- May 9, 1932
- 5' 10"
- 155 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-19-1952 with PIT
"Tony Bartirome was an absolute delight. . . one of the most positive guys I've ever seen." - Charlie Metro, about his Denver team
Tony Bartirome was a Pittsburgh boy who signed with the Pirates at the age of 18. Pie Traynor, scouting for the Bucs at the time, signed the firstbaseman after he had attended Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Connelly Vocational High School, where Bartirome had scholastic ball.
With just one year experience behind him, Bartirome was invited to a special camp held by Branch Rickey for Pirate farmhands in the low minors in 1952. He impressed enough for his training experience to continue with the big league club that spring and with the Pirate front office agreeing to give the young players a try, he became the team’s regular firstbaseman. Bartirome demonstrated fine range at first, but hit only .220. Although he was neither a slugger or a speed merchant, Tony established a record by not grounding into a doubleplay all year. Bartirome played in 124 games for the 1952 Pirates, a team which lost 112 games.
Bartirome missed the next two seasons as he served in the army. Although he played ball professionally for nine seasons after his discharge, he did not return to the majors until 1967, by which time he had traded in his glove and bat for gauze and tape, for Tony had become a trainer following his playing days. He served the Pirates in that capacity, helping the club’s morale as well with a fine sense of humor, through the 1985 season. He left the Bucs to join ousted manager Chuck Tanner with the Braves and coached under Tanner in Atlanta. The likeable Bartirome has maintained his ties with the Bucs and participates in alumni functions for the club.
Bartirome returned to baseball briefly, serving as traveling secretary for the Bradenton club in the short-lived Senior Professional Baseball Association. After the league folded, Bartirome retired. He has lived in Bradenton, FL since the early 1980s.
Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia