Gino Cimoli Former major-league baseball outfielder Gino Cimoli passed away in Roseville, CA. on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, following a lengthy illness. He was 81. A native San Franciscan who grew up in North Beach, Gino was a naturally gifted athlete and he excelled in basketball and baseball at Galileo High School. Gino's professional baseball career spanned 17 years beginning in 1949 when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers. In honor of the historic Opening Day game between the Giants and Dodgers at Seals Stadium, on April 15, 1958, Gino was chosen by his manager to be the lead-off batter. Thus, Gino became the first major-league batter on the West Coast. Gino was a member of the 1956 National League Champion Brooklyn Dodgers and the 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Following his retirement from baseball in 1965, Gino began a 25-year career with UPS in San Francisco. Gino remained active with the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club in North Beach. Gino is survived by his wife, Irene Cimoli, his daughters, Cheryll Keast (Terry), and Linda Cimoli (Ron), three grandchildren, Rachael (Rodrigo), Spencer, and Matthew, and one great-grandchild, Fiori, and his companion Lorraine Vigli and her family. A Catholic Mass will be held at 10:00 A.M. Friday, February 18, 2011 at Saints Peter and Paul Church located at 666 Filbert St., San Francisco. Private interment will follow in Santa Rosa. A Memorial Celebration of Gino's life for family and friends will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions in Gino's name may be made to: Galileo Athletics, Attn: Bettie Grinnell, 1150 Francisco St., San Francisco, CA. 94109, or to the charity of your choice. Halsted N.Gray-Carew & English (415) 673-3000
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 16, 2011