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This Date in Washington Senators History
I knew we couldn’t keep up the frantic pace…After 3 days in a row with 6 birthdays each day, the pace slows
just a tad with 5 Senators birthdays to report on January 8th.
Reno Peter Bertoia B Jan. 8, 1935 D April 15. 2011
Signed by the Detroit Tigers as a “bonus baby” in late August of 1953, infielder Reno Bertoia would debut with the Tigers in late September of that year.
On the Tigers roster through 1958, Bertoia’s most successful season in Detroit would be 1957 when he’d hit .275 in 97 games, also his most active season as a Tiger.
Traded to the Washington Senators, along with Jim Delsing and Ron Samford for Rocky Bridges, Neil Chrisley and Eddie Yost, Bertoia would hit .237 in 90 games for the Senators in 1959. In 1960, he’d up his average to .265, appearing in 121 games, the most active season of his career.
Moving with the franchise to Minnesota, Bertoia wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to endear himself to the Twins fans. He’d be traded in early June after 35 games to the Kansas City Athletics. Bertoia would play in 39 games for the A’s before being traded again, this time back to the Detroit Tigers, where he’d finish the season by appearing in 24 games.
Bertoia’s career would end early in the 1962 season when he’d play in only 5 games for the Tigers, his last major league appearance coming in late April.
James Franklin Busby B Jan. 8, 1927 D Jul. 8, 1996
Outfielder Jim Busby was originally signed by the Chicago White Sox in June of 1948. He’d make his first major league appearance in late April of 1950 with Chicago.
Playing in just 18 games his first season, Busby would hit .208 in 48 AB. He’d return with the White Sox in 1951, playing in 143 games, raising his batting average to .283 and would be named to the 1951 American League All Star Team.
Starting the 1952 season in Chicago, Busby would be traded to the Senators in early May after 16 games with the White Sox.
Busby would hit .244 in 129 games for Washington. He’d return with a vengance in 1953, hitting .312 in 150 games, the best season of his career.
He’d hit .298 in 1954.
He’d finish the 1955 season in Chicago. After the season, he’d be on the move again, this time to the Cleveland Indians where he’d play in 1956 and a portion of 1957 before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles where he’d finish the season and play again in 1958.
Traded yet again, Busby would find himself in the uniform of the Boston Red Sox for 1959. After 1 game with Boston in 1960 he’d be released only to be signed by the Orioles again in mid-June. Busby would play in 79 games for the Orioles in 1960 and 75 in 1961, hitting .258 each season.
Released by the Orioles after the 1961 season, Busby would sign on with the expansion Houston Colt .45’s where he’d play in 15 games, making his last major league appearance in early July.
Charles Keith Cottier B Jan. 8, 1936 Still Living
Originally signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 1954, infielder Chuck Cottier would join the Milwaukee Braves organization in 1956, making his major league debut in mid-April of 1959. Cottier would only make it into 10 games with the Braves in 1959 but would be back in for 95 games in 1960.
Traded to the Detroit Tigers after the season, Cottier would only play in 10 games for the Tigers in 1961 before he found himself headed to the expansion Senators in exchange for Hal Woodeshick.
Cottier would be a regular for the Senators the next 3 seasons, his best year being 1962 when he’d hit .242 in 136 games. In 1964 Cottier’s production at the plate dropped and he’d only play in 73 games. He’d appear in just 7 games in 1965 before being farmed out.
Purchased by the California Angels from the Senators in early 1967, Cottier would resurface in the majors with the Angels in 1968 when he’d play in 33 games. 2 more games in 1969 would mark the end of his major league career.
Lewis Grover (Sam) Lanford B Jan. 8, 1886 D Sep. 14, 1970
Senators Short Timer Sam Lanford would spend less than a month on the Senators roster in 1907. Pitching in 2 games, he’d leave with an 0-1 record and an ERA of 5.14.
Willie Tasby, Jr. B Jan. 8, 1933 Still Living
Outfielder Willie Tasby was another player who changed franchises frequently during a relatively brief career. In Tasby’s case, he’d play for 4 different franchises in just 6 years.
Signed by the St. Louis Browns in 1950, Tasby wouldn’t make it to the majors until 1958, 5 seasons after the Browns transferred operations to Baltimore.
Debuting with the Orioles in early September of 1958, Tasby would play in 18 games his first season, hitting an even .200. Back with the O’s in 1959, Tasby would play in 142 games, hitting .250.
Tasby would start the 1960 season in Baltimore but would be traded to the Red Sox after 39 games where he’d finish the 1960 season.
Selected by the “new” Senators in the expansion draft, Tasby would play in 141 games with the fledgling team hitting .251 with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 17 home runs and being credited with 63 RBI’s.
Tasby would finish the 1962 season with the Indians and would finish his career there in 1963, playing in 52 games, his final major league appearance coming in early September.