3630 hits, 475 home runs, 1951 RBI's and a lifetime .331 batting average. One of the games all time greats. Stan retired after the 1963 season so I just caught the tail end of his career. In 1962, his 21st season he hit .330.
Joe Rudi.... led the Athletics to the World Series, and in game 2, made a great game-saving catch that would be the highlight reel for many Major League Baseball films, with a Cincinnati Reds player on base and Oakland leading 2-0 in the ninth inning, Rudi raced to the left-field fence and made a leaping, backhanded catch of Denis Menke's smash.
3-time All-Star (1972, 1974-75) 3-time Gold Glove Award (1974-76) Led American League in hits (1972) Led AL in doubles (1974) Led AL in triples (1972) Led AL in extra base hits (1974)
That Rudi catch is still one of my favs of all-time. From what I remember he was half of his body length above the wall.
Mediocre pitcher during the 50's and 60's. He's known more for being a pitching coach for the Astros and manager of the Giants than his playing carrer. Rightfully so since his career highlights include being the ace of the 1962 Mets who lost 120 games (he was credited with 24 of those), and having back to back 20+ loss seasons. He's credited with having taught the modern split-finger fastball to players such as Mike Scott. It's a slight variation (though many will say no difference) of the old forkball.
Rico Petrocelli...One of my favorites when I was growing up. Broke in with the Boston Red Sox Played one game in 1963. Worked his way into the line up in 1964. Hit 40 HR's in 1969. He drove in 103 in 1970. Played through the 1976 season. Spent whole career with Red Sox. Played SS and 3B. He played two games at 1B during his career. Lifetime stats...210 HR's, 773 RBI's and a .251 average.
Another note on Petrocelli, he was the next "great" Red Sox shortstop after Johnny Pesky. An absolutely great player, was actually moved to third to make room at short for one of the more beloved players in Boston, Rick Burelson.
Paul O'Neil.....Hard Nosed outfielder for the Yanks in the 90s was really the lynchpin in the Yankees dominance in the mid-late 90s. It is the lack of players like him why those damn yankees havn't found similar success in the new century. Hopefully Cashman doesn't read this board and figure it out!
Bit of trivia courtesy of Jim's trivia game; O'Neil is one of two players to be in the lineup for 3 different perfect games. I'll share the other when it comes around.
Orlando Cepeda Orlando Manuel (Pennes) Cepeda Baby Bull, Cha-Cha .....A powerful slugger during his 17-year major league career, Orlando Manuel Cepeda Pennes withstood a series of knee injuries to become a seven-time National League All-Star. As a 20-year-old rookie with the Giants in 1958, the "Baby Bull" hit .312 with 25 home runs to earn unanimous National League Rookie of the Year honors. Nine years later, the Puerto Rican native compiled a league-leading 111 RBI for the World Champion Cardinals, while becoming the first unanimous MVP in the National League since Carl Hubbell in 1936.
Chuck Essegian...Helped the Dodgers win the 1959 World Series against the Chicago " Go Go " Sox. In 1962 he hit 21 HR's while playing for the Indians. Went to the Athletics in 1963, his final season. Played a total of six years in the big leagues.
Anecdote about Wagner. When he was younger he grew up on a farm, he came from humble backgrounds and his parents could only afford one baseball. So he would go out into the fields with his baseball and threw it as hard as he could, Then he sprinted to where he threw it, picked the ball up and again hurled it as far as he could. He would do this all day.
Willie Horton...On October 26, 1974, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Horton and two accomplices robbed Joseph Fournier, a 17-year-old gas station attendant, stabbed him 19 times, and left him in a trash can. Fournier died from blood loss. Horton was convicted of murder, sentenced to life imprisonment, and incarcerated at the Concord Correctional Facility in Massachusetts.
On June 6, 1986, he was released as part of a weekend furlough program but did not return. On April 3, 1987 in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Horton twice raped a local woman after pistol-whipping, knifing, binding, and gagging her fiancé. He then stole the car belonging to the man he had assaulted, but was later captured by police after a chase. On October 20, Horton was sentenced in Maryland to two consecutive life terms plus 85 years. The sentencing judge refused to return Horton to Massachusetts, saying, "I'm not prepared to take the chance that Mr. Horton might again be furloughed or otherwise released. This man should never draw a breath of free air again." This was reported in the October 1987 Reader's Digest.
i know, i was shocked too but not the willie horton i was looking for.
Willie Horton ...While not considered a particularly good fielder, Horton's hitting more than made up for it. He posted double-digit home run totals in 12 regular seasons from 1965-76, and hit two home runs in a game on 30 occasions. He had a career-high 36 HRs in 1968, a pitcher's year in which Detroit won the World Series; he finished second in the AL to Frank Howard in homers, slugging and total bases. In a year in which the league batting average was .230 and Carl Yastrzemski won the batting title with a .301 mark, Horton's .285 average was good for fourth in the AL, and he finished fourth in the MVP voting. He also batted .304 in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. In order to combine Horton's offensive power with a good defense, manager Mayo Smith moved regular center fielder Mickey Stanley to shortstop as a replacement for Ray Oyler, who was benched. He kept Al Kaline, a multiple Gold Glove Award winner, in right field and put Jim Northrup in center field;
A very good hitter and RBI man for the Yankees in the 20's. He had 6 years with 90+ RBI, back-to-back 100+ RBI ('23, '24) and averaged 102.5 RBI from 1921-1924. In 1925, his eleventh Yankee year, he had asked for a day off because of a headache. A beaning in practice a few days later prolonged his hiatus. He was replaced by some guy named Lou Gehrig who never gave the firstbase position back.