Al Zarilla played outfield for the Browns, Red Sox and White Sox thru the World War II years into the mid-fifties, and had a nice career. He was an All-Star in 1948 and had a mention in the MVP race for the AL Champion Brownies.
By 1953, his effectiveness as an extra outfielder in the majors had ended. His Baseball Reference major league page shows a sub-.200 batting average for the Red Sox. He played a couple more seasons in the PCL, starting with independent Seattle in 1954. But how did he get there?
The Waukesha Daily Freeman of January 7, 1954...
Boston Red Sox and the signing of other major league baseball players made up
most of the news today as the clubs pepped up preparations for the 1954 spring
training season. Boston gave outfielder Al Zarilla, a 10-year American Leaguer,
his unconditional release,”
So he was a free agent when he signed with Seattle.
From the Daytona Beach Morning Journal of January 30, 1954...
baseball management announced yesterday the signing of Outfielder Al Zarilla,
an 11-year veteran of the American League. He was given free agent status
recently by the Boston Red Sox.”
Zarilla spent a season at Seattle, hitting just .216. The next season, he started at independent San Diego.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of Dec. 2, 1954...
Diego of the Pacific Coast League today purchased outfielder Al Zarilla from
Seattle of the same league.”
In 19 games with the Padres, Zarilla's average rebounded a bit, to .256, but it wasn't enough to stick around.
From the Medford Mail-Tribune of May 13, 1955...
San Diego Padres announced the outright release of catcher Jim Gladd and
outfielder Al Zarilla.”
The Hollywood Stars, a Pirates affiliate at that time, picked him up a bit later. From the Spokane Daily Chronicle of June 8, 1955...
for left hand batting, the Hollywood Stars have signed Al Zarilla….as utility
outfielder…He was a free agent.”
Ouch, the use of the word 'desperate' isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.
And it didn't go very well, either, as Zarilla went just 4-for-36 with Hollywood, all singles. From the Jamestown NY Journal of July 25, 1955...
outfielder Al Zarilla was handed his unconditional release today by the
Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League.”
Other than a short class-C stint in 1956, that was it for Zarilla's career. He got everything out of what he had.