Born in Italy, Reno Bertoia moved with his family to Windsor, Ontario when he was just 18 months old. With fellow Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer, Father Ronald Cullen, as his coach and mentor, Bertoia developed into a local baseball star and top big league prospect while playing at Assumption High School.
On August 31, 1953, he inked a deal with the Detroit Tigers that included an $11,000 signing bonus. Bertoia, who had never played a game in the minors, was added to the Tigers roster almost immediately and would room with future Hall of Famer Al Kaline. Bertoia’s best season was in 1957 when, thanks to a torrid early stretch, he was leading the American League with a .383 batting average on May 16. In 1959, after being dealt to the Washington Senators, Bertoia would club a career-high eight homers. He would follow that up by recording seven triples (third in American League) and 13 sacrifice hits (5th in league) in 1960.
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