Rest in peace Boyd Bartley.
Every year on New Years Day, I do a post paying tribute to all the Dodgers that have passed away during the year. Last night I was up until very late updating my list, checking the list of MLB players that have passed away and checking who were Dodgers. I told my brother Vic this morning “There are 75 players that have passed away with Ryan Freel” I was surprised by the high number and told him that I hoped it will not go up.
I had to come to work today. While at work I got a message from Nick of www.examiner.com with the bad news that Boyd Bartley had passed away last Friday. See his article here http://www.examiner.com/article/boyd-bartley-92-former-brooklyn-dodger-player-and-scout-signed-orel-hershiser
Boyd Barley (02-11-1920 to 12-21-2012) He was 92.
Here is part of the article:
Bartley was signed out of the University of Illinois in 1943 after receiving a bonus from the Dodgers to steer him away from his hometown Chicago Cubs. The young shortstop was heralded for his defensive prowess and received comparisons to then-Indians shortstop Lou Boudreau. The Dodgers wasted little time in testing Bartley’s skills, inserting him in to the lineup a day after he was signed, starting both games of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds
Sadly, Bartley never lived up to the comparison to the future Hall of Famer. Bartley made three errors in his first three games, shaking the confidence of manager Leo Durocher. He would last nine games in a week-and-a-half, batting 1-21, with his only hit coming ironically against the Chicago Cubs. Bartley was sent down to Montreal due to his lack of production, as the 37-year-old Durocher inserted himself into the shortstop role.
While serving with the Army in the Pacific, Bartley was operating a jeep when he encountered a Japanese patrol. In his attempt to escape the patrol, his vehicle flipped over and he injured his shoulder. His arm would never fully recover.
Starting in 1968 he became a scout for the Dodgers, holding the position for over 25 years. His most prized signing, Orel Hershiser. The prized Dodger pitcher fondly recalled Bartley’s courtship in his 2001 biography, “Between the Lines.”
“In a few weeks Boyd Bartley, a Dodger scout, came to our home in Detroit to present their offer. Because I wasn’t going to turn twenty–one for three more months, my dad had to be in the meeting. Mr. Bartley offered me ten thousand dollars, an assignment, and a dream. ‘We’ll send you to our Class A team in Clinton, Iowa. You’ll have the chance to grow and develop and work your way up the ladder to play in the big leagues. We want you to pitch in Dodger Stadium some day.’ I was awestruck by his words. My dream was about to come true. I was going to turn pro. After a short meeting in the kitchen with my dad and mom, I took the offer.”
Rest in peace Mr. Bartley. There are now 42 Brooklyn Dodger players alive.
Thanks Nick. Glad you made a trip to Dodger Stadium and I got to mee you and your girlfriend. Maybe I will see you at next year SABR convention.