Card: 1983 TCMA #27
When big-league players heeded the call of duty during World War II, many teams were left scrambling to find replacement players. One such wartime player was slap-hitting Augie Bergamo (who was designated 4F), who debuted with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1944 after six years in the minor leagues. A versatile outfielder and pinch-hitter with a good eye, Bergamo batted .304 as a part-time starter in 1944 and 1945. Despite his success, after the war ended he went unclaimed on waivers by all 16 major-league teams, and returned to the minors in 1946.
August Samuel Bergamo was born on Valentine’s Day 1917 in Detroit. His parents, Joseph and Jennie (Dasaro) Bergamo, were both born in Italy and came to America at the turn of the 20th century. Like many of the millions of unskilled immigrants who poured into urban areas all over the rapidly developing country, Joseph found employment in construction and listed his job as “cement finisher” in a city directory at the time.
Bergamo enjoyed one of the most productive doubleheaders in Cardinals history on July 4 facing the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. In the first game, he went 3-for 5 with a triple, scored twice, and drove in one run in the Cardinals’ 8-4 victory.
He supplied the fireworks in the nightcap by banging out five hits in six at-bats, scoring four times and driving in eight runs. “[Augie’s] display of pyrotechnics left a trace of destruction,” wrote The Sporting News. He belted two home runs, including his only grand slam, in that 19-2 thrashing of the Giants. Bergamo finished the season with a .316 batting average (96-for-304), 44 RBIs, and 43 walks. His .401 on-base percentage was the best on the club for players with at least 150 at-bats.
Augie was mentioned in the Dave Frishberg Jazz song “Van Lingle Mungo."
Augie is also part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop
View all Augie’s baseball cards at TCDB
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