Ernie Fazio Passed Away on December 1, 2017

Ernie Fazio
Rest in Peace


Ernie Fazio Passed Away on December 1, 2017

Obituary Link (Discovered by Darrell Pittman on 12/07/17):

When we printed the survivor’s list from the 1962-64 period of the Houston Colt .45s yesterday, Ernie Fazio was one of the first names that came to mind, even before I found it on Darrell Pittman’s list. As the first, or one of the first signees in franchise history, Ernie truly was the size and persona of the guy that Jose Altuve turned out to be, but it just wasn’t meant to be on the field back in 1962. It had to happen 55 years later, almost like a curtain call for the original franchise Phantom of Houston Hope, little Ernie Fazio.

Back then he was here today, gone tomorrow. This year, in our small corner in the Kingdom of Astrosville, Ernie was here for a quick shout out as a survivor. Then we get the news the very next day that he’s gone. Been gone for almost a week. Sort of a sad reminder that sometimes life mirrors the storytelling arts too well.

This time, Ernie Fazio was sort of here yesterday – and now he’s gone for sure today.

But wait a minute! – Ernie stayed until December 1st – and that was exactly 30 days past the date his franchise infield descendant, little big man Jose Altuve, reached down and routinely handled a 4-3 out play that was all Houston needed to complete their safe landing as the World Series Champions of Baseball for the very first time.

Ernie Fazio didn’t leave too soon. He left after seeing the job finally getting done on the field. And in the way it was supposed to happen. With a little spiritual presence, from start to finish, 1962 to 2017, and maybe just helped along all these years by the spirit of one fired up California kid named Ernie Fazio. It was the same spirit that grew within the culture of Astros baseball like a giant wave of energy for finally becoming baseball’s very best. And we may have seen the first cells of that energy wave taking infield at shortstop for the Houston Colt .45s back in the spring of 1962.

His name was Ernie Fazio.

As you read Ernie’s Obituary, stay open to the clues it provides about the man who may have been the “Italian Leprechaun” – the deep in the shadows of history human talisman behind our survival from all the heart-breakers we’ve seen over the past 55 years to this permanent moment of perpetual bliss – no matter what’s next on the playing fields of baseball.

 Addendum Contribution: “Ernie Fazio’s Only Baseball Card”

Colleague and contributor Mark Wernick summed it up well when he e-mailed this little strip of advertising cardboard from 1962 to The Pecan Park Eagle on the day following this column’s publication on the almost mythical memories that some of us carry for early brief time Colt .45 original, Ernie Fazio. As Mark Wernick put it, this Pepsi ad was as close as Ernie Fazio ever came to having his own baseball card, but even then, Mark grade couldn’t help but upgrade the attribution just a tad. What Wernick wrote in his item-conveyance e-mail subject line was “Ernie Fazio’s only baseball card.” In the content section of the e-mail. there were no further words. Just the nearby attached Pepsi ad strip. Mark understood that no further explanation was needed here. Thank you for this important contribution to our all too brief Eddie Fazio article.

The Ernie Fazio Obituary

Ernie Fazio
Jan 25, 1942 – Dec. 1, 2017
Danville CA

Ernest Joseph Fazio, also known as “The Faz” passed away at the age of 75. Ernie battled dementia and Parkinson’s for several years and his loving family fought with him until the end. He is survived by his wife Kathleen of 34 years, daughter Amy (husband Nick Vella), stepsons Todd and Stephen Malone (wife Samara), and grandchildren Nicco and Alivia Vella and Aiden Malone.

Ernie was born and raised in San Leandro, CA, the son of Angelina and Ernie Fazio. He was known for his many athletic accomplishments and was inducted into the Saint Elizabeth High School Hall of Fame in 2014. After high school, Ernie received a scholarship to play baseball for Santa Clara University where he as All-American, All District, All Tournament and All CIBA. In 1962, immediately following the championship game of the NCAA World Series, Ernie was the first player to sign for Houston’s Major League Baseball team, the Colt .45s.

Ernie had a larger than life personality and dearly loved his family, friends, and community. He took much pride in raising his daughter and stepsons, coaching youth athletic teams and simply lived life to the fullest. There was never a dull moment when you were with The Faz.

A funeral service in memory of Ernie will be held on Friday, Dec. 15th at Saint Isidore Church in Danville at 10:30 am. A celebration of Ernie’s life will follow at Forli Ristorante in Alamo.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to your favorite charity.



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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2 Responses to “Ernie Fazio Passed Away on December 1, 2017”

  1. Bob Hulsey Says:

    RIP Ernie and Dick. Any of those Colt .45s who were in Houston long probably has a sense of kinship with the players who finally got it done and brought the Worlds Championship home to Houston.

  2. Rick B. Says:

    Another (albeit non-Colt .45s) baseball death occurred this week: pitcher Tracy Stallard, who gave up Roger Maris’ 61st HR in 1961, died at the age of 80 on Wednesday in Kingsport, TN.

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