Born: November 13, 1942
Robert Raymond Pfeil was born November 13, 1942 in Passaic. His father moved west to Los Angeles when he was two, following the death of his mother. A lanky athlete with good reflexes, Bobby excelled in baseball with the help of his dad, who coached his youth league teams. A pitcher and infielder, Bobby did not make the Reseda High Regents until his junior year. The star of the varsity was pitcher Jim McGlothin. McGlothin was signed after graduation by the Hometown L.A. Angels. In 1967, he would tie for the AL lead with 6 shutouts.
Bobby was also on the scouts’ radar. He had been playing American Legion ball during the summers and his team won the Southern California title. But it wasn’t until he had a good year at Pierce Junior College that he received a contract offer from the Chicago Cubs in July of 1961. He played in Chicago’s minor league system through 1964. Bobby’s position was third base and by this time Ron Santo had made the position his own at the big league level. So during spring training in 1965, the Cubs packaged Bobby with another player to acquire reliever Bob Humphreys. Bobby spent three years at Tulsa hoping to make the Cards' roster. He earned a reputation as a good glove man, but did not hit for much average or power.
Bobby’s big break came in 1968, when the Mets picked him up and began grooming him to replace aging Ed Charles at third base. That summer he led the International League in hits with 157. Bobby got into 62 games during New York’s 1969 championship season. He had a pair of 3-hit games after joining the team in late July, and batted .232 with 10 extra-base hits and 10 RBIs. Manager Gil Hodges considered him one of the team’s smartest players, and used him with great success as a late-game pinch-hitter and defensive replacement.
Bobby did not see action in the NLCS or World Series. He was the last man left off the roster, but got permission from the commissioner’s office to suit up and stay in the dugout. When President Nixon attended a World Series game. Bobby lent him his mitt for protection.
Over the winter, the Mets traded for Joe Foy to be the everyday third baseman. Bobby tried everything to make the roster—including learning to catch—but spent the entire season in the minors. During the summer he was traded to the Phillies and he returned to the majors with Philadelphia in 1971. In a July game against the Astros, Bobby played catcher and threw out Jim Wynn trying to steal. He also hit two homers off Larry Dierker, a neighbor of the Pfeils’ from California. They were the only two round-trippers of his big league career.
Bobby was traded to the Brewers and then to the Red Sox prior to the 1972 season. He had a good year for the organization at Triple-A Louisville, but with Rico Petrocelli ensconced at third and Bobby on the other side of 30, he decided it was time to hang up his cleats. Bobby got into the real estate business after baseball, coached a little with local high school teams, and is a regular at 1969 Mets reunions.