September 21, 2021

Pete Castiglione Passes

May 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Pete CastiglionePeter P. Castiglione was born on February 13, 1921 in Greenwich, Connecticut. A high school baseball star he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization in 1940 and played for the Carthage Pirates of the Class D Arkansas-Missouri League. In 55 games he batted .298 and advanced to the Hutchinson Pirates of the Class C Western Association mid-season, where he hit .274 in 64 games.

The young third baseman began the 1941 season with Hutchinson but after a slow start he was assigned to the Moultrie Packers of the Class D Georgia-Florida League, where he hit .280 in 92 games. In 1942, Castiglione moved up to the Harrisburg of the Class C Interstate League and batted .265 in 123 games.

The Pirates decided to acquire Castiglione’s services in March 1943, but Uncle Sam beat them to it. He joined the Navy and served two years in the Pacific. As a chief radioman, he served on the destroyer escort USS Crouter (DE-11) and the fleet oiler USS Ponaganset (AO-86). He participated in campaigns at the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, Palau Islands, Philippine Islands and Okinawa, and was at Wakayama, Japan at the end of the war. USS Crouter (DE-11)

Castiglione returned to home in January 1946 and played for the Selma Cloverleafs of the Class B Southeastern League that year. Following a strong season in which he batted .342 with 81 RBIs, he moved up to the Indianapolis Indians of the Class AAA American Association for 1947, and was called up by the Pirates in September.

Castiglione after seven months without a shave while serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Castiglione made his major league debut on September 10, 1947. He appeared in 13 games and hit .250. He was back with Indianapolis for 1948, but after another strong year in which he batted .308 with 88 RBIs, he secured his place with the Pirates.

Castiglione spent the next four-and-a-half years in Pittsburgh as a utility infielder. His best season was 1951, when he played 132 games and batted .261 with 42 RBIs.

At 32, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in June 1953, where he ended his major league career the following year. Castiglione continued to play in the minors until 1958 with Toronto, Buffalo, Binghamton and Little Rock.

Pete Castiglione moved to Pompano Beach, Florida, where he became a letter carrier for the Postal Service. He always kept active in the sports community, refereeing and umpiring. He also acted as a scout for the Pirates, and wrote a column for the Pompano Town News. In 1967 he coached the Cardinal Gibbons High School baseball team to a fifth place finish in the state. He also coached the American Legion team.

Pete Castiglione passed away in Pompano Beach on April 22, 2010. He was 89.

Gary Bedingfield

http://baseballinwartime.blogspot.com/

www.baseballinwartime.com

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