Louie Guisto*

Lou Guisto

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With his induction into the Napa High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, Louie Guisto becomes the oldest alumnus to be so honored. Not much is known about Guisto’s achievements at Napa High School, but based on his accomplishments in college and the professional ranks, one can easily conclude that he starred in baseball, football and perhaps track and rugby between 1908 and 1912. Guisto went on to St. Mary’s College, where he became an athletic and coaching legend. He earned 11 athletic letters as an undergraduate student. His crowning achievement as a football player was intercepting a pass in his own end zone against the University of California, Berkeley and returning it 103 yards for a touchdown. He was an All-American rugby player at St. Mary’s, but it was baseball that established him as a national hero. He left St. Mary’s to play professional baseball with the Portland Beavers in the Pacific Coast League. He hit the first professional pitch he saw for a home run against the San Francisco Seals. He was soon purchased by the Cleveland Indians and played several major league seasons, interrupted by a stint in the army during World War I, in which he was the victim of enemy gas attacks. While at Cleveland, Guisto hit behind baseball hall of famer Tris Speaker and played against many of the all-time greats, including Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson. After leaving professional baseball, Guisto returned to St. Mary’s to coach the Gael baseball team and assist Slip Madigan with the football team. So great were Guisto’s contributions to St. Mary’s, the baseball field at the Moraga campus is named Louis Guisto Field. He truly was one of Napa High’s all time great athletes.