Card: 1933 Goudey #41
August Rodney Mancuso, nicknamed "Blackie", was born in Galveston, Texas in 1905 to the son of a Sicilian immigrant and the daughter of German immigrants. His grandfather, Stephano, had left Sicily with his wife and two sons, probably in the 1890s. Stephano died during the Atlantic crossing, but his sons Giacomo and Franco, Gus’ father, settled in Galveston. According to the family history, Franco was a dark-skinned man with some Moorish ancestry, like many Sicilians. Such immigrants were called “black dagoes” and were the targets of discrimination - hence Gus was sometimes called “Blackie” during his baseball career.
Gus was a player, coach, scout and radio sports commentator. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals (1928, 1930–32, 1941–42), New York Giants (1933–38, 1942–44), Chicago Cubs (1939), Brooklyn Dodgers (1940) and Philadelphia Phillies (1945).
Mancuso was a 2-time NL All-Star (1935 & 1937), and he won two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1931) and the New York Giants (1933)
Mancuso was known for his capable handling of pitching staffs and for his on-field leadership abilities. He was a member of five National League pennant-winning teams, and played as the catcher for five pitchers who were eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (Carl Hubbell, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Dizzy Dean, Burleigh Grimes and Jesse Haines). Mancuso was regarded as one of the top defensive catchers of his era.
Defensively, Gus retired with a .977 fielding percentage and he led National League catchers three times in putouts, twice in baserunners caught stealing and in range factor. Though the prime of his career was nearly 80 years ago, as of this writing, his 50.69% career caught stealing percentage ranks 10th all-time among major league catchers.
Gus' brother Frank Mancuso also played MLB for the St. Louis Browns.
Mancuso is part of the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Gus is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Gus is also part of the LA/Brooklyn Dodgers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Gus is also part of the New York/SF Giants Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Gus is also part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Gus is also part of the Chicago Cubs Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Gus is also part of the Philadelphia Phillies Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See all Gus’ baseball cards at TCDB
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