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Torey Lovullo: A Buffalo Baseball Legend with Italian-American Roots


In the world of Major League Baseball (MLB), there are figures who stand out not just for their expertise on the field but also for the unique stories that define them. Torey Lovullo, the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is one such individual who has carved a distinctive path in the baseball world. Born in Santa Monica, California, Lovullo’s Italian-American heritage has played a significant role in shaping his journey in the sport. Let’s delve into the life and career of Torey Lovullo, from his early days as a player to his remarkable success as a manager.

A Buffalo Bisons’ Legend

Torey Lovullo’s journey in baseball has been a remarkable one, and it includes unforgettable moments as a player and manager for the Buffalo Bisons. He reminisced about these moments during an interview, highlighting several key memories:

  1. Winning the First Two Triple A League Championships: Lovullo was an integral part of the Buffalo Bisons’ first two Triple A League Championships in 1997 and 1998.
  2. A Unique Love Story: During his time with the Bisons, Lovullo dated and later married a Bisons’ front office associate, Kristen Burwell. Their love story adds a personal touch to his Buffalo memories.
  3. Induction into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame: In 2003, Torey Lovullo and his close friend and teammate Jeff Manto were inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame.
Photo Credit: The Herd Chronicles

Italian-American Heritage

Torey Lovullo’s Italian-American heritage is an integral part of his identity. His father, Sam Lovullo, had strong connections to Buffalo, where he was born and raised before moving to California. Sam’s career as an accountant eventually led him to work at CBS Studios, where he handled the finances for the Jonathan Winters Show. However, he is most famously known for his involvement in creating the beloved television show “Hee Haw,” a Country-Western version of Laugh-In that became the most popular syndicated show of all time.

Torey’s family background is steeped in Italian culture, and he comes from a close-knit Italian family. This rich heritage has instilled a deep sense of pride and support within the Lovullo family. When Torey joined the Buffalo Bisons in 1997, his family’s support was unwavering, with 25 season tickets being a testament to their dedication.

Photo Credit: Outsports

Personal and Professional Enrichment

Lovullo’s years in Buffalo were personally and professionally enriching. He built lasting friendships, particularly with the team’s owners, Bob and Mindy Rich. The Richs were more than just owners to the players; they were like a second family, always interested in the well-being of the Bisons and their players.

Bob and Mindy Rich’s dedication to their team left a deep impression on Torey Lovullo. The ownership’s supportive role in the championship-winning seasons of 1997 and 1998 made those memories even more special. Torey’s connection with Bob Rich was profound, and presenting him with the game ball after their championship win in 1997 is a memory he cherishes.

Photo Credit: The Herd Chronicles

Torey Lovullo’s Return to Buffalo

Torey Lovullo returned to Buffalo as the manager of the Bisons in 2006 and 2007. During this time, he crossed paths with Kristen Burwell, a sales associate of the team. Their relationship added another chapter to his Buffalo story. He humorously recalls her initial reluctance to date him but eventually being won over by his persistence.

Photo Credit: Buffalo News


In the 2023 MLB playoffs, the Arizona Diamondbacks, led by manager Torey Lovullo, have emerged as contenders after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card games and sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. The Diamondbacks now face the Philadelphia Phillies in a tied NLCS, with Game 7 on the horizon. The outcome will determine whether they advance to the World Series, where they would meet the Texas Rangers. The Diamondbacks’ playoff journey has been a thrilling ride, and fans eagerly anticipate the decisive Game 7 and the potential for a historic World Series appearance.

Torey Lovullo’s journey from a versatile MLB player to a successful manager in the league is a testament to his dedication and love for the sport. His Italian-American heritage, combined with his strong family values, has played a crucial role in shaping his life and career. As he continues to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks, baseball fans can look forward to the continued success of this remarkable Italian-American figure in MLB. His story serves as a reminder of the importance of family, love, and perseverance in achieving one’s dreams.

Photo Credit: New York Post


New York Post

AZ Central


1 comment

  1. Thank you. Nice article. BTW, Lovullo is the 13th Italian American manager to win a major league pennant. The other are: Joe Altobelli, Yogi Berra, Terry Francona, Jim Fregosi, Joe Girardi, Tony LaRussa, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Maddon, Billy Martin, Mike Scioscia, Joe Torre and Bobby Valentine. I can share player cards of these men if you give me an email address.

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