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PENN BIOGRAPHIES

Pius Louis Schwert (Pi) (1892-1941)

University Affiliation:
  • B.S. in Economics 1914
  • Varsity baseball, 1912-1914; Class of 1914 freshman baseball team, 1912
Biographical Summary:
  • Major league baseball player, 1914-1915
  • Merchant and banker
  • United States Congressman

 

Pius Louis Schwert was born in Angola, New York, on November 22, 1892. He entered the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in the fall of 1910.

His many college activities included the presidency of the Wharton Association and membership in Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, the Friars Society, Scalp and Blade Society, the Christian Association as well as in various student committees. As an athlete, he played on his freshman class baseball team, and then for the next three years as catcher on Penn's varsity baseball team. In his senior year he was captain of the team and was picked for the All-American college team.

Shortly after his college graduation, Schwert made his major league debut with the New York Highlanders (later the Yankees) on October 6, 1914. He played with this team for two seasons before retiring from the majors. During World War I, Schwert was an ensign in the United States Navy; while stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Yard, he played on a yard team and also on the Fourth Naval District team. He also played professional ball for Jersey City and Newark teams, and later for a Buffalo team.

After World War I, Schwert returned to Angola, where he engaged in banking and mercantile work. From 1921 to 1931 he was president of the Bank of Angola. After a move to Buffalo, Schwert, a Democrat, served as county clerk for Erie County, New York. He held this position from 1933 until the end of 1938 when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Schwert was in his second term of congress when he had a fatal heart attack in Washington, D.C. on March 11, 1941, just minutes after announcing his candidacy for mayor of Buffalo.

 

Pius Louis Schwert, detail from Penn's 1913 baseball team photograph

 

 

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