Dec 11, 2015

Former Italian / American Pacific Coast League Star: Les Scarsella (1935-1949)

Leslie George Scarsella was born on November 22, 1913 in Santa Cruz California. The five foot eleven left hand hitting Italian American outfielder / first baseman, came out of St. Mary’s College in California getting signed by the Cincinnati Reds.

In 1936 he was the fifth place Reds main first baseman, batting .313 which was over 30 points higher than the team average. He also had 21 doubles 9 triples 3 HRs & 65 RBIs. The following year his run production fell in half & he only hit .246. He would only make two more brief appearances in the major leagues although he was a sought after prospect.

Scarsella became a star in the Pacific Coast League, playing the majority of his career; eight years from 1943-1949 with the Oakland Oaks. There he was part of Casey Stengel's "Nine Old Men" winning two MVP Awards (1944 & 1946) & a batting title (1944).

He would bat over .320 five times & drove in over 90 runs four times. Scarsella hit over 25 doubles seven straight years & had also four seasons with double figures in triples. On the field he was a fine defensive first baseman posting a career .990 fielding percentage in the PCL.

He was even was a successful pitcher going 4-2 with a 1.43 ERA in 11 games over a three year period. He finished his minor league career with a .307 average with 139 HRs & 728 RBIs in 1712 games played.

There was a demand in the big leagues for him in the forties, especially during the war years, but he preferred to stay in the PCL.

Passing: Scarsella passed away from heart problems in 1958 at the young age of just 44, at a San Francisco hospital.

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