Card: 1948 Leaf #88
“Baseball had always been in my blood,” said versatile infielder Frankie Gustine, who signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a 16-year-old athletic prodigy in 1936. One of the most popular Pirates of his era, Gustine debuted as a September call-up in 1939 and was named to three consecutive NL All-Star teams (1946-1948) as a second baseman and third baseman. A rough-and-tumble hustler whose play harkened back to an earlier generation, he was known for his infectious, competitive spirit, and was recognized as the cornerstone of the Pirates’ infield throughout the 1940s.
Born in rural Illinois, he grew up on the South Side of Chicago.
Gustine appeared in three All-Star Games during his 12-season (1939–50) MLB career. He spent the bulk of his tenure (1,176 games played) with the Pittsburgh Pirates, though he also played a season for the Chicago Cubs and played the last nine games of his career with the 1950 St. Louis Browns. He also was a coach for the latter two months of that season for the Pirates. His roommate during his career with the Pirates was Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner.
In 1954, Gustine and Lee Handley began a daily 15-minute sports program on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They had previously worked together on both radio and TV programs. Gustine also had a restaurant near Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.
Frankie was befriended by both Pie Traynor and Honus Wagner during his career, and served as a pallbearer at the funerals of both Pirates Hall of Famers. He was mentioned in the Dave Frishberg Jazz song “Van Lingle Mungo“
Frankie is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Frankie is also part of the Pittsburgh Pirates Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Frankie is also part of the Chicago Cubs Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See Frankie’s baseball cards at TCDB
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