Thursday, February 11, 2016

Happy Baseball Birthday...Boyd Bartley

For today's Happy Baseball Birthday!  I have chosen former big leaguer Boyd Bartley.

Boyd Owen Bartley  was born on February 11, 1920, in Chicago Illinois, attended Hyde Park High School, and went on to play college baseball at the University of Illinois.

As you may know, I have a special thing for people named Boyd, my middle name, and it's an honor to share the month of February with Boyd.

The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Boyd early in 1943, and  he made his big league debut on May 30, at the age of 23.

Boyd played with the Dodgers through June 7, when he was sent to Montreal.

While in Montreal Boyd was drafted into the Army, serving in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.

While he was on duty one night his jeep crashed while he was avoiding a Japanese patrol, and his injuries sustained in the crash would keep Boyd from returning to the big leagues.

His one, and only hit, an RBI single, came in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals...he would finish his big league career 1-21, .048 batting average,  and 1 RBI.

After returning from World War II Boyd would work as a long time minor league manager and scout for the Dodgers, in both Brooklyn and in Los Angeles.

His baseball career was halted for a couple of years during the Korean War.

His most memorable scouting victory was signing a young man who would become a legendary Dodgers hurler, a Bulldog  named Orel Hershiser.

Boyd Bartley passed away at the age of 92 on December 21, 2012, in Richland Hills, Texas.

Today we celebrate the life of a man who served his country in two wars, and played, managed, and scouted the great game of baseball for 6 decades.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Boyd Bartley....PLAY BALL! 

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