Tagged: may 14

May 14 – Happy Birthday Tony Perez

perezAfter spending the first 16 years of his Hall of Fame big league career as a National League third and first baseman, mostly for the Reds, Tony Perez signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in November of 1979 and spent the next three years playing first base and DH-ing for Boston. His first season in Beantown was his best, belting 25 home runs and driving in 105 for a Red Sox team that finished fifth in a very tough AL East Division.

By then, however, Perez was already 38-years-old and his offensive numbers faded pretty dramatically during the strike-shortened 1981 season. The following year, he lost his starting job at first base to Dave Stapleton and got just 196 at bats. Boston released him that November, but instead of retiring, he hung on for four more seasons back in the NL. When he finally retired as a player after the ’86 season, he had 379 career home runs, 2,732 hits and 1,652 RBIs to go along with a .279 lifetime batting average.

Born in Camaguey, Cuba in 1942, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000. He appeared in four World Series with the great Big Red Machine teams of the 1970s and one more with the Phillies in 1983, winning two rings in the process.

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