Joe Cascarella was born on June 28, 1907 in Philadelphia. He attended South Philadelphia High School and played a year of semipro ball in an amateur league before being recommended for a pro trial.
He might have taken another athletic route in life; his best sport in high school was basketball. But it was baseball that offered him $10 a game on weekends, bumped up to $25 per game by 1924.
He enrolled at Temple University but signed to play for the Martinsville Blue Sox in the Blue Ridge League in 1925. However, he did play semipro ball for three years (1924-26) for the Girard Estate A.A., and for the Philadelphia Electric nine. He even pitched against the Philadelphia Athletics in an exhibition game in the summer of 1926.
Joe got another shot at professional baseball in 1927 at age 19, signed by the Eastern Leagueís Pittsfield Hillies. He reprised with Pittsfield in 1928, and was named to the Eastern League All-Star team. By midseason scouts were already looking him over, and in December the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League purchased his contract.
In January 1950, Joe was traded to the Seattle Indians only for Seattle to swap him immediately to the International League Baltimore Orioles. They dealt him to the Jersey City Skeeters in June 1932.
At that time Connie Mack, owner-manager of the Philadelphia Athletics who had known the bitter experience of losing money with a championship club, was being forced to make moves to keep his club afloat, acquired Joe in late November. He was in the right place at the right time to get a shot at the big leagues and debuted with the Athletics in April 1934.
Connie Mack sold him to the Red Sox on the last day of June in 1935. Joe lost his first three starts and got a no-decision in the fourth. He relieved in two more games, but the only work he had with the Red Sox was in July. He had an ERA of 6.88 to go with his 0-3 record and in July he was optioned to Syracuse. Joe was good enough to start the 1936 season with the Red Sox, but after 10 appearances he was 0-2 with an ERA of 6.97.
The Washington Senators were willing to give him a shot and in June they traded with the Red Sox for him. After going 1-11 for the 1935 Aís and the 1935-36 Red Sox, Joe righted himself with Washington. All told, he appeared in 10 games for the Senators in 1937 and didnít win one; he lost five.
In July the Senators sold him for cash to the Cincinnati Reds. In early December 1938, Cincinnati sold his contract to the Buffalo Bisons. In March 1939 the Reds announced that he had retired. Joe finished his major league career at 27-48, with a 4.84 career ERA.
Joe was also a good singer. He sometimes did sing professionally during the season. He once was scheduled to sing in Cleveland on radio WHK at 10 PM with Lou Richís Orchestra.
Joe's father-in-law, was a scrap metal dealer from Baltimore who in 1950, became owner of the Laurel Race Course in Laurel, Maryland. His son, became president and Joe served as secretary-treasurer and later as executive vice president and devoted the rest of his life to horse racing. He made a pair of celebrated trips to the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and early 1960s, inviting Russian horsemen to race their horses in Laurelís International race.
Joe Cascarella died of pneumonia at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, on May 22, 2002 at age 94.