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Fun facts about new Twins manager Rocco Baldelli

He can play bass guitar and has a really weird name for milkshakes!

Baldelli jumps for Anderson’s triple
For instance, Rocco once played baseball like this.
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Unless you live under a giant rocc*, you’ve heard by now that the Twins hired Rocco Baldelli as their new manager. They are having a press conference to announce the hiring in a couple hours. However, I’ve already done some of my own digging to find out who this Rocco character really is, and it turns out he’s a pretty interesting dude.

* (Please take note of my cool and relevant pun. Thank you.)

Here are some facts about new Twins manager, Rocco Baldelli:

  • He breeds thoroughbred horses. For you non-horse people out there, that means the kind of horses that race. “It’s a very small commercial operation,” Baldelli once told a horsey magazine called Daily Racing Form. “I try to breed commercially, but I try to breed a nice racehorse as well.”
  • If you’re the “pics or it didn’t happen” type of person then, well:
  • He’s apparently a fan of the band Phish.
  • According to Mike Carlucci of Over the Monster, SB Nation’s Red Sox fan site, Baldelli once threw out David Ortiz and Kevin Millar sometime in 2004 on what should have been “usually score from third base situations” (his words, not mine). I have no idea how good Mike’s memory is but I’m just running with this one.
  • In High School, Rocco got a fairly high score on his SAT and was even considering attending Yale.
  • Baldelli once found a dog wandering around on the street and used Twitter to reunite it with it’s owner. True story. Also, pics:
  • Rocco is a fan of dogs in general. He’s a dog and horse guy, I guess. He appears to have some sort of shepherd. Is it a Beauceron? This is definitely the first question I would ask him at his press conference, which is probably why I’m not invited to the press conference.
  • During his rookie year, Rocco’s teammates stole his jersey and replaced it with a jersey that said “ROCCO” on the back instead of “BALDELLI”. He wore it for a few innings before the umpires noticed and made him change it. Best part? Rocco hadn’t even noticed it himself.
  • Baldelli’s nickname is The Woonsocket Rocket, which is an 80 grade nickname. (If you’re like me and wondering what the hell “Woonsocket” is, it’s a town in Rhode Island where Baldelli is apparently from.)
  • Speaking of Rhode Island, Baldelli is a member of the Rhode Island Italian-American Hall of Fame. (Is there a Minnesotan Italian-American Hall of Fame? I might have a new goal.)
  • Rocco plays the bass guitar.
  • Like everyone else with a heartbeat, Rocco loved Anthony Bourdain.
  • Apparently Baldelli wears a lot of clothing items from the Boston Marathon. He’s not a runner, but has had a bunch of friends run in it whom he supports.
  • Rocco got his first major league hit off Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. I wanted to upload a gif of it, but the editor is telling me the gif is too big, so I guess you guys will have to find that one yourselves.
  • Rocco doesn’t drink milkshakes, he drinks a cabinet. Seriously. Apparently that’s what they call milkshakes in Rhode Island. Something to do with getting the blender out. Don’t ask me, because I really don’t know.
  • Our very own James Fillmore wrote this somewhat prophetic post about Rocco Baldelli back in 2016, mostly about how Baldeli got into baseball analytics and operations.
  • Baldelli learned about baseball analytics and scouting after he retired and then helped build the Rays’ current baseball operations department.
  • Baldelli is also beloved among the Rays organization for his game-winning, RBI hit in the ALCS.

Do you know of any other fun facts about Rocco Baldelli? I feel like there might be a lot.