Frankie Gustine

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Frank William Gustine

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Biographical Information[edit]

Frankie Gustine was just 16 years old when he was scouted and signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates third base great, Pie Traynor, before the 1937 season. Frankie was destined to become the Pittsburgh club's infielder of the 1940s. Gustine spent three years in the minors, (1937-1939), working his way up, and hit an even .300 in 137 games, with 8 home runs, also playing third base at a .947 percentage for the class B Gadsden Pilots of the Southeastern League in 1939. He was called up to the Pirates late that year, appearing in 22 games and played well enough to stay on until 1949.

After first coming up in 1939, he was an everyday player in the Pittsburgh infield from 1940 through 1948, primarily at second base from 1940 to 1942 and in 1946, shortstop from from 1943 to 1945, and at third base in 1947 and 1948. He hit a career high .297 in 1947, playing all of his team's 156 games and leading all National League third basemen in putouts and assists. He was an All-Star at second base in 1946 and at third base in 1947 and 1948. Lifetime he hit .265 in a dozen seasons, also playing the infield at a .946 clip.

Frankie was traded by the Pirates, along with P Cal McLish, to the Chicago Cubs for Cliff Chambers and Clyde McCullough on December 8, 1948. Frankie appeared in only 76 outings for the Cubs in Cubs, all at second or third base, hitting at a .226 average and fielding at a .965 percentage. He also spent part of 1949 with the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League, appearing in 49 games and hitting .294. On September 14th, he was selected off waivers by the Philadelphia Athletics, but never played for them. After the season, he was traded him in a five-man deal to the St. Louis Browns on December 13th. He got into six contests for the Browns in 1950 then on May 22nd, the Browns released the infielder and he chose to retire from the game after 16 seasons in professional baseball.

Gustine was the head coach at Point Park College from 1968 to 1974 and an administrator at the school. He was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2000.

Gustine 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. Frankie was in Davenport, Iowa, for the first voyage of the President, a casino riverboat owned by John E. Connelly, his partner in ownership of the Sheraton Inn at Station Square in Pittsburgh, when he died from a heart attack on April 1, 1991 at age 71.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 3-time NL All-Star (1946-1948)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1947)


Baseball Players of the 1950s

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gregory H. Wolf: "Frankie Gustine", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: Van Lingle Mungo: The Man, The Song, The Players, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 214-219. ISBN 978-1-933599-76-2

Related Sites[edit]