AMAZING RACE winners BATES & ANTHONY BATTAGLIA secret past REVEALED– their grandpa was a high-ranking Mafia kingpin!
The hockey-playing brothers took home the million-dollar prize on the popular around-the-world reality TV race – but what most viewers don’t know is that they are the grandsons of Sam “Teets” Battaglia, a murderous Midwest mobster and loan shark who rose to the top of the infamous Chicago Outfit.
“Sam Battaglia was the Don of the Chicago Mafia,” confirmed Jack Walsh, a retired special agent for the Internal Revenue Service, who nailed Battaglia in 1967 and put him in jail for 15 years.
“His street name was ‘Teets’ due to his big buck teeth, and he ran the Chicago Outfit from his farm out west of the city.”
Battaglia was born in Chicago in 1908. At the age of 22, he brazenly pulled a gun on the wife of Chicago’s then-mayor, William Hale Thompson, demanding she hand over her jewels.
He left the scene with $15,500 worth of baubles – not to mention the gun and badge of the woman’s police escort!
That bold stunt caught the attention of mob bosses Johnny Torrio and Al Capone, and he was brought into the Family. Battaglia later became a close associate of notorious crime boss Sam Giancana.
He earned a reputation as a hardboiled loan shark who always made debtors pay – one way or another. People who fell behind in their payments would be brought to Battaglia in the back room of the Casa Madrid restaurant in Chicago, where they would be severely beaten or killed.
Midwest mob expert Johnny Fratto, whose dad, Louis Fratto, was Sam’s best pal and fellow mobster, told The ENQUIRER: “He held court and was judge, jury and executioner.”
By 1950, Battaglia had an extensive criminal record that included numerous counts of burglary, robbery and murder.
Eventually, a Mafia turncoat squealed on Battaglia, becoming the state’s star witness in a trial that resulted in the mobster’s conviction on extortion and conspiracy charges.
Bates, 37, and Anthony, 33, never met their grandfather Sam, who died in 1973, years before either of them was born. But despite their dark family history, the Battaglia boys are not ashamed of their roots.
“This is my family,” Bates declared. “This is who I am, and this is where I came from. And I wouldn’t change anything about it.”