In honor of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game tomorrow, the History Seeker recalls a county family that produced a trio of local baseball stars, one of whom became an All-Star in the Show, as some call the major leagues.
“The Prides of Escondido,” was the headline over a photo of three young Escondido High School baseball players in the San Diego Union on April 18, 1928.
“Escondido is proud of its Coscarart boys, and with plenty of reason,” began the article accompanying the photo, describing Joe, Steve and Pete Coscarart as “ball playing fools.”
“Joe is shortstop and cleanup hitter for the Escondido High team,” explained the article, while “Steve holds down second base and is second in the batting order. Pete, the little fellow, is lead off hitter and plays left field or wherever you want to put him.”
A few days later the Union reported the victory of the Escondido High team over ‘the Naval Training Station nine,” 3 to 1, “in a fast game featured by the bang-up playing of the Coscarart trio…” Pete, playing second base, “made a fast double-play in the fifth inning and halted a rally by the Boots. He caught a sizzling liner and threw out a runner at third base, retiring the side. Joe and Steve played right field and shortstop, respectively, and showed good form at bat and afield.”
All three brothers would star on minor league teams. An injury cut short Steve’s career. Joe and Pete would go on to the major leagues, Joe with the Boston Braves and Pete with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pete would last in the majors the longest, playing for the Dodgers and then the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1938 to 1946. In 1939, Pete was considered the top defensive second baseman in the National League. He was considered pretty good on offense too, with a .277 batting average, 22 doubles and 10 stolen bases. The following year he made the National League All-Star team. He was later named to the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame, and is memorialized locally in Pete Coscarart Field, home of Escondido High’s baseball teams.
Sources for this post included historic San Diego and Escondido newspapers and the Society for American Baseball Research.
Your column today could not have been more appropriate. Saturday , we had our first Cougar Athletic Club Breakfast with a wonderful turnout since the pandemic. The joy of being together again was palpable. Lots of ladies showed up also. Thank you Vince.
Thanks, Karen for the comment. Interesting, that in the newspaper coverage in the 1920s they referred to the Escondido ball club as the “Grape Pickers.” Don’t know how official that was but it may have reflected the importance of the grape crop at that time.
Thank you for your interest.
Loved the story about the Escondido boys. Reminds me of San Diego’s Boone Family. Three generations of Ball players. Four of them major league all stars. Ray, his son Bob, and Bob’s sonsBret and Aaron. A third son made it to triple a but not the “show.” Now the forth generation is starting his career in the National’s organization after a college career playing for Princeton.
Thanks for the comment. I’m not a big sports fan any more but I grew up in southern New Jersey which was Phillies territory and just before coming west I remember that at that time Bob Boone was an outstanding defensive catcher for the Phils. Looks like the Boones and the Coscararts had a lot in common!