Tony Malinosky, Oldest Dodger, Dies at 101

Tony Malinosky, 101, a former Brooklyn Dodger infielder who was baseball's oldest living major leaguer, died February 8 in Oxnard, California. Malinosky played 35 games for the Dodgers in 1937, batting .228, before a knee injury in July of that year effectively ended his baseball career. He later played in the minors but never made it back to the majors.

Tony, whose given name was originally Antonius Franciscus Malinoski, played his first Major League game on April 6, 1937 and, after being sidelined by an injury, his final game on July 16 of the same year. He was born October 7, 1909 in Collinsville, Illinois and died February 8, 2011 in Oxnard, California. He attended Whittier College at the same time as did Richard Nixon.

Malinosky, an infielder, played for manager Burleigh Grimes, splitting his time between third base and shortstop. He was sent to Rochester as a backup shortstop for Marty Marion and hit .342 while Marion hit just .246.

Malinosky became the oldest living major leaguer in 2009 when Billie Wervber died. After baseball he was drafted in the Army and served at the Battle of the Bulge. When the war ended he worked at North American Aviation and then owned and operated a trailer park in California.

"We had a lot of fun in those days," he told the Associated Press in 2009. "Of course, it was a lot different than today. The players nowadays have to have a truck to haul away their money. When I played, you could put it in your pocket."

Asked to explain his longevity in the 2009 interview, he said, "Just keep breathing -- and be associated with a good doctor."

Catcher Mike Sandlock, at 96, is now the oldest living Dodger. He was born October 17, 1915.

Connie Marrero, a Cuban pitcher for the Washington Senators who is nearing his 100th birthday on April 25, is now believed to be the oldest living former player from the majors.

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