There is a human element that is easy to forget when doing this. While all of the men I write to appear to be in the prime of their youth (because I only see them on the baseball cards I have in front of me) the fact of the matter is they are quite old and often are not in the best of health. That was the case with Gernert, a first baseman, who spent 11 seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Reds and Colt .45’s. My letter to Gernert was returned with a handwritten note letting me know he had suffered a stroke and could no longer write. It is always sobering to get a letter back like this and even worse when I read the news someone I had recently written to has died. It makes me think I need to work even faster, although that is not always possible. As for Gernert, he hit 103 home runs in his career with his best season being 1956 when he hit .291 with 16 home runs for Boston.
Dick Gernert – career stats