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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pius Schwert
Pius Louis Schwert.jpg
Frontispiece of 1942's Pius Louis Schwert, Late a Representative
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 42nd district
In office
January 3, 1939 – March 11, 1941
Preceded byJames M. Mead
Succeeded byJohn Cornelius Butler
County Clerk of Erie County, New York
In office
1934–1938
Preceded byJohn L. Staeber
Succeeded byHenry J. Dixon
Personal details
Born(1892-11-22)November 22, 1892
Angola, New York
DiedMarch 11, 1941(1941-03-11) (aged 48)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Harriet
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service U.S. Navy
Years of service1918–1919
Rank
US Navy O1 insignia.svg
Ensign

Baseball career
Catcher
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 20, 1914, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
October 7, 1915, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Batting average.208
Home runs0
Runs batted in6
Teams

Pius Louis Schwert (November 22, 1892 – March 11, 1941) was an American politician and professional baseball player. He played for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from New York's 42nd congressional district.

Schwert was from Angola, New York. He attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and played college baseball for the Penn Quakers as a catcher. He signed with the Yankees and played for them in the 1914 and 1915 seasons. He then continued his career in the minor leagues. Meanwhile, he opened a grocery store in his hometown of Angola, New York, served in the United States Navy, and became president of the Bank of Angola.

A member of the Democratic Party, Schwert was elected county clerk of Erie County in 1933 and reelected in 1936. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1938 and reelected in 1940. Schwert died following a heart attack as he was giving a speech on March 11, 1941.

Early life

Schwert was born in Angola, New York, on November 22, 1892.[1] He was the only child of Louisa[2] and Julius Schwert, who was the town supervisor of Evans, New York.[3] He attended Angola High School in Angola,[4] until he transferred to Lafayette High School in Buffalo, New York, in 1909.[1] He played as a catcher on the baseball teams of both high schools, and played semi-professional baseball on the weekends. Schwert graduated from Lafayette in 1910.[1]

Schwert with the Yankees
Schwert with the Yankees

Schwert enrolled at the Wharton School of Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania.[1] While enrolled at Penn, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and played college baseball for the Penn Quakers as a catcher. In his senior year, his teammates voted for him to be the team captain.[5] He had a .183 batting average in 26 games for the Quakers in 1914. Despite his poor batting average, his defensive abilities resulted in his being named to the "All-Consensus" team, a forerunner for the College Baseball All-America Team. Schwert graduated from Penn in 1914 with a Bachelor of Science in economics.[1]

Professional baseball career

After his graduation, Frank Chance, the manager of the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball, signed Schwert to a contract.[6] He made his major league debut on August 20. He played in three games for the Yankees in 1914, and did not have a hit in eight plate appearances.[1] During the 1914-15 offseason, Schwert claimed that there was an error in his contract that made him a free agent. He was pursued by the Cincinnati Reds,[7] but Bill Donovan, the Yankees' new manager, convinced him to sign a new contract with the Yankees. In 1915, Schwert was the third-string catcher behind Jeff Sweeney and Les Nunamaker. Schwert played in four games for the Yankees before they demoted him to the Jersey City Skeeters of the Class AA International League. He batted .214 in 31 games for Jersey City, was promoted to the Yankees towards the end of the season, and played in five more games for the Yankees. The game of October 7, 1915, was his last major league game. He played in 12 major league games,[1] with a .208 batting average in 24 at-bats.[8]

After the 1915 season, the University of the South named Schwert their new athletic director.[9][10] He opened a general store in Angola in 1916.[11] With the Yankees, Schwert competed with Nunamaker, Roxy Walters, and Walt Alexander for a roster spot, but he was demoted to the Newark Indians of the International League, where he batted .232 in 84 games.[1] Before the 1917 season, he informed teams that he was retired from baseball.[12] The Mobile Sea Gulls of the Class A Southern Association purchased him from Newark, and Schwert refused to report to Mobile.[13] Mobile suspended him but still reserved him for the 1918 season.[14]

In March 1918, Schwert enlisted in the United States Navy.[15] He served first as a yeoman at the Bremerton Navy Yard,[8] and later he was commissioned as an ensign at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. In Philadelphia, he played for the 4th Naval District baseball team, which was managed by Harry Davis, and included Morrie Rath, Jing Johnson, and Bob Shawkey.[1] He was discharged from the Navy at the end of the war.[16]

Schwert returned to Angola in 1920, and played semi-professional baseball locally. When all three catchers for the Buffalo Bisons of the International League were injured during the 1920 season, Schwert signed with Buffalo, and batted .496 in 14 games. He returned to the Bisons in 1921, under the agreement that he would only play for Buffalo in home games. He batted .262 in 29 games.[1] He was released in April 1922 when he did not report to the team.[17] He worked at the Bank of Angola, starting as a clerk and cashier, and working his way up to serve as its president.[1] He remained involved in semi-professional sports, becoming the president of the Western New York League in 1929.[8]

Political career

Schwert became involved in civic organizations in Angola. He was elected vice commander of the American Legion,[18] president of the Angola volunteer fire department and the Southwestern Volunteer Firemen's Association,[8][19] and the master of the masonic lodge in Evans.[20]

