Gus Mancuso

Buried in the Cardinal farm system for five years, Mancuso was rescued in 1930 by Judge Landis, who told St. Louis to keep him on the ML club or lose him. The stocky catcher went on to become one of the top NL catchers of the 1930s. After working as a backup for two Cardinal pennant winners (1930-31), Mancuso was traded to the Giants in 1933. Manager Bill Terry credited his acquisition as the major factor in moving New York from sixth in 1932 to the ’33 pennant. A fine defensive receiver, the swarthy Mancuso handled a pitching staff that included Carl Hubbell, Fred Fitzsimmons, and Hal Shumacher. He continued as the Giants’ regular through the pennant seasons of 1936-37 and later shared catching duties on other NL clubs until the end of WWII. Although he admitted, “I was so slow-footed I x x could be a real rally-stopper on the bases,” Mancuso hit a respectable .265 for his career. In 1936, his best all-around season, he batted .301 and drove in 63 runs.

His younger brother, Frank, caught four years in the AL during the mid-1940s.