Ernest ("Ernie") R. Raimondi (June 15, 1919 – January 26, 1945) was a minor league baseball player and an Oakland legend. He was fatally wounded while serving during WWII, and is the namesake of Raimondi Park in West Oakland.

Ernie Raimondi was the son of Giovanni ("John") and Josephine Raimondi, Italian immigrants who had seven children; Carmelo, William (Billy), Joseph (Joe), Albert (Al), Ernest (Ernie), Walter (Walt) and Lorraine. The family lived at 5th and Brush Streets in West Oakland. John was killed in 1931 by a hit-and-run driver while walking to the train station, leaving Josephine to raise the children. They rented out half the house, and the 6 brothers had to share 3 beds, while their sister Lorraine shared a bed with their mother.

Ernie attended McClymonds High School where he and Al played baseball. In 1936 McClymonds was the Oakland Athletic League baseball champion, with Ernie playing 3rd base and batting .445, and Al the leading pitcher.

Four of the Raimondi brothers played for the Oakland Oaks at various times. Ernie was signed by the San Francisco Seals at age 16, causing a minor furor for recruiting him out of school. Charles Graham of the Seals defended the move, saying Ernie's older brother had requested they sign him because the family needed money at home.

After his pro baseball career, Ernie worked for the Moore Dry Dock Company. They had a company baseball team in the Bushrod League.

Ernie married his junior high school sweetheart, Ellen Dowd (Raimondi) on November 20, 1940. They had one child, Penelope ("Penny") Raimondi, who was born April 19, 1944, the day that Ernie received his induction papers from the US Army.

Ernie was in Company G, 2nd Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 44th Infantry Division US Army. On January 9, 1945, he was fatally wounded in a battle defending Sarreguemines, France, and died January 26, 1945.

Links and References