Lou Guisto, 1926 Zeenut PCL, Oakland Oaks

Player: Guisto, Lou

Card: 1926 Zee-Nut PCL (No Back)

Position: 1B

Louis Joseph Guisto (January 16, 1895 – October 15, 1989) was a Major League Baseball first baseman who played for five seasons in MLB with the Cleveland Indians from 1916 to 1917 and from 1921 to 1923.

His parents, Lawrence and Louise (Arata) Guisto, had emigrated from Italy and settled, like so many other Genoans, in the Napa Valley where Lawrence was a farmer.

While playing in the PCL, Lou was regarded as a superb fielder. The Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs showed interest in the youngster, and starting in late July the area papers were full of stories about the offers and negotiations for his services. He signed with the Indians.

Lou made his major-league debut on September 10, 1916, when the Indians hosted Detroit at League Park. He walked in his first at-bat, but got no hits. In a headline the Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that he got no hits but fielded “brilliantly.” It was a sign of what was to come.

In 1917, his fielding was excellent but his batting was woeful, and the Indians finally benched him. After the season he joined five other Cleveland players who either got their draft notice or volunteered for service in World War I.

His unit was shipped to France late in the summer. Guisto eventually rose to the rank of sergeant. During the climactic Battle of the Argonne Forest, Lou was severely gassed. He was hospitalized for many months and did not return home until the spring of 1919.

He returned to baseball in the PCL, and had sporadic appearances for the Indians until 1923, his last MLB season. It was clear the war injuries/illness had affected him. He again returned to the PCL in 1924, and eventually captained and then managed the Bakersfield Bees and Phoenix Senators from 1929–1931.

Lou holds the record for most games by a Cleveland Indian when batting cleanup without ever hitting a home run from that slot, in 35 games as their cleanup hitter (post 1919) he never homered, and actually never homered in 156 career games.

The baseball field at Saint Mary’s College of California, where Lou played, is named Louis Guisto Field, and he is a multi-inducted member of the St. Mary’s Hall of Fame. The athletic department also instituted a yearly award bearing his name to the most gifted athlete.

(excerpted from SABR, Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)

Image from Wikipedia

Guisto is also part of the Military Service during Wartime Tour – go to the Next Stop


Lou is also part of the Born in San Fran/Oakland/Sacramento Tour – Go to the Next Stop


Lou is also part of the Cleveland Indians Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


See Guisto’s baseball cards at TCDB


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