Bradenton Man who was Longtime Pirates Trainer Passes

Staff Report
BRADENTON — Former Pittsburgh Pirate star, turned coach then trainer, Tony Bartirome, passed away June 22. The longtime Bradenton resident was 86.

Born in Pittsburgh, Baritrome was a standout player from the time he first picked up the game on the sandlot fields of the city’s Hill District. Discovered in his mid-teens by Hall-Of-Famer Pie Traynor, the Pirates signed him as an 18-year old in 1951. After just one season in the minors, Baritrome became the starting first baseman for the big league team the next season. While just 19 years old, he batted .220 in 124 games. 

The next year, Baritrome left the team to enter the Army, serving as a tank driver in Berlin during the Korean War. He continued with the Pirates following his discharge in 1955, though he would never regain his starting position after leaving the game to serve his country.

Baritrome transitioned to player/coach in 1963, and in 1967 he was made the team trainer, a position he would hold until 1985 and become best known for. As the Pirates' head trainer, he helped the team win two World Series in 1971 and 1979. Baritrome is believed to be the only person in Major League Baseball history to have participated as a player, trainer and coach at the Major League level. 

Spring training introduced Baritrome to Bradenton, where he and his family made their home for decades. He leaves behind his wife Carol, his sister, Theresa, and his and son, Anthony.