Charles ”Chuck” Oscar Hartenstein, Jr. had four great loves in his life — his family, baseball, The University of Texas, and Budweiser. Sadly, he said goodbye to those loves on October 2, 2021 at the age of 79.
Chuck was born and raised in Seguin, Texas to the late Lois Myrtle Springs Hartenstein and Charles Oscar Hartenstein, Sr. and was obsessed with baseball at an early age. He would gather rocks and throw them over a makeshift home plate at his home or hit them with his mom’s broomstick, then gather them again and start over. He could wear out a broomstick in about a week. He played baseball as a pitcher, along with football and track, at Seguin High School where he was a unanimous selection for All-State his senior year after throwing a no-hitter in the State title game. He turned down a major league offer to go to his beloved University of Texas to play baseball under Bibb Falk. Even when he received another offer during college, he turned it down saying that he couldn’t accept since he had promised Coach Falk that he would fulfill his four-year commitment. While at UT, he led his team to the 1962 and 1963 College World Series.
Upon graduation, he was signed by the Chicago Cubs and played for 13 years for five different franchises. One of his most impressive pitching feats was in 1965 when he pitched for 18 innings. The score was 1-1 when he left for a pinch-hitter and the game continued on for 25 innings. After an injury ended his pitching career, he became a pitching coach, and then an advance scout for 18 years before retiring to spend time with his grandchildren. He also became a member of Balcones Country Club where he enjoyed many rounds of golf.
Chuck made many friends over the years and was fiercely loyal to those friends and his family. Chuck’s love of Budweiser beer was well known to all those that loved him. They all joked that the price of Anheuser-Busch stock would plummet when he passed away.
Chuck is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Joyce Elaine Engelke Hartenstein, his two sons and their wives, Chris and Susan Hartenstein, and Greg and Michelle Hartenstein, five granddaughters, Michelle Wilson, and husband Jack, Megan Bassinger, and husband Brandon, Macy Hartenstein, Ashley Hartenstein, and Emma Hartenstein. He finally got a boy with the birth of his first great-grandchild, Jack Wilson, Jr. in early August of this year. Baby Jack will be the recipient of the baseball glove that Chuck has saved for over 30 years to pass on to the first male descendant of his children. He is also survived by his niece, Lisa Hartenstein Pacheco and her husband Tino, and by his nephew, Jeffrey Engelke and his wife Ronda, and many, many friends that he considered family.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Larry Hartenstein, and his former wife, Francis, his mother-in-law Anita Engelke Wommack, his father-in-law, Edgar Engelke, his step father-in-law, Max Wommack, Sr., his brother-in-law, Emmett Engelke and his wife, Dodie.
A graveside ceremony will be held at a later date. The family requests that donations in his memory be made to the Longhorn Foundation’s Baseball Excellence Fund at Longhorn Foundation, P.O. Box 7458, Austin, TX 78713-7458, or the American Cancer Society.