His AA League career spanned 29 years - first as a player, then as a sponsor and an administrator. While a student at old St. Mary's High School, Lombardi began playing for Tiny's Orphans. That experience was followed by seasons with Souvenir Beer, Borden Autos and Akron U, before signing a pro contract with the Chicago White Sox organization. He had a number of good seasons at Waterloo, Iowa and Duluth (MN), leading the Northern League with a .337 average and 31 homeruns in 1956. He returned to Akron to become one of the most feared batters in the Black Label dynasty, which swept eight titles in nine seasons in the 1960's. Lombardi was a League All-Star each one of those nine seasons. In 1962 he blasted seven homeruns in the Stan Musial State Tournament. In the early 1970's he was player, manager and/or sponsor of six Akron Insulating championship teams through 1980, during which time he also served as the AA president for two years.