Tuesday, October 6, 2009

#4 Ted Kluszewski

1961 Topps

Theodore Bernard Kluszewski (Big Klu)
Bats: Left , Throws: Left
Height: 6' 2" , Weight: 225 lb.
Born: September 10, 1924 in Argo, IL

Drafted 23rd by the Los Angeles Angels from the Chicago White Sox in the 1960 expansion draft.

ANGELS DEBUT: 2-run Home Run scoring Albie Pearson vs. Baltimore April 11, 1961. Hit a second home run later in the game.
Later released by the Angels on October 19, 1961, then retired.

Hit 15 HR and 31 RBI with a .243 batting average in 107 games.
1st hit, Home Run, and RBI in Angels history.

Ted Kluszewski was a top star in the 1950s in the National League, much in the same way that Rocky Colavito was a big star in the American League. Big Klu had plenty of power -- he is perhaps best remembered for his massive arms, forgoing a T-shirt beneath the sleeveless uniforms that Cincinnati wore in those days. However, he also posted high batting averages and had excellent bat control. Johnny Mize is the only man ever to have 50 homers in a season while striking out fewer than 50 times, but Klu came closest since. That was in his most successful year, 1954, when he was second in the MVP voting behind Willie Mays after leading the league in home runs (49) and RBI (141). He struck out just 35 times. The next season, 1955, he had 47 homers against 40 strikeouts, while also leading the league in intentional walks.
When Frank Robinson came up in 1956 to set the then-record of 38 homers for a rookie, Klu hit 35 and Wally Post added 36 for the Reds.
Traded to the Chicago White Sox in August of 1959, he slugged .826 for them in the 1959 World Series.

1953 Topps Archives

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