No Bat, Still Scored

Pete Castiglione never inspired fear in opposing pitchers. His batting record was a net negative for the teams he played for and he was thrown out stealing as often as he nabbed a base. His defense was a bit better. Range factor wasn’t something people were aware of in the 1950s, which is a shame because Castiglione had one of the highest RFs at 3B during this period. This backdrop of light hitting and good fielding set the table for an odd final season stat. Castiglione scored a run without getting a single plate appearance all season.

He appeared in five April 1954 games as a defensive replacement at third base. In four of those games the switch was made while his St. Louis Cardinals were taking the field and late enough in the game to prevent his coming to bat. The remaining game saw Castiglione replace Ray Jablonski as a pinch runner at first base in the eighth inning. A walk of Sal Yvars moved him to second base, and a double by Tom Alston pushed him across the plate (catcher Yvars was thrown out at home trying to grab three bases on the hit). The inning soon ended and a lack of scoring by the visiting Red Legs left no need for Castiglione to bat in the bottom of the ninth.

A naval radio operator in WW2, Castiglione had a ship assignment seemingly made for his name. The man whose name can be rearranged to spell “Patience Gets Oil” was a crew member of the fleet oiler USS Ponaganset.

Castiglione appears in the 1952 Topps set, but only by the slimmest of margins. He signed an exclusive contract with Bowman later that year, preventing Topps from including him in the 1953 edition. Topps apparently had planned to include the infielder and had commissioned artwork for the card. Three paintings, including one that included Castiglione, were sold to a dealer in 1980 and likely constituted half of the “missing” skip-numbered cards in the 1953 set.

Pete Castiglione Finished His Career With A Better Looking Card

Pete Castiglione barely appeared in the 1952 Topps set and somehow managed to eke out a presence in Bowman’s 1954 offering. He appears smiling on card #174 which appears with in two variations featuring different statistics on the back. The card presents the most interesting backdrop of any of his brief Major League career. I particularly like seeing the scoreboard over his left shoulder.

Pete seems to have always signed his name as “Peter Paul Castiglione”