Card: 1933 Zeenut PCL #NA
John Bottarini played 18 years in the minors, coming to the majors with the Chicago Cubs in 1937 and hitting pretty well (.275/.370/.425). He might have played more, but 36-year-old Gabby Hartnett had one of his best years, hitting .354 and finishing second in the MVP voting. In the minors, John played the first part of his career in the PCL, with Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
He was on the 1933 San Francisco Seals with the young Joe DiMaggio and Vince DiMaggio. John spent 1939-1942 playing for Syracuse and closed out his minor league playing career in 1950. For three seasons, he was a player-manager in the minors.
John appeared in 26 games for the Cubs in 1937 and put up decent offensive numbers, hitting .275 in 40 at-bats with three runs, three doubles, a home run and 7 RBI. He made 19 appearances in the field—18 at catcher and one in the outfield. He handled 53 total chances (44 putouts, 9 assists) at catcher perfectly for a 1.000 fielding percentage.
After the 1937 season, Bottarini was sold to Memphis of the minor league Southern Association. He would never play in the major leagues again as his baseball career was interrupted by World War II. He served in the Army Air Force and played service ball.
After his playing days, he was an assistant coach at the University of New Mexico. Bottarini died by drowning after a boating accident on October 8, 1976 in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.
John Bottarini is part of the Military Service during Wartime Tour – go to the Next Stop
John is also part of the Born in San Fran/Oakland/Sacramento Tour – Go to the Next Stop
John is also part of the Chicago Cubs Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See all John’s baseball cards at TCDB
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