Manny Salvo, pitcher
Padres: 1936-38, 1946-48 Starting his career with Sacramento in 1931, Manny Salvo made it to the big leagues in 1936. Suddenly, he was back in the PCL. His disappointment was San Diego’s good fortune as he was a consistent winner. He returned to the majors and is remembered as a good pitcher on weak Braves teams of the early forties. After completing a 33-50 lifetime mark with Boston, he came back to San Diego and led the team with fourteen victories in 1947.
[Manny Salvo interview by Bill Swank, 4 February 1995, transcript notes.]
On opening day in 1936, I was sitting on the bench in Boston. They had made a deal with San Diego for Bobby Doerr and George Myatt. Mr. Cronin called me into his office and said [Bill] Lane had called and told him, “You either send me Salvo right away or I’m calling this deal off!” Cronin showed me the telegraph and asked how I’d like to go. I said I’d prefer to fly. They made arrangements. They held up the plane and it was raining like hell. I didn’t feel it take off and the guy sitting next to me said we were in the air. It was my first flight in a plane. It was one of those old Tri-Motors with motors on each wing and one in the middle. I met the team in Oakland.
In the playoffs, I think it was ’37, Sacramento wanted to play us so bad, they could taste it. We knew we had the pitching to beat them and we beat them real bad. Portland was in the playoffs, too and we beat them three straight in San Diego. Then, we went all the way up there and beat ’em again. We had Howard Craghead, Wally Hebert, Tiny Chaplin, myself and Herman Pillette. We only had six pitchers that year and in good, tight games, we’d relieve each other. We’d warm up and pitch a few innings. We had a good staff. We had some good kids on that team. They [Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, George McDonald] were teenagers and I was twenty-four-years- old.