Ted Kluszewski

Ted KluszewskiTed Kluszewski was one of the most popular players in the history of the Cincinnati Reds. In the 1950s with his bulging arms and cutoff short sleeves, Kluszewski wowed fans with his power. For seven seasons, from 1950 to 1957, he hit 225 home runs, a total bested by only two batters: Duke Snider and Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers. During that same span, Klu ranked sixth in hits and sixth in runs batted in. He was the main course in the meat of the Reds’ lineup.

In 1954 Ted Kluszewski hit 34 home runs in his home games at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. At that time it was the most home runs hit in a home ballpark by a batter in National Leahue history. Since, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds have surpassed that mark in the NL.

Kluszewski led the NL with 49 home runs and 141 RBIs in 1954 but he finished a distant second to Willie Mays in Most Valuable Player voting. It was the second of three straight seasons in which “Big Klu” hit 40 home runs. He smacked a total of 136 from 1953-55 with 362 RBIs and a .319 batting average. Kluszewski was more than a powerful slugger, he was a skilled batsman who only fanned 365 times in his career, while walking 492 times.