Furillo was one of Roger Kahn‘s famed Boys of Summer. Kahn described him as “The Hard Hat Who Sued Baseball”. He sued the Dodgers in 1960 for dropping him while he was hurt. He was awarded $21,000 as a settlement. From then on, Furillo couldn’t find a job in baseball. He contended that he had been blackballed. Kahn found him years later, installing Otis elevators at the World Trade Center.
Furillo had his best season in 1953, when he hit .344 to win the NL batting title. A volatile and intense competitor, Skoonj (short for scungili, Italian for snail) broke his hand during a September brawl with Leo Durocher and the Giants, and missed most of the rest of the season.
The Reading Rifle had a gun for an arm, and read the tricky, 40′-high right field wall in Ebbets Field masterfully. His career highlights include a miraculous catch of Johnny Mize‘s bid for a home run in Game Five of the 1952 World Series; a game-tying, ninth-inning homer in Game Six of the 1953 WS; and throwing pitcher Mel Queen out at first on a 300’ shot hit into the right field gap at Ebbets Field.