Fordham Baseball Hall of Famer Dies in Crane Collapse


Published: April 17, 2008

On March 15, a large crane that had been attached to the side of a building over 40 stories high on 51st Street and Second Avenue collapsed, destroying two other buildings and killing several people. The tragic collapse had more of a connection to Fordham than just proximity, however. Santino “Santy” Gallone, CBA ’93, a former Fordham baseball star, was one of those who lost his life in the accident. Gallone, a construction worker, had volunteered to help a friend who was in need of an extra worker at the building site that day.

Gallone began his collegiate baseball career as a Fordham Ram in 1989, a career that earned him Fordham’s highest athletic honor, induction into the Fordham Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000. His .369 career batting average and 155 RBIs also earned him half a dozen all-time Fordham records, including records for runs, hits and total bases. Gallone also earned two consecutive Patriot League Player of the Year awards during his time at Fordham.

Former Fordham baseball head coach Dan Gallagher recruited Gallone as a promising young shortstop out of high school, though he would eventually become the Rams’ second basemen. Because of the energy and dedication he brought to each and every game, Gallone was a valuable lead-off hitter for Fordham.

“If it was late in the game, down by a run, Gallone would find a way to get on base, whether it was getting hit by a pitch, a walk or a base hit,” Gallagher said.

In fact, Gallone earned records for most times hit by a pitch in a season and in a career.

“Santy Gallone was one of the toughest guys I’ve ever known,” Gallagher said.

Following graduation, Gallone played amateur baseball for a year before being signed by the Philadelphia Phillies and playing with future major leaguer, Scott Rolen. He compiled solid statistics in the Phillies’ minor league system before his career took an unfortunate turn. Gallone was attempting to slide head first into the base to beat out a bunt when he injured his shoulder, an injury he never quite recovered from.

“You can’t know for sure, but I think he would have had a good chance to make the majors,” Gallagher said.

Gallone rallied his team countless times as their energetic lead-off hitter, and now, as his wife Jessica and 19-month old daughter Giuliana attempt to deal with his death, Gallone’s teammates are rallying behind him. His former Fordham teammates have created a college fund for his young daughter. Through this fund, Giuliana may one day see a portrait of the father that she will never really know, echoed through the love of those who did.