Monday, March 29, 2010

A Sad Month for the Orioles Family

Between February 18 and March 16, 2010 the Orioles lost three former members of the organization as pitchers Bob Chakales (2/18), Frank Bertaina (3/3) and Billy Hoeft (3/18) all passed away. I realize that this post is a little late but sometimes it takes me a little while to find out that any former Orioles have died and then some more time to scan their autographs.

I wrote about Chakales last July, but have never featured Bertaina or Hoeft on the blog. I am lucky to have autographs of Chakales and Hoeft that I obtained through a trade and the Bay, but I unfortunately do not have a Bertaina auto in my collection. I sent him a TTM request last December but I never got it back and am doubtful that he would have signed it.

Bob "the Golden Greek" Chakales was a member of the inaugural 1954 Birds, and was the team's de facto closer. He only has this one Orioles card, and I received it in a trade with a member of a Yahoo autograph group. He had a pretty awesome nickname and was 82 when he died.

Billy Hoeft pitched for the O's for three and a half years from 1959-1962 in the middle of his 15 season MLB career. He went 14-14 with a 3.58 ERA for the Birds, appearing in 127 games, mostly as a reliever. He pitched for 6 teams over his career, but is mostly remembered for his eight seasons with the Tigers at the start of his career. He died in Canadian Lakes, MI at the age of 77.

image from (if you didn't notice that on the picture)

Frank Bertaina had two stints with the Orioles, once at the beginning of his career from 1964-67 and briefly again towards the end of it in 1969. Frank went 4-6 with a 3.07 ERA in 32 games for the O's, and half of his appearances were as a starter. He died at the young age of 65 in Santa Rosa, CA of complications from a heart attack.

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