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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Doug Camilli made majors, caught Koufax no-hitter, coached

Doug Camilli 1990 Winter Haven Red Sox card

After his time in the majors with the Dodgers and Senators, Doug Camilli turned to coaching, first in the bigs and then in the minors.

As the manager at single-A Winter Haven in 1987, Camilli described to The Tampa Tribune one of his favorite aspects of the job, the less-highly-regarded players who made the majors.

"I feel like if I didn't help them, at least I was encouraging and got them to work at it the way they're supposed to," Camilli told The Tribune. "I kinda get a kick out of that."

Camilli's own major league career spanned nine seasons and included Camilli catching a Sandy Koufax no-hitter, before he turned coach and manager. 

Camilli's career in baseball began in 1957, signed by the Dodgers as a free agent out of Stanford University. He was the son of former major leaguer Dolph Camilli.

Camilli started at Class C Great Falls and Reno. He made Class B Green Bay in 1959, then AA Atlanta and Los Angeles in 1960.

Camilli saw six games for the Dodgers in 1960, then 13 in 1961. Going into 1961, Camilli spoke with Sports Illustrated about playing and being the son of a 12-season major leaguer.

"I have to do it myself," the catcher Camilli told SI. "My dad can't get up there and hit for me. It's just the pitcher and me, that's all."

Camilli then saw 45 games in 1962, 49 in 1963 and 50 in 1964. In June 1964, Camilli caught Koufax' third no-hitter. He also might have caught something even better, as Koufax told it to The Associated Press afterward, if Koufax had listened to Camilli on a pitch that ended up walking the only batter of the game.

"It's a funny thing," Koufax told The AP then. "Doug Camilli called for a curve ball, I shook him off for the fast ball. Then while I was winding up I thought to myself, 'Doug's right, a curve ball would be better.' But I didn't think fast enough and instead of stepping off the rubber I went through with the fast ball, and it was low, no doubt of that."

Camilli moved to the Senators for 1965 and continued with them for three seasons. He's then credited as turning an assistant coach for the team and playing one final game in 1969.

He joined the Red Sox for 1970 as a bullpen coach and stayed there for four seasons. He retired, but returned in 1981 as a Red Sox minor league coach.

Camilli managed at single-A Greensboro, then at Winter Haven. He also spent time as a coach at Winter Haven. 

Doug Camilli 1990 Winter Haven Red Sox card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,913
Made the Majors:1,303-33.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,610-66.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:528
10+ Seasons in the Minors:326

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