Juan Marichal, the great Dominican right-handed starter for the San Francisco Giants, was known for his high leg kick, pinpoint control and intimidation tactics, which included aiming pitches directly at the opposing batters’ helmets.
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Bunning pitched from 1955 to 1971, most notably with the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1959, the right-hander struck out the side, throwing the minimum nine pitches as a reliever in the top of the ninth inning of Detroit’s 5–4 loss to Boston at Briggs Stadium. Sammy White, Jim Mahoney and Ike Delock were the victims of his immaculate inning. When Bunning retired, he had the second-highest total of career strikeouts in Major League history; he currently ranks 17th.
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Howard Bruce Sutter was a fantastic right-handed relief pitcher and closer. He was said to be the first pitcher to make effective use of the split-finger fastball. He dominated in the late 1970s and early 1980s becoming the only pitcher to lead the National League in saves five times (1979–1982, 1984). In 1979, Sutter won the NL’s Cy Young Award as the league’s top pitcher. 1982 he helped the Cardinals win the World Series and appropriately closed out the Milwaukee Brewers in Game Seven. This piece commemorates that accomplishment.
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George Herman “Babe” Ruth, aka “The Bambino”, aka “The Sultan of Swat” began his career as a stand out left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Ruth established many MLB batting (and some pitching) records, including career home runs (714), runs batted in (2,213), bases on balls (2,062), slugging percentage (.6897), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164); the latter two still stand today. Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time. In 1936, Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its “first five” inaugural members. This piece commemorates his legendary season and the Yankees legendary season of 1927.
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Jackson was nicknamed “Mr. October” for his clutch hitting in the postseason with the Athletics and the Yankees. He helped Oakland win five consecutive American League West divisional pennants, three consecutive American League pennants, and three consecutive World Series titles, from 1971 to 1975. Jackson helped New York win four American League East divisional pennants, three American League pennants, and two consecutive World Series titles, from 1977 to 1981. He also helped the California Angels win two AL West divisional pennants in 1982 and 1986. Jackson hit three consecutive home runs at Yankee Stadium in the clinching game 6 of the 1977 World Series. This piece commemorates that accomplishment.
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George Brett’s 1980 batting average of .390 is second only to Tony Gwynn’s 1994 average of .394 for the highest single-season batting average since 1941. Brett also recorded 118 runs batted in, while appearing in just 117 games; it is the first instance of a player averaging one RBI per game (in more than 100 games) since Walt Dropo thirty seasons prior. He led the American League in both slugging and on-base percentage. This piece commemorates George’s incredible MVP season of 1980 as he led the Kansas City Royals to the 1980 World Series.
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Thomas Charles “Tommy” Lasorda marked his sixth decade in one capacity or another with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers organization, the longest discontinuous (he played one season with the Kansas City Athletics) tenure anyone has had with the team, edging Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully by a single season. In his 21 seasons at the helm of the Dodgers, Tommy racked up 1599 wins, 4 National League pennants and two World Series Championships in 1981 and 1988. This piece commemorates those two championship seasons in the eighties led by Tommy Lasorda.
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To say Johnny Lee Bench caught for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983 is like saying Evel Knievel used to ride a motorcycle in a jumpsuit. Simply put, he took the catcher position to a whole new place. A member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a 14-time All-Star selection and a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, Johnny was the on-field leader of “The Big Red Machine”. His 389 home runs and 1,376 RBIs were enough to enshrine him in Cooperstown but his work behind the plate is what made him him the greatest catcher in baseball history. Johnny had a monopoly on the National League Gold Glove award from 1968 through 1977. This piece commemorates that accomplishment.
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Denton True “Cy” Young (March 29, 1867 – November 4, 1955) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. During his 22-season baseball career (1890–1911), he pitched for five different teams. Young established numerous pitching records, some of which have stood for a century. Young compiled 511 wins, which is most in Major League history and 94 ahead of Walter Johnson, second on the list. Young was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. This piece commemorates that accomplishment.
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Eddie Clarence Murray (born February 24, 1956), nicknamed “Steady Eddie”, is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman and designated hitter. Spending most of his MLB career with the Baltimore Orioles, he ranks fourth in team history in both games played and hits. Though Murray never won a Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, he finished in the top ten in MVP voting several times. After his playing career, Murray coached for the Orioles, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers.
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Mickey Charles Mantle played his entire Major League Baseball career with the New York Yankees as a center fielder and first baseman, from 1951 through 1968. Mantle was one of the best players and sluggers, and is regarded by many as the greatest switch hitter in baseball history. Mantle was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
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Roberto Enrique Clemente was a Puerto Rican professional baseball player. Clemente spent 18 Major League Baseball seasons playing in the National League (NL) as a right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, becoming the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be enshrined. His untimely death established the precedent that, as an alternative to the five-year retirement period, a player who has been deceased for at least six months is eligible for entry into the Hall of Fame.
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