Gustafson, Al

Inducted: 2002

Gustafson, Al

Louisville, Kentucky

The headlines in the early 1950’s from Louisville’s Courier Journal and Frankfort’s State Journal were pretty much the same –“Al Gustafson tosses no hitter”, “Al Gustafson gives up 2 hits, strikes out 11”, “Little Gus of the Sters shuts out the Jeffersonville Soapmen”, “Gustafson records 15 strikeouts, no hits Bourbons Club”.

The headlines were similar but reading between the lines one could really see how dominant the diminutive fast pitch hurler was because he was winning his games versus future softball Hall of Famers, Lloyd Crane, Louis Tolle, and other pitching greats.

In one marquis duel, Gustafson fanned 15 Knoxville Fertilizer players and allowed only two hits in a 10 inning war with Lloyd Crane of Sterling Beer. The 1-0 outcome at picturesque State Stadium in Frankfort was one of many pitching highlights versus top-notch competition.

Al lent his arm first to the Bonnycastle Cubs in 1943 who were 18 and under champions. In 1945, he joined the Army and played for Army teams in Camp Walters, TX, and Fort Sills, Ok and came back to Kentucky in 1946 at Fort Knox.

From 1947 to 1949, Al led the Sportsman’s Bar to the Louisville Metro and Jefferson County championships, and in 1949 he pitched a perfect 2-0 game to defeat Frankfort in Newport.

From 1950 to 1954, while with Sterling Beer, Gustafson threw a couple of other perfect games against National Regional competition, one being a 3-0 shutout over Wisconsin.

He retired after the 1955 season as Louisville Metro Champs for 9 Consecutive summers dating back to 1947, and from 1950 to 1954, he was 24-0 in Metro tournament games.

This award bears witness that his name shall forever be in the Kentucky Softball Hall of Fame.