Wednesday, May 12, 2010

#271 Don Wert

#271 Don Wert
Don Wert could perhaps use a better-fitting hat...or a differently-shaped head.

Fun facts about Don Wert:

-A native of Strasburg, in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Don played collegiately at nearby Franklin & Marshall College and then signed with the Tigers in 1958.

-He was the first F & M alumnus to play in the majors. To date, the only other Diplomat in MLB history is cup-of-coffee Orioles pitcher Jeff Rineer (1979).

-He debuted for Detroit in May of 1963 and hit .259 in 78 games.

-Had a reputation as one of the smoother defensive third basemen in the league. In 1965, he became the only non-Brooks Robinson to lead the A.L. in fielding percentage that decade.

-Was selected as the first-ever Tiger of the Year in 1965, when he hit .261 and added a career-high 73 walks. He also had 12 homers and 54 RBI and finished tenth in MVP balloting.

-His manager Mayo Smith selected him to the All-Star Team in 1968 despite a career-low .200 batting average. His effectiveness was seemingly hampered by a beaning in June that caused him to be stretchered off the field.

-The biggest hit of Don's career came on September 17 of that year, as he clinched the pennant for Detroit with a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth.

-He had only two hits in the Tigers' World Series win over the Cardinals, but did draw six walks to rack up a .375 on-base percentage.

-Wert hit a career-high 14 home runs in 1969, but it was a last hurrah. After a third straight season batting .225 or lower, he was traded to the Senators in the Denny McLain deal.

-Don played in only 20 games in Washington in 1971 before the Sens released him to end his career at age 32. In parts of nine seasons he hit .242 with 77 homers and 366 RBI.
#271 Don Wert (back)


  1. I always liked Don because his name is naturally found on a keyboard.

  2. holste - So it is! I can't imagine there are any other players that fit your criteria.

  3. When I worked at the Orioles Store in DC, I invited both George Will (Washington Post) and Larry King (broadcaster) to guess what ballplayer's name was on the typewriter keys. Stumped them both. Poor Don Wert.

  4. First thing I noticed when I learned to type..