Buried in the Cardinal farm system for five years, Mancuso was rescued in 1930 by
Judge Landis, who told St. Louis to keep him on the ML club or lose him. The stocky
catcher went on to become one of the top NL catchers of the 1930s. After working
as a backup for two Cardinal pennant winners (1930-31), Mancuso was traded to the
Giants in 1933. Manager Bill Terry
credited his acquisition as the major factor in
moving New York from sixth in 1932 to the '33 pennant. A fine defensive receiver,
the swarthy Mancuso handled a pitching staff that included Carl Hubbell
, Fred Fitzsimmons,
and Hal Shumacher. He continued as the Giants' regular through the pennant seasons
of 1936-37 and later shared catching duties on other NL clubs until the end of WWII.
Although he admitted, "I was so slow-footed I
could be a real rally-stopper
on the bases," Mancuso hit a respectable .265 for his career. In 1936, his best all-around
season, he batted .301 and drove in 63 runs.
His younger brother, Frank, caught
four years in the AL during the mid-1940s.