Bobby Fenwick

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Robert Richard Fenwick

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Biographical Information[edit]

Bobby Fenwick is the only major leaguer born in Okinawa when it was under U.S. control. He was of mixed Asian ancestry, as his mother was a Japanese-American from Hawaii who was working in Okinawa as an interpreter. There, she met Bobby's father, who was serving in the United States Navy, the two were married and a son was born on the island. After his father, James Fenwick, was discharged from the Navy, the family moved to his home state of Minnesota, where Bobby grew up. The family lived in Duluth, MN and later in the small town of Anoka, MN, where Bobby went to high school.

Bobby went to the University of Minnesota on a baseball scholarship starting in 1964, playing for former major leaguer Dick Siebert. In spite of his diminutive size, he was first drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 1966 amateur draft, and again in the 1967 draft, by the San Francisco Giants. He began his professional career that season with the Decatur Commodores of the Midwest League. He had been a shortstop in college, but played mainly second base in the pro ranks.

Fenwick was taken by the Houston Astros in the 1972 Rule V Draft and spent all of 1972 with the team, although he barely played as the team was very strong in the middle infield, with Tommy Helms at 2B and Roger Metzger at SS both being excellent fielders. he appeared in 36 games and made only 10 starts that year, hitting .180 in 50 at-bats. In November, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals with fellow infielder Ray Busse in return for young catcher Skip Jutze and infielder Milt Ramirez. He was featured as a member of the Cardinals on a Topps baseball card in its 1973 set (using a picture of him in an Astros uniform, with a Cardinals cap airbrushed in). He had actually made another appearance on a baseball card the year before, as part of the Astros' "rookie stars" card in the 1972 Topps set. He hardly played for St. Louis, though, getting into 5 games and going 1 for 6 in 1973 before being sent down to the minor league Tulsa Oilers. On June 12th, the Cardinals gave him his unconditional release and he signed back with the Astros, playing a month for the Denver Bears before being released again. he finished the year playing for the Wichita Aeros, in the Chicago Cubs organization.

Fenwick did not stay with the Cubs for long, as after the 1973 season they traded him along with their long-time starter at second base, Glenn Beckert, to the San Diego Padres in return for Jerry Morales. He could not make the team however, and found himself back at AAA with the Hawaii Islanders at the start of 1974. he was considered a bit of a local hero there, but stuck behind Dave Hilton and Hector Torres, he realized he did not have a bright future ahead of him in baseball and retired after 52 games. He returned to Minnesota, settling in Grand Marais, MN, on the shore of Lake Superior where he served for many years as a Cook County Commissioner and as President of the Association of Minnesota Counties, while managing Sawtooth Lumber, a forestry products company.

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