Friday, February 12, 2010

1976 Topps #352 - Dave Giusti

  • Dave Giusti pitched in the majors from 1962-1977. Giusti was signed by the Houston Colt .45s in 1961. He played in the minors in 1961 and then started 1962 with the Colts .45s. Dave spent most of the 1962 season with Houston and was 2-3 with a 5.62 ERA in 22 games (5 starts).

  • Giusti spent 1963 and most of 1964 in the minors. He finished the 1964 season with Houston and was 0-0 with a 3.16 ERA in eight games. In 1965 Dave was a swingman for Houston. He pitched in 38 games (13 of them starts) and was 8-7 with 3 saves and a 4.32 ERA.

  • Dave moved into the Houston rotation in 1966 and was a starter through the 1968 season. In 1966 Dave was 15-14 with a 4.20 ERA in 32 starts. Giusti was 11-15 with a 4.18 ERA in 1967 and was 11-14 with a 3.19 ERA in 1968.

  • On October 11, 1968 Dave was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Johnny Edwards and a minor leaguer. Three days later he was selected by the San Diego Padres in the expansion draft. The Padres traded Dave back to the Cardinals for four players. Giusti spent the 1969 season with the Cardinals as a swingman. In 22 games (12 startrs) he was 3-7 with a 3.61 ERA. After the season Giusti was traded with Dave Ricketts to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a minor leaguer and Carl Taylor.

  • At first Dave wasn't sure about Pittsburgh manager Danny Murtaugh's plan to use him as a late-inning reliever. But Giusti had his best seasons as a Pirate reliever. In 1970 Dave was 8-0 with 14 saves before losing his first game in mid July. Overall he was 9-3 with 26 saves and a 3.06 ERA in 1970. Dave appeared in two games in the 1970 NLCS but wasn't involved in any of the decisions. Giusti was 4th in NL Cy Young Award voting and 6th in MVP balloting.

  • Giusti had another good year in 1971. He was 5-6 with a league-leading 30 saves and a 2.93 ERA in 58 games. Giusti was the 1971 NL Fireman of the Year. Dave appeared in all four games of the 1971 NLCS and allowed no runs in 5 1/3 innings. He pitched in three games of the 1971 World Series and earned the save in game 4.

  • Dave pitched well again in 1972. He was 7-4 with 22 saves and a 1.93 ERA in 54 games. In the 1972 NLCS Dave earned the save in game 3 and took the loss in game 5. Johnny Bench hit a home run to tie the game in the 9th inning and then Tony Perez singled. George Foster pinch ran for Perez, made it to third base, and scored on a Bob Moose wild pitch with 2 out to send the Reds to the World Series instead of the Pirates.

  • The Pirates struggled in 1973 after the death of Roberto Clemente. Giusti pitched well (9-2, 20 saves, 2.37 ERA) and finally was selected to the NL All Star team. Dave pitched a scoreless 7th inning for the NL. In 1974 Giusti became the first reliever to make $100,000 in a season. He was 7-5 with 12 saves and a 3.32 ERA in 61 games. Dave appeared in three games in the 1974 NLCS and was roughed up. He took the loss in game 1 and in all allowed 8 runs in 3.1 innings. Dave's elbow was bothering him and he had elbow surgery after the season.

  • Dave was 5-4 with 17 saves and a 2.95 ERA in 1975. He pitched 1.2 innings in game 3 of the NLCS and didn't allow any runs or hits. Giusti had his worst season in 1976. He was 5-4 with 6 saves and a 4.32 ERA. After the 1976 season he was dealt to the Oakland A's part of a large trade that sent Phil Garner to the Pirates and several prospects (including Tony Armas, Rick Langford, and Mitchell Page) to Oakland.

  • Giusti started the 1977 season with the A's and pitched well for an awful team. He was 3-3 with six saves and a 2.98 ERA in 40 games for the A's. On August 5 Dave was purchased by the Chicago Cubs. He didn't do real well for the Cubs (0-2, 6.04 ERA in 13 games) and was released after the 1977 season.

  • After his playing career Dave went into sales, first with Millcraft Industries then at American Express as a corporate sales manager. He retired in 1994 and lives in St. Clair, Pennsylvania. Dave is the vice president of the Pittsburgh Pirates Alumni Association.

  • Liked to face: Dick Schofield (.000 in 15 AB); Mack Jones (.071 in 42 AB); Tommy Helms (.114 in 44 AB)
  • Hated to face: Orlando Cepeda (.459 in 37 AB); Cleon Jones (.448 in 29 AB); Jim Ray Hart (.444 in 45 AB)

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