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Sunday, March 17, 2024

Gene Confreda enjoyed work as trainer, passed in 1990

Gene Confreda 1990 Osceola Astros card back

Osceola Astros trainer Gene Confreda described his job to The Orlando Sentinel in July 1989 as a little bit of everything. 

In addition to tending to players' injuries, he also fixed mitts, stocked dressing rooms and ensured the team had the proper playing equipment, Confreda told The Sentinel.

"Until a trainer gets a big-league job, they have to do a little bit of everything," Confreda, then 38, told The Sentinel, adding at another point "After 12 years, it's work I still enjoy."

Confreda would return to start at 13th season in 1990, but he wouldn't be able to complete it. On May 1, 1990, Confreda passed away, taken by colon cancer.

Confreda's career as a minor league trainer began in 1978, as a trainer with the Padres. He turned trainer after graduating in 1973 from the University of Rhode Island. He then got his masters in athletic training from Indiana University in 1976. (Note: The individual in Confreda's 1990 Osceola card photo is not Confreda, but actually fellow trainer Chris Correnti.)

Confreda started with the Padres training at single-A Reno. He returned there for 1979, where he tended to a player briefly knocked unconscious hit by a pitch.

Confreda stayed with the Padres for nine seasons, eventually serving as trainer at AA Amarillo, AA Beaumont, single-A Salem and AAA Las Vegas.

He served as trainer at Salem in 1982, helping keep future major league catcher Mark Parent on the field. he saw Beaumont in 1983.

Confreda made AAA Las Vegas by 1985 and returned to Reno for 1986. There, he tended to future Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar when Alomar came down with stomach pains before a double header that July.

He joined the Astros for 1987 and served as trainer at single-A Asheville for 1988. He arrived at Osceola for 1989 and was to return for 1990. He then passed away May 1, 1990 at the age of 39.

Gene Confreda 1990 Osceola Astros card back

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,329
Made the Majors:1,398-32.3%
Never Made Majors:2,931-67.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:569
10+ Seasons in the Minors:351

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