*Italian Heritage Doubtful/Unlikely

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george susce sr image from 59 topps blog at http://59toppsblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/511-george-susce.html
Image from 59 Topps Blog

Player: Susce, George Sr.


Position: C

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Image from 59 Topps Blog


"The fingers on George's (Susce) throwing hand pointed off in different directions from all the foul tips and balls in the dirt, and his face looked as if a few pitches had missed his mask." - Wayne Terwilliger

George Cyril Methodius Susce (b. August 13, 1907 in Pittsburgh, PA – d. February 25, 1986 in Sarasota, FL) was a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies (1929), Detroit Tigers (1932), Pittsburgh Pirates (1939), St. Louis Browns (1940) and Cleveland Indians (1941–44). As a minor leaguer, Susce was an All-Star. However, at the major league level, the right-handed batter had only 268 at-bats and hit .228 lifetime with two homers.

In 1940 Susce had nearly half of his 268 major-league at-bats playing for the lowly St. Louis Browns. Considered at best a third-string catcher, as a young man Susce negated his chances of a longer career with his firebrand nature. He eventually mellowed to become one of the most endeared and longest-serving coaches in baseball.

He was a player/coach for the Cleveland Indians from 1941 to 1944. He retired as a player and coached the Indians through 1947. He then managed the Batavia Clippers in 1948, then coached the Indians again after the minor league season and in 1949. He began 1950 as manager of the Marion Red Sox and ended it as a coach for the Boston Red Sox, staying on that staff through 1954.

George was also a coach for the Kansas City A's (1955-1956), Milwaukee Braves (1958-1959), Louisville Colonels (1960), Washington Senators (1961-1967), Jacksonville Suns (1968), Senators again (1969-1971), and Texas Rangers (1972).

Remembered with the rather incongruous moniker of “Good Kid” – a reputation seemingly earned only after he retired – Susce reportedly engaged in over 37 fights – losing 36 of them – during the first six years of his career. Despite the terrible won-lost record, he continued throwing fists, often at his own teammates. (Evincing Johnny Cash's song "A Boy Named Sue", this was possibly due to another nickname ascribed to him by his mates: “Sweet Susie.”) This combative behavior eventually hampered his career, something he readily acknowledged years later when he said, “I guess I was too aggressive in those days."

His son, George D. Susce, often known as George Susce Jr., was a Major League pitcher who broke into the majors with the Red Sox in 1955. Another son, Paul, pitched one season in the minors (1957).

In 1986, his son Paul, then a baseball coach and teacher at George Wythe High School in Richmond, Virginia, helped coordinate with local police and parks and recreation departments the establishment of a youth baseball program for at-risk children. Paul played a pivotal role in renaming the program, formerly known as Strike Out Substance Abuse, in honor of his father: The George Susce “Good Kid” Clinics and Camps.

Researcher Gene Leggitt informs Baseball Amore that George Sr. is not of Italian heritage, resulting in the “Doubtful” notation.

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


George Susce Jr and Sr – Image from eBay
George Susce Sr and Jr – Image from 59 Topps Blog


*George Sr. is also part of the Italian Ancestry Unsure/Doubtful Tour – Next Page

George is also part of the Cleveland Indians Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Sr. is also part of the Philadelphia Phillies Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

“Good Kid” is also part of the Pittsburgh Pirates Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See George Sr’s baseball cards at TCDB

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