Oldest living Yankee Ardizoia passes away

NEW YORK -- Rinaldo "Rugger" Ardizoia didn't make his name on the field. His Major League career lasted just two innings, the final six outs of a 15-5 loss in 1947.

His fame didn't come until decades later, when his baseball career was well behind him. At 95, Ardizoia was the oldest living Yankee, spending his final years in San Francisco until his death Sunday night, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday.

Ardizoia, who came to the United States from Italy as an infant, played 15 seasons of Minor League baseball, split into two segments by his service in World War II. After three years of service, he returned to baseball, including that lone appearance with the Yankees.

In those two innings, Ardizoia allowed a two-run home run to Wally Judnich.

His time in pinstripes was cut short because of his size, he said. Then-Yankees manager Joe McCarthy "wanted big guys who could intimidate the batters," Ardizoia told the Chronicle in 2011.

He was one of seven Italian natives to play in the Major Leagues.

Eddie Robinson, 94, is now the oldest living Yankee, according to the club's best available research.

Alden Woods is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.