The Obit For Marius Russo

04/04/2005 3:34 PM ET
Former Yankees pitcher Russo dies
Left-hander dies from heart failure at age 90

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Marius Russo, a former New York Yankees pitcher who played for four pennant-winning teams and two World Series champions, has died at age 90.
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 Cardinals.

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 games.

Russo pitched a 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 Fort Myers.