Saturday, July 18, 2020

Frank Bertaina (#131)

Frank Bertaina had a rocky road with Topps up to this point:
1965 – Has his own card (#396)
1966 – Part of a 3-player Orioles Rookie Stars card (#579)

1967 – Not in the set
He returned to the Topps set for 1968-71.

Bertaina was signed by the Orioles in 1961 and began playing in 1962. He pitched in the Orioles' system for most of the next 6 years, getting a few games with the big club in '64 and '65, before really making the team in 1966. That year he pitched 16 games early and late in the season, while spending July and August in the minors.

(He looks like his name should be "Moe")

In late-May 1967 Frank was included in the trade that sent 1st baseman Mike Epstein to the Senators in exchange for pitcher Pete Richert. He started 17 of his 18 games for the Sens that season – part of the team's young staff that included Darold Knowles and Casey Cox (both 25), Barry Moore (24), Bertaina and Dick Bosman (23), and Joe Coleman (20).

In 1968 he made 23 starts as the #4 starter (and top southpaw) in the rotation, although his record slipped to 7-13.

In 1969 he found himself in the bullpen with only the occasional starting assignment. After pitching in 16 games, he was traded back to the Orioles in mid-June for a minor-league pitcher. Frank spent the remainder of the season in triple-A, only appearing in 3 games for the O's during a September call-up.

Bertaina was also relegated to triple-A in 1970, until a mid-August deal with the Cardinals. Frank pitched in his final 8 major-league games in the season’s last 2 months.

He retired after playing for the Cardinals' AAA team in 1971.

Bertaina passed away in 2010 at age 65.