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Reno Bertoia was born in St. Vito Udine, Italy and his family immigrated to Windsor, Ontario when Reno was a boy. In 1953, the Detroit Tigers signed Bertoia to a bonus contract. He received $10,000 for himself, $1,000 for his mother to travel to Italy, and a promise by the Tigers to pay his future college tuition. Bertoia and Tiger great, Al Kaline roomed together for five seasons.
Bertoia played for the Tigers for six seasons at short stop and third base before being traded to the Washington Senators, which later became the Minnesota Twins. He also played for the Kansas City Athletics before being traded back to the Detroit Tigers in 1961. After being sent to the minors in 1962, Bertoia retired from baseball at the age of 27. In 10 major league seasons, Bertoia played in 612 games and had a .244 batting average with 27 home runs.
In 1958, after five years of studying remotely at spring training and on the road, Bertoia earned his bachelor’s degree from Assumption College. After his retirement from baseball, he worked for 30 years with the Windsor Catholic School Board as a social studies teacher.
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