis on X-ray emitting binary stars received the Robert J. Trumpler Award for best North American Ph.D. thesis in astronomy.Bailyn's research interests include high-energy astronomy and galactic astronomy and he has published over 100 referred papers.

During spring 2007, Bailyn recorded ASTR 160, Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics, as part of the Open Yale Courses initiative. Bailyn also recorded three updates to the course more than five years later on the subjects of extra-solar planets, black holes, and dark energy.

Bailyn was awarded the 2009 Bruno Rossi Prize for his research on the masses of black holes.On July 6, 2016, Yale announced that Bailyn would become the first head of the new Benjamin Franklin College, which opened in 2017.

Commissioner of Baseball

The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the associated Minor League Baseball (MiLB) – a constellation of leagues and clubs known as organized baseball. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts. The commissioner is chosen by a vote of the owners of the teams. The current commissioner is Rob Manfred, who assumed office on January 25, 2015.

Ezra Stiles College

Ezra Stiles College is a residential college at Yale University, built in 1961 by Eero Saarinen. It is often simply called "Stiles," despite an early-1990s crusade by then-master Traugott Lawler to preserve the use of the full name in everyday speech. It was named for Ezra Stiles, seventh president of Yale. Architecturally, it is known for its lack of right angles between walls in the living areas. It sits next to Morse College.

Franklin College (Yale University)

Benjamin Franklin College is a residential college for undergraduates of Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut. It opened to students for the 2017 academic year.


Giamatti is a surname (originally Giammattei in Italy, Italian pronunciation: [dʒamatˈtɛi]). Notable people with the surname include:

A. Bartlett Giamatti (1938–1989), president of Yale University and later Commissioner of Major League Baseball

Marcus Giamatti (born 1961), American actor, son of Bart and brother of Paul

Paul Giamatti (born 1967), American actor, son of Bart

Hanna Holborn Gray

Hanna Holborn Gray (born October 25, 1930) is an American historian of Renaissance and Reformation political thought and Professor of History Emerita at the University of Chicago. She served as president of the University of Chicago, from 1978 to 1993, having earlier served as acting president of Yale University in 1977-78. At both schools, she was the first woman to hold their highest executive office. When named to the post in Chicago, she became the first woman in the United States to hold the full presidency of a major university.

Jane Jacobs (baseball)

Jane Jeanette Jacobs [Badini] (June 16, 1924 – September 13, 2015) was an American pitcher who played from 1944 through 1947 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m), 130 lb., she batted and threw right-handed.Jane Jacobs was not a hard thrower, but her underhand fastball fooled batters because she was basically a curveball pitcher. Jacobs hurled an in-curve, out-curve, upshoot and specially a drop ball, her better pitch. Her most impressive start was having pitched a complete game-shutout one-hitter, but she fell victim to sidearm delivery when the league converted over on it.״Jake״, as her teammates nicknamed her, was born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where she started playing softball at the age of 11. In 1943, she was spotted by a league's scout when she was 18, but did not sign until a year later.Jacobs entered the league in 1944 with the Racine Belles, playing for them two years. She did not have a winning season, even though she posted a 2.82 earned run average in 1945 and 2.86 in 1945, while compiling marks of 9–16 and 7–9, respectively. The team had a surplus of talent, so she was loaned to the Peoria Redwings the next year.In 1946, according to the new AAGPBL rules of play, the pitchers were forced to switch gradually from underhand to sidearm delivery. Jacobs made the transition, with no small effort, and led the Redwings pitchers with a 2.13 ERA, which was a career-high. Though her success was not reflected in her 6–12 record due to poor run support.She returned to Racine in 1947, when the league adopted full sidearm pitching regulations. This time she struggled to make the additional mandatory adjustment and went 2–6 with a 2.92 ERA. Then, for the third consecutive year the league set a new rule for a strictly overhand pitching in 1948. It spelled the end of Jacobs' career. I was afraid I'd ruin my arm, she explained with resignation.In a four-year career, she was managed by Racine's Leo Murphy and Peoria's Bill Rodgers. She finished with a 24–43 record and a 2.65 ERA in 88 pitching appearances.Jacobs returned to her home of Ohio, where she operated her own dry cleaning business for 40 years. She married Mario Badini in 1973, and was widowed after 16 years of marriage. Jane was diagnosed with cancer in 1994, but survived the surgery and the follow up treatments, according she said. After recuperating from cancer, she ran a ceramics business for a long time.She is part of Women in Baseball, a permanent display based at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, which was unveiled in 1988 to honor the entire All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Though she did not attend the ceremony, she traveled to Cooperstown in 2009 to see her name in the hall. I will definitely be back, said the proud AAGPBL veteran.

The native of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio made the long pilgrimage along with a niece, her husband and their two daughters. She also extended her Cooperstown visit to the A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center, where she both donated photos and clippings from her AAGPBL career and received copies of other photos from the Hall’s archives. She even helped identify some former teammates who were unidentified in old team photos.

List of National League presidents

The National League President was the chief executive of the National League of professional baseball until 1999, when the NL and the American League merged into Major League Baseball.

Peter Ueberroth

Peter Victor Ueberroth (; born September 2, 1937) is an American executive. He served as the sixth Commissioner of Baseball from 1984 to 1989. He served as the chairman of the United States Olympic Committee from 2004–2008.

Tommy Helms

Tommy Vann Helms (born May 5, 1941) is an American former professional baseball player and manager. Over a 14-year Major League Baseball career (1964-1977), Helms played for four teams, including eight seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, four with the Houston Astros, and one each with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox. He also managed the Reds for part of two seasons (1988-1989). He is the uncle of former Major League player Wes Helms.

Yale Field

Yale Field is a stadium in West Haven, Connecticut, just across the city line with New Haven, Connecticut. It is primarily used for the Yale University baseball team, the Bulldogs, and, until 2007 was also the home field of the New Haven County Cutters Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball minor league baseball team. Yale's baseball team has played continuously at the same site since 1885 while the field was constructed and opened in April 1928. It holds 5,000 people.

During President Bush's days baseball playing for Yale, the team played in both the 1947 and 1948 College World Series, losing to the University of California in 1947 and to USC in 1948. Yale's manager during this time was former big leaguer Ethan Allen. Yale Field hosted what is believed to be the first game of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in 1947 when Yale hosted Clemson.Yale Field was the site for one of the most famous college baseball games of all time. On May 21, 1981, during a qualifying game for the College World Series, Ron Darling from Yale and Frank Viola from St. Johns dueled through 11 scoreless innings before St. Johns broke through with a run in the 12th inning to win 1-0. Both pitchers went on to have distinguished Major League careers. Darling pitched 11 innings of no-hit ball (still a college playoff record) before surrendering a single in the 12th inning.

In attendance at the game was Yale President and soon-to-be Commissioner of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti as well as pitching great and ex-Yale Baseball Coach, Smoky Joe Wood. Renowned baseball author Roger Angell was also at the game and wrote an article about the game for the New Yorker Magazine, entitled "The Web of the Game" (See New Yorker, July 20, 1981, p.97)

Ron Darling devoted an entire chapter to this game in his 2009 book; "The Complete Game, Reflections on Baseball, Pitching, and Life on the Mound", published by Alfred A. Knoff, a division of Random House.

Another legendary game took place at Yale Field in 1941. With Smoky Joe Wood as manager, and Joe Jr. on the mound, the Elis faced Colgate whose roster included two of Smoky Joe's other sons, Steve and Bob Wood. Yale prevailed 11-5.

Yale Field was also the name of the football stadium prior to the Yale Bowl opening in 1914.

Presidents of Yale University


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