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Friday, July 16, 2021

Jeff Limoncelli got hit in big club spring training game; Saw two pro seasons, played for hometown Elmira

For one game in spring training 1990, Jeff Limoncelli briefly got to play with the big club, his hometown Elmira Star-Gazette wrote.

He then showed what he could do by robbing Royals star Kurt Stillwell of a hit with a diving catch in the field and picking up a hit in his only at bat, The Star-Gazette wrote.

"He was on cloud nine," Limoncelli's father Bill Limoncelli told The Star-Gazette. "When he called, he could hardly talk. He said the best part was the great food in the clubhouse."

Limoncelli entered his second season as a pro that year. That season turned out to be his last as a pro. He never made single-A - but he did get to play in his hometown of Elmira, from nearby Horseheads.

Limoncelli's career began in 1989, signed by the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent out of the University of West Florida. Limoncelli was also credited as Lem Limoncelli.

Limoncelli started with the Red Sox in the rookie Gulf Coast League and at short-season Elmira. He saw 14 games in the GCL and nine at Elmira. He hit .185 overall.

He then returned for 1990 and played the season at Elmira. That June, he spoke to The Star-Gazette about returning to Elmira.

"I love baseball," Limoncelli told The Star-Gazette. "It means the world to me. Sometimes I feel a little nervous thinking about playing at home, but I think it's only natural to think like that."

Limoncelli got into 69 games that year and hit .218 to end his career.

Limoncelli soon turned coach. In 2019, he served as varsity baseball coach in Horseheads. His son Mike Limoncelli was also drafted that year by the Mariners in the sixth round.
1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,696
Made the Majors:1,256-34.0%
Never Made Majors:2,440-66.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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