Mark Lemongello ("le-MAHNJ-ul-oh", born July 21, 1955) is an American retired professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1976–1979. He played for the Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays. He is the cousin of singer Peter Lemongello.
|Born: July 21, 1955|
Jersey City, New Jersey
|September 14, 1976, for the Houston Astros|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 23, 1979, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Earned run average||4.06|
Lemongello was known throughout his career for his erratic, sometimes violent behavior, which sometimes overshadowed his on-field accomplishments. He would often furiously slap himself in the face after a bad inning, and after bad games Lemongello was known to destroy locker room equipment such as hair dryers and light fixtures in fits of anger. By his own admission, Lemongello admitted to reporter Allen Abel: "My head was messed up."
After spending three seasons with Houston, where he compiled a 21–29 record, Lemongello was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, almost immediately getting the Toronto fanbase upset with him in asking if Canadians "spoke American." His tenure with Toronto was little short of disastrous, as Lemongello spent half a season with the club going 1–9. In his final start on June 3, he fired a baseball at manager Roy Hartsfield when Hartsfield came to remove him from the game. Lemongello continued making occasional relief appearances until late July, when he was sent down to the minors after a screaming match with Hartsfield. When informed he was being sent down to Syracuse, he threw an ashtray at the head of Blue Jays GM Peter Bavasi, barely missing him.
In 1982, a few years after leaving baseball, Lemongello and Manuel Seoane (a former Wichita teammate), were arrested for the kidnapping and robbery of Lemongello's cousins Mike Lemongello, a former professional bowler, and Peter Lemongello. Lemongello was sentenced to seven years probation after he pleaded no contest to the charges.
- Abel, Allen (12 March 1980). "'Messed up' Mark finds peace of mind". The Globe and Mail. p. 39.
- Feldman, Kate (12 October 2015). "The most hated players in every MLB franchise". New York Daily News. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Elliott, Bob (27 February 2007). "Ashby sounds like he'll fit in". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013.
- "Mark Lemongello Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- "Lemongello Surrenders On Kidnapping Charges". The New York Times. New York. January 23, 1982. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Bridges, Patti (July 16, 1983). "Men get probation in kidnapping case". The Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, FL. p. 11-A. Retrieved December 30, 2014.