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“Game Saver Bud Toscani, St. Mary’s half-pint halfback, dragged a listless, almost beaten St. Mary’s team out of the mire yesterday and started them on the comeback trail when he grabbed the opening kickoff of the second half and raced down the field 95 yards to a touchdown over Oregon. The fighting spirit of the Galloping Gaels returned under that impetus and the Moragans wound up 16-0 victors over the northern university,” Oakland Tribune, Nov. 1931.

It’s Super Bowl weekend so the perfect time to tell the story of a local football hero from the early 1900’s who lived in the St. Rose Historic Preservation District:
Born in 1909, Francis “Bud” Toscani, was a local high school football star while a student at Santa Rosa High School. Starting in 1927, he went on to make a name for himself playing college football for the Saint Mary Gaels football team at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. In 1931 he was selected by the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) as a second-team halfback on the 1931 College Football All-American Team. He went on to play professional football in the National Football League in 1932 for the Chicago Cardinals and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
By 1933 he had returned to Santa Rosa, married, and started a family. In 1941, he was hired as Assistant Football Coach for the Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cub varsity football team. At the same time he was working in the family bakery business with his father, Anthony Toscani.
In 1948, after the tragic death of his wife from Polio he moved with his father to Reno where they continued in the bakery business, working for Franco-American Bakery. By 1961, Anthony was the owner of the Franco-American Bakery in Reno. Tragically, Bud Toscani died in a car accident in 1966. His house still stands at 512 Morgan Street. but sadly there is a proposal to tear it down to build the Caritas Village Project.

Bud Toscani’s House – 512 Morgan Street

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