A left-hander who pitched for the Yankees from 1939-43 and in
1946 after he returned from military service, Russo died March 26
from heart failure after battling various illnesses, his wife,
Stasia, said Monday.
The Brooklyn native was signed out of Long Island University.
His best seasons were 1940 and 1941, when he won 14 games each
year. He finished with a 45-34 record and a 3.13 ERA and was an All
Star in 1941.
He picked up complete-game victories in the World Series in 1941
against the Brooklyn Dodgers and in 1943 against the St. Louis
He is remembered for hitting a line drive in Game 3 of the 1941
World Series that caromed high off the leg of Dodgers pitcher
Freddie Fitzsimmons, breaking his knee. The Yankees then came from
behind off Fitzsimmons' replacement, Hugh Casey, winning the game
2-1 behind Russo's four-hitter. The Yankees won the series in five
Russo pitched seven-hitter in the Yankees' 2-1 victory over the
Cardinals in Game 4 of the 1943 World Series, doubling and scoring
the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.
Russo was later an executive with Grumman Aircraft on Long
Island, where he lived for 62 years before moving to Fort Myers
about four years ago, his wife said.
Besides his wife of 65 years, Russo is survived by his
daughters, Carole Sassatelli, of Phoenix, and Marian Markovich, of