Published On: September 30th, 2009

Former Mallard Matt Pagnozzi Makes MLB Debut
26-Year Old Sees Time with NL Central Champs

(CINCINNATI, OH) St. Louis Cardinals catcher Matt Pagnozzi made his Major League debut Tuesday night in the Cardinals’ 7-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark. The former Madison Mallard entered the game defensively at catcher in the bottom of the seventh inning after starting catcher Jason LaRue was pinch-hit for in the top of the inning. Pagnozzi batted in the ninth inning and walked on five pitches against Ramon Ramirez.

After seven years and 503 games in the minor leagues, the 26-year old Pagnozzi earned his first call up to the Majors last week. He likely would’ve been called up to be the Cardinals’ third catcher earlier in September but he was the main catcher for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds who finished their season just last week after winning the Pacific Coast League Championship. Pagnozzi batted .221 with five home runs and 32 RBI this season at Triple-A, the third consecutive year he’s spent time at that level. He is known for his defense and is the nephew of former Cardinals’ catcher Tom Pagnozzi who played 12 seasons for St. Louis.

In 2002, the 6’2″, 205 pound Pagnozzi spent the summer in Madison hitting .177 in 40 games for the Mallards. He becomes the second Mallards player to reach the big leagues joining 2001 Mallard outfielder Ryan Spilborghs of the Colorado Rockies.

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Pagnozzi in the 8th round in 2003 following his sophomore season at Central Arizona College.

The Northwoods League plays more games than, draws more fans than, and plays in venues superior to any Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. To date, 59 of the NWL’s former players have gone on to play Major League Baseball.

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