Joseph Paul “Joe” DeMaestri (December 9, 1928 - August 26, 2016) played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues with four different teams and was widely known for his stellar defensive play rather than his bat, though on July 8, 1955 he became only the 34th Major Leaguer to collect six hits in a single game, going 6-for-6 against the Detroit Tigers. The Sacramento, California native’s defensive abilities caught the eyes of MLB scouts as a high school, American Legion and sandlot player, despite the fact that he was a mediocre batter at best. Joe signed with the Boston Red Sox in 1946 and floundered in the minors for three seasons before the Chicago White Sox nabbed him in the 1950 Rule 5 Draft with the intentions of using the utility infielder to backup Chico Carrasquel. He played one year in Chicago (1951), one year with the St. Louis Browns (1952) and then landed with the Philadelphia Athletics (1953-1954) for two seasons before the club moved to Kansas City (1955-1959). It was with the Athletics, playing under the tutelage of Hall of Fame shortstop Lou Boudreau that DeMaestri developed into one of the premier fielding shortstops in the American League. Boudreau “taught (him) to play shortstop,” and in 1957 and 1958 led all shortstops in fielding percentage, .980 for each season, and putouts by a shortstop in 1957. Joe’s best year at the plate came in that 1957 season as he knocked 113 hits, scored 44 runs and drove in 33 RBI while batting .245 to earn his one and only trip to the MLB All-Star Game. Widely considered the New York Yankees “major league farm team”, the A’s shipped DeMaestri to the Bronx along with Roger Maris in 1959. Joe backed up Tony Kubek at short and helped lead the Yankees to the American League pennant and World Series in 1960 before Pittsburgh’s Bill Mazeroski hit the only Game 7 walk-off home run in World Series history to give the Pirates the title. In 1961, he watched from the bench as Maris and Mickey Mantle assaulted Babe Ruth’s home run record and again helped the Bombers get back to the World Series. This time, the Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds in five games, though DeMaestri did not play. Joe DeMaestri retired after the 1961 season having amassed 813 hits, 322 runs, 281 RBI and a .236 batting average over 11 years. He also posted a .967 fielding percentage with 2,887 assists and 621 double plays.