Happy Birthday, Don Wert

Don WertHappy Birthday to Don Wert, a Third Baseman who played for the Detroit Tigers from 1963 to 1970 and for the Washington Senators in 1971.  Don was an American League All-Star in 1968, the year the Tigers won the World Series.  He was known as an excellent fielder, and an incredibly durable player who rarely missed a game.  He was also a .333 career hitter against me.  The first time I faced him was on May 17, 1966, my rookie season, and the Yankees were in Detroit; I was pitching against Denny McClain for the first time.   Denny pitched a two-hitter, with 8 strikeouts.  For a few years, he seemed unstoppable.  Don was 0-for-1 in that first game, with a walk and an RBI sacrifice fly.  I remember another game a few years later, also me vs. Denny that was an especially excruciating loss for all of us.  In the top of the fifth, Don hit a two-out single to center.  Then Denny got up to the plate and belted another single to center, scoring Don.  The Tigers beat us that day, 3-2.

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