Dellucci batted .222 with one home run and 3 RBIs in 17 games for the 1997 Orioles. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Dellucci in the 1998 MLB Expansion Draft.
"On Saturday morning, a sullen Dellucci gathered three reporters at his locker to explain why he would miss Cleveland's first three spring training games.
'Right before I came here on Feb. 1,' Dellucci said dejectedly, 'I was fishing on the side of my lake, and I heard a little boy screaming. I ran over and an alligator had him by the leg. I jumped on the gator, poked him in the eyes, freed the kid, but he (the gator) got me in my thumb. I got stitched and had surgery.'
As the reporters dutifully took notes, Dellucci kept a straight face as long as he could. Finally, he came clean on his heroic fib.
'Just kidding,' he said, smiling.
Dellucci got bit by a gator all right — a tailgater.
While packing for spring training, he slammed his thumb in a trailer tailgate at his home in Baton Rouge, La. Dellucci, who throws left-handed, will miss the start of the Cactus League season. But he is expected to get the stitches taken out on Monday and should be up to speed within a week. He threw on Friday and took batting practice without any trouble."
[Image source: Baseball Almanac (click photo for original)]