Sunday, June 17, 2012

#84 Reno Bertoia



When I saw this card my first thought was that Reno Bertoia was actually a 1950's teen singing sensation. You know, one of the guys that bobby soxers screamed and cried over. But no, he was a vet of 10 years in the majors, most of them with the Tigers.

He was born Pierino Peter Bertoia in Italy in 1935 and his family moved to Ontario before his second birthday.

Bertoia was a 'bonus baby' signee of the Tigers and had to be kept on the roster under the rules through the 1955 season. Among other tidbits included in this article Bertoia got a trip to Italy for his mother as part of his bonus. He spent most of '56 in the minors but emerged in 1957 with a platoon role as an infielder. He hit .275 that year in about a hundred games but regressed the following season and was traded to the Senators. 

He had his one season as a full timer in 1960 but in 1961 he was shuttled from the Twins to the A's and then back to the Tigers. He was released by Detroit early in 1962. He played in Japan for a bit in 1964 but returned to the States after a few weeks because his son had been ill.

Here's another in a line of nicely conditioned cards that have made the blog. It's a Yankee Stadium shot and has Bertoia in his Tigers uni. With so many of the Tiger cards being red framed it took me a bit to realize the card has a Nats logo. 

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