In 1933, Schwert ran for county clerk of Erie County as a Democrat. He won the election, and served in the role from 1934 to 1938,[1] winning reelection in 1936.[21] In 1938, Democrats needed to nominate a replacement candidate for James M. Mead in New York's 42nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, as Mead was nominated to run for the United States Senate. Democratic Party members selected Schwert to be the nominee.[22][23] He won the election,[24] defeating Republican John Cornelius Butler. Schwert was reelected in 1940, beating Edward F. Moss.[25] As a member of Congress, Schwert opposed the development of the Saint Lawrence Seaway and supported the development of harbors for boats in the Southtowns and welfare programs and vocational training for youth.[8] He supported providing aid to France and Great Britain during World War II.[25] Schwert also wrote to Governor Herbert H. Lehman to advocate for the completion of McKinley Parkway.[26]

Personal life and death

Schwert married Harriet "Hattie" Elizabeth Schwert, a distant cousin, on February 12, 1923.[1][27] She was a teacher in Buffalo and Eden, New York.[8] They did not have children.[1]

Schwert died in Washington, D.C. on March 11, 1941. He attended a dinner party at the Annapolis Hotel and collapsed shortly after making a speech.[21][28] In the speech, he was announcing his candidacy for mayor of Buffalo.[29] He was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead of a heart attack.[1] He was buried at Forest Avenue Cemetery in Angola. Schwert had survived a previous heart attack in 1940 that occurred when he was exercising in the United States Capitol gymnasium.[1]

Harriet Schwert ran against Butler in the special election to fill the remainder of Schwert's term in Congress.[30] As she was still in mourning, Harriet did not campaign, with Mead making speeches on her behalf.[31] Butler defeated Schwert in the election.[32]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Morris, Jack. "Pi Schwert". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved February 12, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Mrs. Louisa Schwert Dies in Angola". The Buffalo Times. December 17, 1921. p. 2. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Julius M. Schwert, Supervisor, Dead". The Buffalo Times. August 27, 1924. p. 13. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Pius Louis Schwert: Angola High School Student". Buffalo Evening News. July 14, 1909. p. 34. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Penn Squad Plays First Ball Game". The Ithaca Journal. February 5, 1914. p. 8. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Yankees Sign Collegian". The Washington Post. July 8, 1914. p. 8. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Sayre of Penn Signs with Reds". The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. January 30, 1915. p. 8. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ a b c d e f Vogel, Mike. "The remarkable life of Buffalo's Pi Schwert". Buffalo News. Retrieved February 15, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Sewanee Signs Director". The Courier-Journal. October 10, 1915. p. 31. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Schwert in Limelight". The Buffalo Enquirer. October 11, 1915. p. 8. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Newspaper Advertisement, Schwert's Specials for Friday and Saturday". The Angola Record. June 1, 1916. p. 4. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Pius Schwert Has Quit". The Pittsburgh Press. February 28, 1917. p. 28. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Schwert is Spunky". The Salt Lake Herald-Republican. March 11, 1917. p. 38. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Players Reserved For Year 1918". The Salt Lake Herald-Republican. November 11, 1917. p. 36. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "Gives Up Career on Diamond for U.S. Navy". The Buffalo Times. March 27, 1918. p. 8. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Prefers Navy to Diamond". The Washington Herald. January 28, 1919. p. 8. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Bisons Release Pius Schwert". The Buffalo Times. April 19, 1922. p. 12. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "County Legion Meeting Aug. 9". The Buffalo Enquirer. August 4, 1924. p. 12. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "Pius L. Schwert Elected President of Firemen". The Sun and the Erie County Independent. August 18, 1938. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "Perpetual Award Established by Schwert Family". Evans Journal. January 6, 1977. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ a b "Community Mourns Death of Hon. Pius L. Schwert". The Sun and the Erie County Independent. March 13, 1941. p. 1. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "Erie Clerk Named For Congress Run". Democrat and Chronicle. Associated Press. October 5, 1938. p. 1. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ "Democrats Battle 3 Hours Over Congressional Choice". Press and Sun-Bulletin. Associated Press. October 6, 1938. p. 10. Retrieved February 24, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ "Pius L. Schwert Thanks Voters". The Sun and the Erie County Independent. November 17, 1938. p. 1. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ a b "Out of the Past: Blasdell's Edward F. Moss seeks congressional seat, election of 1940". The Sun and the Erie County Independent. November 2, 2000. p. 8. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ "Pius L. Schwert Urges Completion of McKinley Parkway". Springville Journal. February 20, 1941. p. 1. Retrieved March 8, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ "Engagements and Weddings". The Buffalo Times. February 13, 1923. p. 18. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ "Rep. Pius L. Schwert Dies at Dinner Party". Alton Evening Telegraph. Associated Press. March 12, 1941. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ "Buffalo Legislator Sucumbs". Times Herald. March 12, 1941. p. 13. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ "Buffalo Picks Successor To Rep. Pius Schwert". Bradford Evening Star and The Bradford Daily Record. United Press. April 22, 1941. p. 3. Retrieved February 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ "Seaway Issue In Congress Voting". The Evening Times. Associated Press. April 22, 1941. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ "Republican Wins Buffalo District". The New York Times. New York, NY. April 23, 1941. p. 21 – via Times Machine.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James M. Mead
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 42nd congressional district

1939–1941
Succeeded by
John Cornelius Butler
This page was last edited on 6 April 2021, at 10:46
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