Victor Woodrow “Vic” Wertz

Victor Woodrow “Vic” Wertz

York, York County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 7 Jul 1983 (aged 58)
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Burial Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 6201610 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Player. For 17 seasons (1947 to 1963) he played the outfield and first base for the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, and the Minnesota Twins. A left-handed batter, he was a 4-time American League All-Star, being selected in 1949, 1951, and 1952 while with Detroit and in 1957 while playing for the Cleveland Indians. Born in York, Pennsylvania, he was signed as a free agent by the Detroit Tigers in 1942 but joined the military during World War II. After the War, he worked in the Detroit area beer distribution business and made his Major League debut with Detroit on April 15, 1947. His best year overall was in 1950 with Detroit, when he hit 27 home runs with 123 runs batted in and a .308 batting average in 149 games. While playing for the Cleveland Indians, he participated in the 1954 World Series against the New York Giants and hit the long fly ball on which outfielder Willie Mays made his famous over-the shoulder catch, 450 feet to dead center of the Polo Grounds in New York City, New York. He missed part of the 1955 season when stricken with a nonparalytic form of polio but returned in 1956. He hit a career high of 32 home runs in 1956 while playing for the Cleveland and hit over 20 home runs in six different seasons. He finished his baseball career in September 1963 with the Minnesota Twins. Over the course of his career, he played in 1,862 games, accumulated 1,692 hits, 266 home runs, 1,178 runs batted in, a .469 career slugging average, with a .364 career on-base percentage, and a .277 batting average. After leaving baseball, he formed "Wertz Warriors," a group of sportsmen who raised millions for the Special Olympics Winter Games. He was also a major contributor to other charitable organizations, including the Easter Seals, March of Dimes, and Boys and Girls Clubs. Additionally, he founded the Macomb to Mackinac, 900 Mile snowmobile endurance test, run each year to benefit the Special Olympics. He died while undergoing a coronary bypass heart surgery at the age of 58.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ron Moody
  • Added: 21 Feb 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6201610
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Victor Woodrow “Vic” Wertz (9 Feb 1925–7 Jul 1983), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6201610, citing Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .