Tony Pérez

Atanacio "Tony" Pérez Rigal (born May 14, 1942), is a Cuban-American former professional baseball player, manager and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He played as a first baseman and third baseman in Major League Baseball, most notably for the Cincinnati Reds. Variously nicknamed "Big Dog", "Big Doggie", "Doggie", and "The Mayor of Riverfront",[1][2] the slugging seven-time All-Star earned two World Series rings during a twenty-three year playing career, and one World Series ring as a coach.

Along with fellow stars Pete Rose and Johnny Bench, Pérez was a key member of Cincinnati's celebrated "Big Red Machine". Following a thirteen-year initial stint with the Reds (1964–76), he played for the Montreal Expos (1977–79), Boston Red Sox (1980–82) and Philadelphia Phillies (1983) before returning to Cincinnati for his final three seasons (1984–86). He finished his career with a .279 batting average, 379 home runs, 1,652 runs batted in and 1,272 runs scored.

After retiring, Pérez went on to coach and later manage the Reds and the Florida Marlins. From 1993 through the 2017 season, he was Special Assistant to the General Manager with the Marlins.[3]

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Tony Pérez
Tony Perez All Star Parade 2008
Pérez at the 2008 All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade
First baseman / Third baseman / Manager
Born: May 14, 1942 (age 77)
Ciego de Ávila, Cuba
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 26, 1964, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
October 5, 1986, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Batting average.279
Hits2,732
Home runs379
Runs batted in1,652
Managerial record74–84
Winning %.468
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction2000
Vote77.15% (ninth ballot)

Early life

Pérez was born in Ciego de Ávila, Cuba in 1942, the son of José Manuel and Teodora (Rígal) Pérez. Tony and his parents and siblings all lived in a two-bedroom row house owned by the sugar mill where Tony's father, and eventually Tony, worked. Tony later played shortstop for the Mill's baseball team, Central Violeta.[4]

He was signed to a pro contract in 1960 at age 17 by Cincinnati Reds scout Tony Pacheco while playing on the Camagüey sugar factory team. He was assigned to the instructional team of the Reds' AAA affiliate Havana Sugar Kings. His "bonus" for signing with the Reds was the $2.50 cost of a visa and a plane ticket to Miami, Florida.[5]

Career

Early days

Pérez arrived in Florida in the spring of 1960 and participated in the Reds' spring training in Tampa. He played his first minor league game for the Reds' Class D affiliate in Geneva, New York at age 17 on May 1, 1960 in the season-opener for the New York–Pennsylvania League team. Starting at second base, his first professional hit was a triple as he went 1-5 in a 6-5, 13-inning loss to the Auburn Yankees. He went hitless in the next game (the Redlegs' home opener) in a 17–16 Redlegs win, and in the next game he got the team's only hit (a single) in a 5–0 loss. On June 25 he was placed on the disabled list. That same day, he was replaced on the active roster by just-signed 19-year-old Pete Rose, who was inserted into the starting lineup at second base. Upon Pérez's return, Rose remained at second base and Pérez played third base. Another of his teammates was Martín Dihigo Jr., son of Baseball Hall of Fame member and Negro leagues great and Cuban native Martín Dihigo.[6] Pérez hit .279 with 6 home runs in 104 games.[7]

In 1961 he again played for Geneva and set several team batting records, batting .348 with 27 home runs in 121 games. In 1962 he was promoted to the Class B Rocky Mount Leafs in the Carolina League. He reported two weeks late, as he had trouble getting out of his homeland of Cuba. In 100 games, he hit .292 with 18 home runs and 74 RBI, making the all-star team as a third baseman, but his season was cut short after those 100 games due to a broken ankle.[8] In 1963 he was promoted to the Macon Peaches of the Class AA South Atlantic League, where in 69 games as a third baseman he hit .309 with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs before being promoted that same year to the Class AAA San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League. For San Diego that year, in 8 games he hit .379 with 1 home run and 5 RBI.[7]

Playing for the Padres in 1964, Pérez, now playing first base, was named Most Valuable Player in the Pacific Coast League. Pérez hit .309 with 34 home runs and 107 RBI.[9] He was called up to the Reds and played his first two games in a doubleheader on July 26, 1964 at Cincinnati's Crosley Field. In his debut he started at first base, and in his first at-bat he drew a walk against left-handed pitcher Joe Gibbon. He went 0–2 against Gibbon and Don Schwall in a 7–2 Reds win,[10] then went 0–4 against pitcher Bob Veale in a 5–1 Pirates win.[11]

The following day he started at first base and batted fifth against the Braves at Milwaukee County Stadium. In an 11–2 Reds win, he got his first hit, a second-inning double off Denny Lemaster, and then scored his first run on a Johnny Edwards double. In the seventh inning he got his first RBI, a single off Lemaster to score Frank Robinson.[12]

From 1964 through 1966, he platooned at first base, primarily with Deron Johnson and Gordy Coleman. His first career home run, a grand slam, came in the Reds' second game of 1965, at home in Crosley Field against Milwaukee — and again against Denny Lemaster. The grand slam came with 2 outs and scored Vada Pinson, Frank Robinson, and Deron Johnson.[13]

Pérez became the Reds' starter at third base in 1967 and was selected to his first All-Star team in 1967. The game, played on July 11, 1967, at Anaheim Stadium, went into 15 innings, the longest All-Star Game in history (since equaled by the 2008 game).[14] Pérez's home run off future fellow Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter propelled the National League to a 2-1 victory. He was subsequently voted the Most Valuable Player of the 1967 All-Star Game.[15]

In 1970, Pérez hit the first home run in Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium.[16] The 1970 campaign was his finest year, statistically: in addition to his 129 RBIs, Pérez hit .317, slugged 40 home runs and scored 107 runs. He came in third in the Most Valuable Player voting behind Billy Williams and Reds' teammate and winner Johnny Bench.[17]

Pérez also played winter ball for 10 seasons between 1964–65 and 1982-83 in the Puerto Rico Baseball League for the Santurce Crabbers (Cangrejeros de Santurce). He won the batting title and was named league MVP in 1966-67.[18][19]

Big Red Machine

After platooning and playing first base in the early part of his career (1964–66) with the Cincinnati Reds, he became a perennial all-star starting at third base from 1967 to 1971. From 1972 onward he starred at first base. Pérez was one of the premier RBI men of his generation, driving in 100 or more runs seven times in his 23-year-long career. In an eleven-year stretch from 1967 to 1977, Pérez drove in 90 or more runs each year, with a high of 129 RBIs in 1970. During the decade of the 1970s, Pérez was second among all major-leaguers in RBI, with 954, behind only his teammate Johnny Bench.

Beginning in 1970, the Reds went to the World Series four times in seven years, winning back-to-back world championships in 1975 and 1976, with Pérez starting at first base. Following the Reds sweep of the Phillies in the 1976 League Championship Series and New York Yankees in the 1976 World Series (the only time a team has ever swept the postseason since the League Championship Series was introduced in 1969), Pérez was traded to the Montreal Expos with Will McEnaney for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray.[20] After his trade, the "Big Red Machine"—considered one of baseball's all-time greatest teams—sputtered and never again got into the Series, reaching the playoffs but one more time in 1979. Sparky Anderson, the Reds manager during the championships of the 1970s, has stated in many interviews since that Pérez was the leader, and heart and soul of those teams.

After three seasons in Montreal (in which he hit 46 home runs with 242 RBIs and a .281 batting average), for the 1980 season, Pérez signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox. In his first season with the Red Sox, he finished in the top 10 in the American League in home runs (25), RBIs (105) and intentional walks (11), and won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.[20]

Cincinnati reunion

For the 1983 season, Pérez reunited with "Big Red Machine" teammates Pete Rose and Joe Morgan on the Philadelphia Phillies. Still a feared hitter based on his reputation, Pérez was a reserve player for their Phillies during their run to the World Series that year, and batted .242 in his five World Series appearances. Following the season, he returned to the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent, where he remained until his retirement following the 1986 season.[20]

In 1984, at age 42, he became the oldest player to hit a walk-off pinch-hit home run (off the Pirates' Don Robinson). On May 13, 1985, batting against Philadelphia Phillies' reliever Dave Rucker, he became the oldest player (44) to hit a grand slam, breaking a 70-year-old record held by Honus Wagner.[21][22] The new record stood until Julio Franco broke it at age 46 in 2004. Pérez was named National League Player of the Week during the final week of his career at age 44, when he went 8-for-19 with a home run, three doubles, and 6 runs batted in.[20]

His final career hit and RBI came on October 4, 1986 at Riverfront Stadium when he hit a solo home run off San Diego Padres pitcher Ed Whitson in a 10–7 Reds win.[23] The following day was the Reds' last game of the year and the final game of his career. In his final at-bat, he flied out against Andy Hawkins in a 2–1 Padres' win.[24]

Legacy

CincinnatiReds24
Tony Pérez's number 24 was retired by the Cincinnati Reds in 2000.
Tony-perez manager cincinnati bradenton 03-1993
Perez managing the Cincinnati Reds during Spring Training in 1993 in Bradenton, Florida

Pérez was a seven-time All-Star who was voted the Most Valuable Player of the 1967 All-Star Game. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1998. On May 27, 2000, in an on-field pre-game ceremony at Cinergy Field (formerly Riverfront Stadium) with family and former teammates and managers, the Reds retired his number, 24.[1]

In 2000, Pérez was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, garnering 385 votes on 499 ballots for a total of 77.15%, just over the three-quarters minimum required for induction. He was inducted in July 2000 along with Sparky Anderson, Carlton Fisk, Bid McPhee and Turkey Stearnes. In his induction speech, he said, "I doubt that a king at his coronation feels better than me today."[25] Each year since his induction, he has attended the weekend ceremonies, including riding in the annual parade and playing in the annual golf outing and old-timers' baseball game.[26]

Pérez was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame in 2001 at a pre-game ceremony held at the San Francisco Giants' Pacific Bell Park.[27] That same year he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the 2001 All-Star Game at the Seattle Mariners' Safeco Field; he had played at the Mariners' previous home, the Kingdome, during the 1979 All-Star Game. Pérez in 1998 was inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame, which honors those that have made significant achievements in the Caribbean Series. He was one of 24 inaugural inductees into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.[28] He was inducted in 2010 to the Cuban Sports Hall of Fame.[29]

In 2011, with Pérez and his sons in attendance at opening ceremonies of the Museo del Deporte de Puerto Rico in Guaynabo, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, his adopted homeland, presented him with a surprise honor. He was proclaimed an official "native son" of Puerto Rico "for his dedication to the commonwealth as a family and community member, and for his impressive baseball accolades while representing the island." Also present were fellow Hall-of-Famers Orlando Cepeda and Roberto Alomar plus Vera Clemente, widow of Roberto Clemente.[30]

On August 10, 2014 at the annual Reds Hall of Fame Induction Gala, former Reds teammates Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan along with Pérez himself announced that the Reds would erect a statue of Pérez outside Great American Ball Park.[31]

On the weekend of August 21–22, 2015, the Cincinnati Reds held Tony Pérez Weekend during a series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. At least a dozen players of the Big Red Machine will be part of a post-game ceremony Friday night. On Saturday, a bronze statue of Pérez will be unveiled near the entrance to Great American Ball Park. Fans attending the game will receive replica statues, and there will be a pre-game ceremony honoring Pérez, followed by him throwing the ceremonial first pitch.[32]

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
W L Win % W L Win %
Cincinnati Reds 1993 1993 20 24 .455
Florida Marlins 2001 2001 54 60 .474
Total 74 84 .468 0 0
Reference:[33]

Personal life

While playing winter ball in Puerto Rico in 1964, Pérez met Juana ("Pituka") de la Cantera, daughter of Pablo de la Cantera and Edilia Cortina.[34] Also of Cuban descent, she grew up in Puerto Rico. Four months after meeting the couple was married in early 1965.[35] They both became American citizens on October 18, 1971, in Cincinnati,[36] and have two sons, both born there — Victor Pérez (May 11, 1966) and Eduardo Pérez (September 11, 1969).

Victor played one year (1990) in the Reds' minor league system.[37] He attended and graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Finance and Computer Science. He later moved to New York City, where he worked in real estate and in telecommunications. He also attended acting school there and became a professional actor, first in New York City, and then for several years in London.[35][38]

Eduardo was an All-American third baseman at Florida State University and played in the College World Series. He was drafted in the first round (17th overall pick) by the California Angels. He played Major League Baseball for 13 seasons. After retiring as a player, he served as an ESPN commentator for five years. In 2009, he managed Leones de Ponce to the Puerto Rican League championship, and in 2011 and 2012 he was hitting coach for the Miami Marlins. He was bench coach of the Houston Astros for the 2013 season, and will be an Astros' base coach in 2014. He is married to Mirba (Rivera) and they have two daughters, Andreanna and Juliana.[39]

In November 1972, Pérez was granted a 20-day visa to return to Cuba for the first time since a 1963 trip; however, the visa did not permit his wife and children to go, according to "Latino Baseball Legends: An Encyclopedia" by Lew Freedman. He took 17 suitcases of gifts, clothes, and medical supplies and reunited with his family in Central Violeta, Cuba—a 400-mile train ride from Havana.[5]

Tony's father, Jose Manuel — with whom Tony worked alongside as a teenager at the Camagüey sugar factory, hauling and stamping the company's name on the bags — died in 1979 at age 84 (some sources list his year of death as 1977). Tony has stated that, during his playing career, his family in Cuba would listen to the Voice of America, which would give daily updates on Cuban players playing in the majors.[5][35][40]

Tony's mother, Teodora ("Tita"), was 88 when Tony called her with the news in 2000 that he had been elected to the Hall of Fame.[25] Tony was able to make a return visit to Cuba in 2002, only this time with his sons. Teodora died in 2008. Tony's oldest sister died in 1997. In 2000, for a luncheon honoring Tony, the Marlins arranged to surprise him by helping his two living sisters, Argelia and Gloria, secure visas and come to Miami from their homes in Central Violeta, Camagüey, Cuba.[41][42][43][44]

Pérez has cited Cuban-born Minnie Miñoso as his boyhood idol.[45] Pérez has been an advocate for many years in articles, speeches, and discussions to get Minoso elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.[46]

A 326-page biography, Tony Pérez: From Cuba to Cooperstown, written by John Erardi, was published on April 2, 2018.[47]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Atanasio (Rigal) Perez | reds.com: Hall of Fame". Cincinnati.reds.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  2. ^ "Hall of Fame induction colored Red". Reds.enquirer.com. 2000-07-23. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  3. ^ http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/21199138/tony-perez-andre-dawson-leave-miami-marlins-organization
  4. ^ The Miami News. news.google.com https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2206&dat=19800328&id=qrwlAAAAIBAJ&sjid=afMFAAAAIBAJ&pg=985,3311816. Retrieved 2014-10-25 – via Google News Archive Search. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ a b c Latino Baseball Legends: An Encyclopedia – LEW FREEDMAN – Google Books. Books.google.com. 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  6. ^ Geneva Daily Times
  7. ^ a b "Tony Perez Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. 1942-05-14. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  8. ^ "Rocky Mount Evening Telegram, Wednesday, August 5, 1964, Page 14". newspaperarchive.com. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  9. ^ Tony Perez, Topps Baseball Cards, 1968, card number 130.
  10. ^ "July 26, 1964 Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. 1964-07-26. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  11. ^ "July 26, 1964 Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. 1964-07-26. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  12. ^ "July 27, 1964 Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Braves Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. 1964-07-27. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  13. ^ "April 13, 1965 Milwaukee Braves at Cincinnati Reds Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball-Reference.com. 1965-04-13. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  14. ^ The Morning Record. news.google.com https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=PSVIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XgANAAAAIBAJ&dq=tony-perez%20victor&pg=2941%2C1043048. Retrieved 2014-10-25 – via Google News Archive Search. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "1967 All-Star Game". Baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  16. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates – Three Rivers Stadium". Baseball-statistics.com. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  17. ^ "Baseball Awards Voting for 1970". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  18. ^ Van Hyning, T.E. (2004). Puerto Rico's Winter League: A History of Major League Baseball's Launching Pad. McFarland & Company. p. 19. ISBN 9780786419708. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  19. ^ "An Interview with Thomas E. Van Hyning, author of the book, "Puerto Rico's Winter League"". aleida.net. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  20. ^ a b c d "Tony Perez Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  21. ^ "The Ballplayers - Tony Perez". BaseballLibrary.com. Archived from the original on 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  22. ^ "May 13, 1985 Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball-Reference.com. 1985-05-13. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  23. ^ "October 4, 1986 San Diego Padres at Cincinnati Reds Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. 1986-10-04. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  24. ^ "October 5, 1986 San Diego Padres at Cincinnati Reds Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. 1986-10-05. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  25. ^ a b "Atanasio Perez Rigal – Induction Speech | Baseball Hall of Fame". Baseballhall.org. 1979-03-29. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  26. ^ "Hall of Famers | Baseball Hall of Fame". Baseballhall.org. 1982-03-31. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  27. ^ "Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum". Archived from the original on 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
  28. ^ "Latino Baseball Hall of Fame – BR Bullpen". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  29. ^ "Sportshall". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2003-04-08. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  30. ^ "Victor Perez « Cooperstown Chatter". Baseballhall.mlblogs.com. 2011-12-19. Archived from the original on 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  31. ^ Pérez
  32. ^ http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/ticketing/perez_weekend.jsp
  33. ^ "Tony Pérez". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  34. ^ E-mail Directory of Cardenenses. Delafe.com http://www.delafe.com/cardenas/guiae.htm. Retrieved 2013-03-31. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ a b c "Perez: From Cuba to Hall". Reds.enquirer.com. 2000-01-13. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  36. ^ "Sarasota Journal". news.google.com. Retrieved 2014-10-25 – via Google News Archive Search.
  37. ^ "The Greatest 21 Days: Interview Part 1: Victor Perez, That Feeling". greatest21days.com. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  38. ^ "Victor Perez Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. 1968-05-11. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  39. ^ "Manager and Coaches | astros.com: Team". Houston.astros.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  40. ^ Araton, Harvey (2009-03-17). "Tony Pérez on Cuba and Its Team – NYTimes.com". Bats.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  41. ^ "Sisters Surprise Perez At Lunch". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  42. ^ "Tony Perez left his life behind to play baseball in America". retro. Cincinnati.com. 2013-03-10. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  43. ^ "To Understand Joy, Visit Perez's Sorrow – Sun Sentinel". Articles.sun-sentinel.com. 1998-06-11. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  44. ^ "Hall Door Finally Open To Perez". Sun Sentinel. 2000-01-12. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  45. ^ "Minnie Minoso gets his moment". Chicago Tribune. 2012-12-07.
  46. ^ "The push to get Minoso in the Hall of Fame continues | White Sox Observer". chicagonow.com. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  47. ^ http://www.orangefrazer.com/store/tony-prez-from-cuba-to-cooperstown

External links

1967 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1967 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 38th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 11, 1967, at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California. The game resulted in a 2–1 15 inning victory for the NL. It set the record for the longest All-Star Game by innings, matched in 2008.

1970 Caribbean Series

After nine years of absence, the thirteenth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was revived in 1970 without the representing baseball clubs of Cuba and Panama. It was held in Caracas, Venezuela from February 5 to February 10 at Estadio Universitario, featuring the original members of the first stage. Puerto Rico was represented by the Leones de Ponce, while the host Navegantes del Magallanes represented Venezuela. The Dominican Republic debuted in the Series and was represented by the Tigres del Licey to complete a three-team tournament. The format consisted of 12 games, with each team facing the other competitors three times. Because the series was so small, each team had to face each other in one night.

1970 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1970 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds winning the National League West title with a record of 102–60, 14½ games ahead of the runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in three straight games in the 1970 National League Championship Series to win their first National League pennant since 1961. The team then lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the 1970 World Series in five games.

The Reds were managed by first-year manager George "Sparky" Anderson and played their home games at Crosley Field during the first part of the year, before moving into the then-new Riverfront Stadium on June 30.

1972 World Series

The 1972 World Series matched the American League champion Oakland Athletics against the National League champion Cincinnati Reds, with the Athletics winning in seven games. It was the first World Series win for the A's in 42 years, since 1930.

These two teams met again in the World Series 18 years later in 1990.

1973 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1973 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds winning the National League West with a Major League-best record of 99–63, 3½ games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers, before losing the NLCS to the New York Mets in five games. The Reds were managed by Sparky Anderson, and played their home games at Riverfront Stadium.

The Reds were coming off a devastating loss in seven games to the underdog Oakland Athletics in the 1972 World Series. The offseason didn't start well for the Reds. In the winter, a growth was removed from the lung of Cincinnati's star catcher, Johnny Bench. While Bench played the entire 1973 season, his power numbers dropped from 40 home runs in 1972 to 25 in '73. He never again reached the 40 homer mark, something he accomplished in two of the three seasons prior to the surgery.

Coming into the season, the defending NL Champion Reds were still favored to win the strong NL West against the likes of the Houston Astros, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Francisco Giants. The Reds' lineup returned virtually intact, with the exception of third base where the Reds tried to make a third baseman out of rookie Dan Driessen, a solid hitter (.301 average) who had played mostly first base in the minor leagues. With Tony Pérez fully entrenched at first base, the Reds wanted to get Driessen's bat in the lineup and his playing time was at the expense of the anemic hitting Denis Menke (.191), although the Reds were sacrificing defense with Driessen at the hot corner. The other change was at shortstop, where Dave Concepción emerged from a 1972 timeshare with Darrel Chaney to full-time starter, finally realizing his potential in his fourth year in the majors. Concepción was outstanding both at bat and in the field and was named to the NL All-Star team. But two days before the mid-summer classic on July 22, in a game against the Montreal Expos, Concepción broke his ankle sliding into third base after moving from first base on a Menke base hit, and missed the second half of the season. Concepción was batting .287, with eight home runs, 46 RBI, 39 runs scored and 22 stolen bases, all career highs despite missing almost half the season.

The Reds had other hurdles to overcome. Cincinnati's pitching ace, Gary Nolan (15–5, 1.99 ERA in '72), suffered from a sore arm that limited him to two starts and 10 innings pitched before it was discovered he had a torn ligament in his right elbow. The injury would force Nolan to also miss the entire 1974 season. There was also an issue with centerfielder Bobby Tolan. He slumped badly to .206, became a malcontent, and had several squabbles with members of Reds management, who were still unhappy with his 1971 basketball injury that cost him that season as well as Tolan's error in Game 7 of the 1972 World Series against Oakland that was arguably the key play in that game. Tolan went AWOL for two days in August 1973, and broke team rules by growing a beard. On September 27, the team suspended Tolan for the remainder of the season including the NLCS.

The Reds started well, and were 25–16 about a quarter of the way through the season and led the second-place Dodgers by a 1½ games on May 23. But with Tolan, Menke and Bench mired in slumps and some of the Reds starting pitchers struggling, the Reds began to flounder. Reds general manager Bob Howsam determined the Reds offense would eventually come around, but the pitching staff needed help. With Nolan sidelined indefinitely and starters Jim McGlothlin and Roger Nelson struggling, Howsam traded for San Diego Padres left-hander Fred Norman on June 12. At the time of the trade, the 5-foot-8 lefty was 1–7 for the last-place Padres, but Norman would go 12–6 in 24 starts for the Reds to provide a major boost.

The Reds were still in a slump when they met the Dodgers for a July 1, doubleheader in Cincinnati. The Reds were 39–37 and trailed the Dodgers (51–27) by 11 games. Just as they had done 12 years earlier, the Reds swept the Dodgers in a doubleheader to jumpstart their pennant hopes. In Game 1, Cincinnati's third-string catcher, Hal King, belted a game-winning, three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning off Don Sutton to give the Reds a 4–3 victory. In Game 2, Tony Pérez singled in the game-winner off knuckleball specialist Charlie Hough in the bottom of the 10th as the Reds won 3–2. The doubleheader sweep was part of a stretch where Cincinnati won 10 of 11 games and by July 10, had cut the Dodgers' lead to 4½ games.

Both teams stayed close throughout the season, but on Aug. 29, the Reds beat Pittsburgh, 5–3, to begin a seven-game winning streak. After losing two to the Braves, the Reds began another seven-game winning streak to gain some space between the Dodgers. Los Angeles came into Cincinnati for a two-game series, Sept. 11–12, trailing the Reds by 3 games with 18 left on the schedule. A two-run home run by rookie Ken Griffey was the big hit in the Reds' 6–3 victory on Sept. 11, and the Reds completed the sweep the next day as Jack Billingham hurled a complete-game and, the typically poor hitter (.065 average), also belted a bases-clearing double off LA starter Claude Osteen in a 7–3 victory. The Dodgers left Cincinnati trailing by five games. On Sept. 24, the Reds beat San Diego, 2–1, to clinch their second-straight division title and third in four years. It sent the Reds to the 1973 NLCS against the New York Mets.

The Reds offense was led by Pete Rose (team-record 230 hits, 115 runs scored, an NL best .338 batting average), Joe Morgan (116 runs, 26 home runs, 82 RBI, 67 stolen bases, .290 avg.) and Perez (.314, 27, 101). Rose was voted the National League MVP, while Morgan finished fourth and Perez seventh in a vote by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Jack Billingham emerged as the staff ace, leading the National League in both innings pitched (293) and shutouts (7) to go with 19 victories, while young lefty Don Gullett won 11 of his last 12 decisions to finish 18–8.

Future stars Griffey and George Foster also played well in short stays with the Reds. Griffey batted .384 in 86 at bats in his major league debut, while Foster hit .282 and smacked four home runs in just 39 at bats. Journeyman third-string catcher Hal King also emerged as an unsung hero. King hit three pinch hit home runs, all of which either tied or won games late including a three-run home run off Los Angeles Dodger starter Don Sutton on July 1 to win a game for the Reds.

1975 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1975 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The Reds dominated the league all season, and won the National League West with a record of 108–54, best record in MLB and finished 20 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds went on to win the National League Championship Series by defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in three straight games, and the World Series in seven games over the Boston Red Sox. The Reds were managed by Sparky Anderson and played their home games at Riverfront Stadium. It was the first World Series championship for Cincinnati since 1940. The 1975 Reds are one of the few teams to consistently challenge the 1927 Yankees, what some people call the best in baseball history, for the title for the best team in MLB history. Some sources consider the 1975 Reds the greatest team to ever play baseball. But according to some sources, a lot of them put the 1927 Yankees ahead of the '75 Reds. The Reds went 64–17 at home in 1975, which is the best home record ever by a National League team, which still stands today. It is currently the second best home record in MLB history, behind the 1962 Yankees, who went 65-16.

1975 World Series

The 1975 World Series of Major League Baseball was played between the Boston Red Sox (AL) and Cincinnati Reds (NL). In 2003, it was ranked by ESPN as the second-greatest World Series ever played. Cincinnati won the series in seven games.

The Cincinnati Reds recorded a franchise-high 108 victories and won the National League West division by 20 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers then defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, three games to none, in the National League Championship Series. The Boston Red Sox won the American League East division by 4½ games over the Baltimore Orioles then defeated the three-time defending World Series champion Oakland A's, three games to none, in the American League Championship Series.

Boston star left fielder Jim Rice missed both the ALCS and the World Series due to a broken hand.

The Reds won the seventh and deciding game of the series on a ninth-inning RBI single by Joe Morgan. The sixth game of the Series was a 12-inning classic at Boston's Fenway Park culminated by a game-winning home run by Carlton Fisk to extend the series to seven games.

It was the third World Series appearance by the Reds in six years, losing in 1970 to Baltimore and in 1972 to Oakland.

Oddly, this was the fourth consecutive time that a seven-game series winner (Pittsburgh 1971, Oakland 1972, Oakland 1973, Cincinnati 1975) scored fewer runs than the losing team.

1976 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1976 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The Reds entered the season as the reigning world champs. The Reds dominated the league all season, and won their second consecutive National League West title with a record of 102–60, best record in MLB and finished 10 games ahead of the runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers. They went on to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1976 National League Championship Series in three straight games, and then win their second consecutive World Series title in four straight games over the New York Yankees. They were the third and most recent National League team to achieve this distinction, and the first since the 1921–22 New York Giants. The Reds drew 2,629,708 fans to their home games at Riverfront Stadium, an all-time franchise attendance record. As mentioned above, the Reds swept through the entire postseason with their sweeps of the Phillies and Yankees, achieving a record of 7-0. As of 2018, the Reds are the only team in baseball history to sweep through an entire postseason since the addition of divisions.

1977 Montreal Expos season

The 1977 Montreal Expos season was the ninth season in the history of the franchise. The team finished fifth in the National League East with a record of 73–87, 26 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies. This was the first year the team played their home games in Olympic Stadium, having left Jarry Park after the 1976 season.

1980 Boston Red Sox season

The 1980 Boston Red Sox season was the 80th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fifth in the American League East with a record of 83 wins and 77 losses, 19 games behind the New York Yankees. Manager Don Zimmer was fired with five games left, and Johnny Pesky finished the season as manager.

1983 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1983 Philadelphia Phillies season included the Phillies winning the National League East Division title with a record of 90–72, by a margin of six games over the Pittsburgh Pirates. They defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, three games to one in the National League Championship Series, before losing the World Series to the Baltimore Orioles, four games to one. The Phillies celebrated their centennial in 1983, were managed by Pat Corrales (43–42) and Paul Owens (47–30), and played their home games at Veterans Stadium.

1984 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1984 season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West. It marked the return of Bob Howsam as General Manager, after Dick Wagner was fired during the 1983 season. The Reds finished in fifth place that year, as they escaped last place in the NL West, which the team had finished in 1982 and 1983.

1985 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1985 season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West. The Reds finished in second place, 5½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. This year, the Reds adopted an alternate uniform. Reds pitcher Tom Browning became the last 20th Century pitcher to win 20 games in his rookie year.

1986 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1986 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West, although falling short in second place behind the Houston Astros.

2000 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2000 followed the system in use since 1995.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two: Carlton Fisk and Tony Pérez.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected three people from multiple classified ballots:

Sparky Anderson, Bid McPhee, and Turkey Stearnes.

Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York, were held July 23 with George Grande as emcee.

2001 Florida Marlins season

The Florida Marlins' 2001 season was the 9th season for the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in the National League. It would begin with the team attempting to improve on their season from 2000. Their managers were John Boles and Tony Pérez. They played home games at Pro Player Stadium. They finished with a record of 76-86, 4th in the National League East.

Lee May

Lee Andrew May (March 23, 1943 – July 29, 2017) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman and designated hitter who played 18-seasons for the Cincinnati Reds (1965–71), Houston Astros (1972–74), Baltimore Orioles (1975–80), and Kansas City Royals (1981–82). He batted and threw right-handed. He was the older brother of former Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees outfielder Carlos May.

May, nicknamed "The Big Bopper," hit 20 or more home runs and 80 or more runs batted in (RBI) in 11 consecutive seasons. He led the American League (AL) in RBI in 1976. He also made three All-Star Game appearances, including as the starting first baseman for the National League (NL) team in 1972.

List of Miami Marlins managers

The Miami Marlins are a professional Major League Baseball based in Miami, Florida. The Marlins are members of the National League East division in MLB, joining in 1993 as an expansion team. In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. The Marlins have employed 12 different managers since their founding as the Florida Marlins in 1993.

The Marlins' first manager was Rene Lachemann, who led the team from its creation in 1993 through part of the 1996 season. He has the most losses in franchise history with 285, and has the lowest winning percentage, with .437. After Cookie Rojas managed for one game, John Boles served as manager for the final 75 games of the 1996 season. Jim Leyland took over the franchise for the next two seasons, and in the process led the Marlins to their first World Series championship in 1997. In 1999, Boles took over and started his second stint as manager of the Marlins, which lasted until partway through the 2001 season. Tony Pérez was interim manager for the rest of 2001; Pérez is the only Miami Marlins manager who is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, inducted as a player in 2000.Jeff Torborg took over as manager to start the 2002 season, and served for ​1 1⁄2 seasons. Jack McKeon took over and guided the franchise to their second World Series championship in 2003. He served until the end of the 2005 season, and was replaced by Joe Girardi, who was manager for one full season, in 2006. Fredi González took over from Girardi and managed the team from 2007 until partway through 2010; he is the current franchise leader in games managed (555) . Edwin Rodríguez managed the Marlins from 2010 to 2011, and after Brandon Hyde managed for one game, McKeon returned for a second stint as manager. After McKeon retired, Ozzie Guillén took over as manager of the Marlins for the 2012 season, the team's first as the Miami Marlins. Ozzie Guillén was fired on October 23, 2012 after finishing in last place.

San Diego Padres (PCL)

The San Diego Padres were a minor league baseball team which played in the Pacific Coast League from 1936 through 1968. The team that would eventually become the Padres was well traveled prior to moving to San Diego. It began its existence in 1903 as the Sacramento Solons, a charter member of the PCL. The team moved to Tacoma in 1904 (where it won the PCL pennant), returned to Sacramento in 1905, then left the PCL altogether for the next three seasons. The Solons rejoined the PCL in 1909, then moved to San Francisco during the 1914 season, finishing out the season as the San Francisco Missions. The team was sold to businessman Bill "Hardpan" Lane, who moved the team to Salt Lake City for the 1915 season as the Salt Lake Bees.

Eleven years later Lane moved the Bees to Los Angeles for the 1926 season, and changed their name to the Hollywood Stars. The Stars played at Wrigley Field, home of the Los Angeles Angels, winning pennants in 1929 and 1930. When, after the 1935 season, the Angels doubled the Stars' rent, Lane moved the Stars to San Diego for the 1936 season, to become the San Diego Padres.

The city constructed a waterfront stadium for its new team, appropriately called Lane Field, replacing a race track that was on the site. The team finished second in its inaugural year in the border city, then won the postseason series and the PCL pennant in 1937, led by the hitting of sophomore outfielder Ted Williams, who was first signed to a contract in 1936.

Though for the next decade or more the Padres were mired in the second division, at last this franchise achieved stability and longevity. The team remained in San Diego for 33 years, displaced only by virtue of San Diego's admission to the major leagues. In 1954, managed by former major league player Lefty O'Doul, the Padres finished first in the PCL for the first time in their history, but were eliminated in the postseason playoffs.

After the 1957 season, the Padres were sold to C. Arnholdt Smith, who moved the team from ancient Lane Field to Westgate Park, an 8,200-seat facility located in what is now the Fashion Valley Mall of Mission Valley. In 1960, Smith brought in Eddie Leishman as general manager and club president. Leishman, who had helped to run the Yankee farm system throughout the previous 10 years, was brought in with the goal of bringing the team to the Major Leagues. The Padres proceeded to win PCL pennants in 1962, 1964, and 1967. The Padres were the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds from 1962–65; some of their players (including Tony Pérez) would become vital cogs of what was called the "Big Red Machine" Reds' teams of the 1970s. The Pads won a final PCL pennant in 1967 as a farm club of the Philadelphia Phillies.

In 1967, Smith won a bid for an expansion team in the National League for the 1969 season. After the 1968 PCL season, he surrendered the franchise, which moved to Eugene, Oregon, and transferred the Padre name to his new NL team, the San Diego Padres. Leishman was named general manager of the MLB Padres, with club president and minority investor Buzzie Bavasi, formerly GM of the Los Angeles Dodgers, playing a dominant role in its baseball operations.

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