Rest In Peace Bert Pena
1986 ProCards Bert Pena
Former Houston Astros utility infielder Bert Pena passed away recently. I tried to find one of his major league cards but it looks like he doesn't have one. So instead, here is a 1986 minor league card from Tucson Toros.
Pena is a perfect example of the difference between the 1980s and the 2020s. Beginning his minor league career in 1977, he would play until 1988 with parts of six seasons in the major leagues. But here's the thing about Pena that is most interesting, how many players would be on the majors/minors bus for six seasons? In today's game, he would have filed for minor league free agency and kicked around with other teams for years.
It's kind of odd that he was generally a shortstop, not a guy that played all over the field as you would expect from a utility player. He hit .203 over those six seasons and was a forgettable player. But was he? Is any player truly forgettable? Especially someone that found his way to the major leagues for parts of six seasons?
Let's not forget that in his brief time in the major leagues, he had some pretty amazing teammates including Nolan Ryan, J.R. Richard, Don Sutton and Joe Niekro to name a few. That had to be pretty darn exciting for him!
Rest in Peace Bert Pena...we remember you!