Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Boyd Bartley


Date and Place of Birth: February 11, 1920 Chicago, Illinois

Died: December 21, 2012 in Richland Hills, Texas

Baseball Experience: Major League
Rank: Unknown
Military Unit: US Army

Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations

Major League Stats: Boyd Bartley on Baseball-Almanac


Boyd O. Bartley was born on February 11, 1920 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Hyde Park High School and went on to play baseball at the University of Illinois, batting .460 his senior year in the Big Ten. The 23-year-old shortstop was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers on May 29, 1943, and the following day Leo Durocher put him in the line-up against the Reds at Crosley Field. Bartley went 0-for-4 in both ends of the doubleheader and committed two errors in the second game. He made a further seven appearances for the Dodgers and was batting just .048 when he was sent to the Montreal Royals of the Class AA International League. Bartley played 34 games for the Royals and batted a respectable .262 before military called on July 12, 1943.

Initially stationed at Camp Grant, Illinois, he was at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1944 and played baseball with the First Student Training Regiment Wolves, where he was a teammate of future Boston Braves pitcher Jim Prendergast. Bartley later served in the Pacific Theater and while driving a jeep he encountered a Japanese patrol. He flipped the jeep while trying to escape and injured his shoulder. His arm never fully recovered.

Bartely rejoined the Dodgers in August 1946, but was released to Montreal in September. With his shoulder injury still causing problems, the 27-year-old joined the Ponca City Dodgers of the Class D KOM League as player-manager and remained with the club for three seasons. He missed the 1950 and 1951 seasons as he was recalled to military service as an athletic director at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. From 1953 to 1956, he held minor league managerial positions for the Dodgers at Shawnee, Thomasville and Hornell.

In 1968, Bartley began a 23-year scouting career with the Dodgers and was responsible for signing Orel Hershiser. In November 2012, he was inducted into the Texas Scouting Hall of Fame.

Boyd Bartley passed away on December 21, 2012 in Richland Hills, Texas. He was 92 and is buried at Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas.

New York Sun, August 29, 1946
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 13, 1946
Fort Worth Star Telegram, December 24, 2012


Created February 18, 2015.

Copyright © 2015 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.