Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Lou Tost


Date and Place of Birth: June 1, 1911 Cumberland, Washington

Died: February 22, 1967 Santa Clara, California
Baseball Experience: Major League
Military Unit: US Navy

Area Served: Pacific Theater of War

Louis E “Lou” Tost was born on June 1, 1911 in Cumberland, Washington. He played one game for Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League in 1934, and then nine games with Mission of the same league the following year. In 1936, he joined Muskogee of the Western Association and was 15-14, earning a recall by Mission in 1937. He was 9-8 that year with a 3.52 ERA and joined the Coast League’s Hollywood Stars in 1938. 

Tost remained with Hollywood through the 1941 season when he was purchased by the Boston Braves and made his major league debut on April 20, 1942. The 31-year-old rookie made 22 starts that year for a respectable 10-10 record and had an ERA of 3.53 with the seventh-placed club. 

Military service called in May 1943 after just three appearances and Tost was with the Navy at Norfolk Naval Air Station, Virginia. In 1945, Tost was at the Pearl Harbor Submarine Base in Hawaii and was selected to the 14th Naval District All-Star team. He also won two games for the National League team in the 1945 Navy World Series.

Tost was discharged from service at the end of 1945 and the Braves assigned him to Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League in 1946 where he was 16-13 with a 2.70 ERA. He was purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates in March 1947 and made a brief return to the majors, appearing in one game for the Pirates on April 24.

Tost spent the remainder of 1947 with Indianapolis of the American Association before returning to the Pacific Coast League the following year.

Lou Tost passed away on February 22, 1967 in Santa Clara, California. He was just 55.

Created May 20, 2008.

Copyright © 2008 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.