Richard Edward Gernert (born September 28, 1928) is an American former professional baseball player. He was a first baseman and outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Boston Red Sox (1952–59), Chicago Cubs (1960), Detroit Tigers (1960–61), Cincinnati Reds (1961) and Houston Colt .45's (1962). He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighed 209 pounds (95 kg). His uncle, Dom Dallessandro, was also a Major Leaguer.
Although Gernert spent much of the 1950s with the Red Sox, he often found himself sharing the first-base job with players such as Vic Wertz, Norm Zauchin and Mickey Vernon. A powerful right-handed batter, he was signed to take advantage of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. He batted a career-high .291 in 1956 and topped the 20-homer mark in 1953 and 1958.
In 11 MLB seasons, Gernert played in 835 games and had 2,493 at bats, 357 runs, 632 hits, 104 doubles, eight triples, 103 home runs, 402 RBI, 10 stolen bases, 363 walks, .254 batting average, .351 on-base percentage, .426 slugging percentage, 1,061 total bases, 10 sacrifice hits, 13 sacrifice flies and 12 intentional walks.
He was involved in the first interleague trade without waivers in baseball history on November 21, 1959, when Boston shipped him to the Cubs for first baseman Jim Marshall and pitcher Dave Hillman. He helped the Reds win the 1961 National League pennant as a pinch hitter. However, in that World Series, which the Reds lost to the New York Yankees in five games, he was 0-4 in pinch-hitting roles, including being the victim of one of two spectacular defensive plays by Yankee third baseman Clete Boyer in the Series opener.
After his playing days ended, Gernert was a coach for the Texas Rangers, a minor league manager, and longtime scout for numerous teams, most notably the New York Mets.
By Dean Hanley
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