Tommy “T-Bone” Giordano, a 1947 graduate of Montclair State University and the current major league scout for the Texas Rangers, put the “history” in Professor Lee Lowenfish’s History of Baseball class when he paid a recent visit to campus and talked to students about his 64-year career in Major League Baseball.
Giordano fielded questions on his experiences as a player, manager, and scout and talked about his stint in the majors for the Philadelphia Athletics, scouting and signing Cal Ripken Jr. to the Orioles in 1978, and being named East Coast Scout of the Year in 2007. Giordano’s career highlights also include a World Series championship in 1983 and five American League championships. He brought two of his championship rings along with him, letting students try them on and take photos.
Giordano also talked about second chances and never giving up. After suffering a head injury during a game in the minor leagues, he quit baseball and enrolled at Panzer College of Physical Education and Hygiene of East Orange, which merged with Montclair State in 1958.
Giordano spoke fondly of his time at Panzer, recalling the support he received from his coach, Albert J. Gorton, who encouraged him to get back into baseball.
“He told me, ‘Beginning tomorrow, you and I are going to get together every day and practice, and when you’re finished here at Panzer, you’re going to go back and play professional baseball.’ ”
After playing baseball at Panzer for three years, Giordano was again scouted and continued his long career in baseball. And he hasn’t missed a day of work since.