Born: May 24, 1968
Town: Jersey City & Toms River
Gerard Peter DiPoto Jr. was born May 24, 1968 in Jersey City. Jerry was a multisport athlete as a boy growing up in Ocean County, He grew to 6’2” at Toms River North High School and became the star of the Mariners as a junior in 1985. That spring, Jerry tossed·back-to-back no-hitters on his way to a 9-5 record and 1.79 ERA. He won a total of 21 games during his prep career and earned a scholarship to Virginia Commonwealth University.
Jerry played three season for the Rams and set a slew of team records. In 1988 as a sophomore he led VCU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance. In 1989, he was drafted in the third round by the Cleveland Indians and dominated in A and AA ball. Jerry became the first player from his school to reach the majors in 1993, going 4–4 with 11 saves and a 2.40 ERA as a reliever. The following year, Jerry was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He underwent surgery and has remained cancer-free.
The Indians traded Jerry to the Mets and he spent two years in New York as a long reliever. He finished his career with four years in the Colorado bullpen, leading the team in saves with 16 in 1997 and 19 in 1998. He retired after the 2000 season. He won 27 games and saved 49 in 8 big-league campaigns.
In 2001, Jerry worked in the Rockies’ front office, and then moved into scouting. He became Director of Scouting for the Diamondbacks in 2005 and then General Manager of the Angels in 2012. Jerry had a good feel for analytics, but was often at odds with manager Mike Scioscia about their use in evaluating talent. Jerry resigned during the 2015 season as was snapped up by the Seattle Mariners three months later. He got right to work remaking a franchise that was thin on talent and hadn’t played postseason ball since 2001.
Over the next two years, Jerry made a flurry of trades and signings—both at the major- and minor-league levels. By 2018, the M’s were contending for the AL West crown. Injuries to Robinson Cano and Felix Hernandez prevented them from snagging a Wild Card berth, but Seattle won 89 games, their highest total in 17 years. Among the players Jerry acquired were Ryon Healy, Dee Gordon, Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, Mike Leake and Marco Gonzalez.