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Ted Kluszewski

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Ted Kluszewski was selected as an [[Major League Baseball All-Star Game|All-Star]] in four seasons, and was a career .298 hitter with 279 [[home run|home runs]] and 1028 [[Run batted in|RBI]] in 1718 games. In ten of his fifteen seasons, Kluszewski [[Base on balls|walked]] (492) more often than he [[Strikeout|struck out]] (365). In [[1955]], he hit 47 homers while striking out only 40 times. No player since him has hit 40 homers and struck out 40 or fewer times in the same season ([[Barry Bonds]] missed duplicating this feat by one strikeout in [[2004]]).
 
Ted Kluszewski was selected as an [[Major League Baseball All-Star Game|All-Star]] in four seasons, and was a career .298 hitter with 279 [[home run|home runs]] and 1028 [[Run batted in|RBI]] in 1718 games. In ten of his fifteen seasons, Kluszewski [[Base on balls|walked]] (492) more often than he [[Strikeout|struck out]] (365). In [[1955]], he hit 47 homers while striking out only 40 times. No player since him has hit 40 homers and struck out 40 or fewer times in the same season ([[Barry Bonds]] missed duplicating this feat by one strikeout in [[2004]]).
   
Kluszewski enjoyed his most productive years from [[1953]] through [[1956]], with home run totals of 40, 49, 47 and 35 while driving in over 100 baserunners in each, including a league-leading 141 RBI's in [[1954]]. He also hit .300 or better eight times. Kluszewski also led [[National League]] first basemen in [[fielding percentage]] five straight years, a major league record. Kluszewski was one of three National League players to hit 40 or more homers each year from 1953-1955, along with Eddie Mathews and Duke Snider. Snider repeated in 1956 and 1957 for a 5-year streak. He was one of 3 NL players to have a 140+ rbi season in the 1950's, along with Roy Campanella and Ernie Banks.
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Kluszewski enjoyed his most productive years from [[1953]] through [[1956]], with home run totals of 40, 49, 47 and 35 while driving in over 100 baserunners in each, including a league-leading 141 RBI's in [[1954 in baseball|1954]]. He also hit .300 or better eight times. Kluszewski also led [[National League]] first basemen in [[fielding percentage]] five straight years, a major league record. Kluszewski was one of three National League players to hit 40 or more homers each year from 1953-1955, along with Eddie Mathews and Duke Snider. Snider repeated in 1956 and 1957 for a 5-year streak. He was one of 3 NL players to have a 140+ rbi season in the 1950's, along with Roy Campanella and Ernie Banks.
   
However, injuries began taking their toll; Kluszewski was limited to playing just four full seasons in his fifteen-year career. Ted Kluszewski spent his last four seasons switching teams. He was traded to the [[Pittsburgh Pirates]] before the [[1958]] season, and in August [[1959]] he was sent to the [[Chicago White Sox]] to give the team added punch. They eventually won the [[American League]] pennant and faced the [[National League]] champs, the [[Los Angeles Dodgers]], in the [[1959 World Series|World Series]]. In the first game at Chicago's [[Comiskey Park]], Kluszewski slugged two home runs and drove in five in an 11-0 rout of the Dodgers. However, the Dodgers would win the next four game and take the series with strong pitching that neutralized the White Sox' hitters — except for Ted Kluszewski, who hit .391 with three home runs and ten RBI's, which tied [[Gil Hodges|Gil Hodges']] mark set in the same series. About that time, Sox owner [[Bill Veeck]] introduced [[uniforms]] with players' names on the backs, above the numbers. Veeck deliberately spelled Ted's last name wrong.
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However, injuries began taking their toll; Kluszewski was limited to playing just four full seasons in his fifteen-year career. Ted Kluszewski spent his last four seasons switching teams. He was traded to the [[Pittsburgh Pirates]] before the [[1958 in baseball|1958]] season, and in August [[1959 in baseball|1959]] he was sent to the [[Chicago White Sox]] to give the team added punch. They eventually won the [[American League]] pennant and faced the [[National League]] champs, the [[Los Angeles Dodgers]], in the [[1959 World Series|World Series]]. In the first game at Chicago's [[Comiskey Park]], Kluszewski slugged two home runs and drove in five in an 11-0 rout of the Dodgers. However, the Dodgers would win the next four game and take the series with strong pitching that neutralized the White Sox' hitters — except for Ted Kluszewski, who hit .391 with three home runs and ten RBI's, which tied [[Gil Hodges|Gil Hodges']] mark set in the same series. About that time, Sox owner [[Bill Veeck]] introduced [[uniforms]] with players' names on the backs, above the numbers. Veeck deliberately spelled Ted's last name wrong.
   
 
When Major League Baseball decided to expand in [[1960]], Ted Kluszewski was one of the players left unprotected. He was selected by the [[Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim|Los Angeles Angels]]. Although hampered by back and leg problems, Kluszewski was the undisputed star of the Angels' first game ever, on [[April 11]], [[1961]] against the [[Baltimore Orioles]] at [[Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)|Memorial Stadium]], belting two home runs off the Orioles' [[Milt Pappas]]. Behind right-hander Eli Grba, the Angels defeated the Orioles 7-2. During his final season, Ted Kluszewski hit .243 with 15 home runs and 39 RBI's in 107 games.
 
When Major League Baseball decided to expand in [[1960]], Ted Kluszewski was one of the players left unprotected. He was selected by the [[Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim|Los Angeles Angels]]. Although hampered by back and leg problems, Kluszewski was the undisputed star of the Angels' first game ever, on [[April 11]], [[1961]] against the [[Baltimore Orioles]] at [[Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)|Memorial Stadium]], belting two home runs off the Orioles' [[Milt Pappas]]. Behind right-hander Eli Grba, the Angels defeated the Orioles 7-2. During his final season, Ted Kluszewski hit .243 with 15 home runs and 39 RBI's in 107 games.
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