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Jeffrey Howard Cirillo (born September 23, 1969) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball. In a 14-season career, Cirillo was a .296 hitter with 112 home runs and 727 RBI in 1617 games. He was named an All-Star in 1997 and 2000. He shares the major league record of playing 99 consecutive errorless games at third base with John Wehner. He batted and threw right-handed.
|Born: September 23, 1969|
|May 11, 1994, for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 30, 2007, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Runs batted in||727|
|Career highlights and awards|
Cirillo was born in Pasadena, California, to Howard Cirillo and Carol Grant. He has one step-brother, Adam Grant, who played baseball at UCSB. Cirillo attended Providence High School where he excelled in both baseball and basketball. Then, he enrolled at the University of Southern California after receiving little attention from colleges in his high school years. As a Trojan, he started out as a pitcher; however, he was moved to third base later in his college career. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity there and graduated with a degree in Communications.
Cirillo was drafted in the 11th Round by the Milwaukee Brewers. With the Brewers, Cirillo collected a .300 batting average or better for three seasons, including a career-high .326 in 1999. The same year, he added 198 hits (also a career-high) with 15 home runs and 88 RBI. His most productive season came in 2000 with the Colorado Rockies, when he posted career-highs in RBI (115), runs (111), and doubles (53); finished with 195 hits; and matched his personal-best .326 average.
On December 16, 2001, the Rockies traded Cirillo to the Seattle Mariners for Denny Stark, Brian Fuentes, and José Paniagua. Posting the lowest BABIP since his rookie season, he was ineffective with the bat but provided strong defensive contributions while in Seattle, ranked by UZR as the second best third baseman in the American League in 2002. In 2003, he continued to provide above average defense but again posted the lowest BABIP of his career (.226 compared to a .320 career average).
Cirillo was traded to the San Diego Padres before the 2004 season but was inactive most of the year with a wrist injury. He made history by becoming Randy Johnson's 4,000th strikeout victim on June 29, 2004.
Cirillo signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Twins in December 2006. He did not finish the season with the Twins and was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 3, 2007. Cirillo stated that he would most certainly retire at the end of the 2007 season. He made the first pitching appearance of his career on August 20, 2007, against Milwaukee. He pitched one inning and gave up two walks and no runs while striking out one player, former Diamondback Craig Counsell. "He's way nastier than I thought he would be," said Bill Hall, who worked one of the walks. "I was shocked when I got up there. He's got a knuckleball, a slider, he was throwing some changeups. Those pitches make 84, 83 [mph fastballs] look pretty hard. I heard he was a better pitcher in college than he was a hitter."
Before the 2007 NLDS, Cirillo held one of baseball's most unwanted records. He had played in 1,617 regular season games but never in the postseason. When his team made the playoffs, the title was passed to Damion Easley of the New York Mets who finished the 2008 season having played 1,706 straight games without a playoff berth.
On April 2, 2008, it was announced that Cirillo would join FSN Wisconsin as an analyst for Milwaukee Brewers broadcasts. His first appearance was on April 18, 2008. He worked as a pre/post-game show for two years in 2008 and 2011.
Cirillo has worked as a part-time scout with the Arizona Diamondbacks (2009 and 2010). Cirillo was hired by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2012 as a scout.
Cirillo is a partner in Pacific Baseball Ventures, LLC, which owns the Walla Walla Sweets and the Yakima Valley Pippins. Both teams play in the West Coast League, a summer collegiate wood-bat league located in Walla Walla, Washington.
Cirillo has three sons with his ex-wife Nancy: Cole (born 1997), Carson (born 1999), and Connor (born 2001). The Cirillo family lived in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, during Jeff's time on the Milwaukee Brewers. His son, Cole, played football and basketball, as well as participating in track and field events, at Bellevue High School before graduating in 2016. He now attends the University of Southern California. Carson plays golf at Bellevue High School, and Connor plays baseball and basketball there.
Cirillo currently resides in Medina, Washington, and continues to work as an MLB scout with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He hosts a golf tournament in Milwaukee every year and is heavily involved in coaching youth sports and various charities around the United States. In 2013, he jumped out of an airplane for the Milwaukee Air and Water Show to recognize Veterans of Armed Forces.
- "STLtoday.com". Nl.newsbank.com. 2001-12-16. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
- "Baseball Coming to Walla Walla". KVEW TV. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2010.[dead link]
- Jeff Cirillo Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights
- Cole Cirillo MaxPreps
- Cole Cirillo WA Track and Field
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Behind the Dugout: Jeff Cirillo
- publicradio.org Interview with Cirillo