Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dick Bertell (#27)

Dick Bertell’s final card was in the 1966 set, but since that is one of the 6 dozen cards I am missing from that set, this card will have to do.

Bertell began his career with 5 games in 1960, and ended it with 2 games in 1967. In-between, he played for 5 seasons (1961-65) as the Cubs’ #1 catcher, although he never started more than 105 games in a season, and some years started less than half the games.

Dick was signed by the Cubs in 1957, and played in the minors until making his debut in September 1960.

For the next 4 seasons, he would platoon with others behind the plate, but played more than any other Cubs' catcher.

In May 1965 Bertell and outfielder Len Gabrielson were traded to the Giants for pitcher Bob Hendley, catcher Ed Bailey, and outfielder Harvey Kuenn. Dick finished up the ’65 season as a backup catcher with the Giants, and although he spent the entire 1966 season with the Giants’ AAA team, he had a card in the ‘66 Topps set.

Just days before the start of the 1967 season, the Giants traded him back to the Cubs, where he played 2 games (starting the first 2 games of the season) then was relegated to the bench until he was released in late-May.

Bertell passed away in 1999 at age 64.

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