Ted Kluszewski

Theodore Bernhard "Big Klu" Kluszewski (September 10, 1924 - March 29, 1988) was an iconic Cincinnati Reds first baseman that was as much remembered for his muscular physique, as he was his booming homeruns at Crosley Field. Kluszewski irked the Cincinnati front office when he cut off the sleeves of his uniform to expand his range of motion. Ted topped the .300 batting average mark seven times and blasted 35 or more home runs in four consecutive years (1953-1956) including a National League leading 49 in 1954. Ted also led the NL once in RBI (141) in 1954 and hits (192) in 1955. Klu also set a Major League record of five consecutive years leading the NL first basemen in fielding percentage from 1951 to 1955. Kluszewski retired with an impressive .993 career fielding percentage with 12, 652 putouts in 13,548 chances. In 1947, Klu hit 47 homers and struck out only 40 times, a feat that has yet to be topped since. As injuries increased with age, Ted was utilized less at first and more in a pinch-hitting role. Kluszewski played 15 seasons with the Reds 91947-1957), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1958-1959), the Chicago White Sox (1959-1960) and the Los Angeles Angels (1961). Klu appeared in one World Series losing effort with the Chicago White Sox in 1959 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ted hit two home runs in the first ever Los Angeles Angels game against the Baltimore Orioles. He was also named to four consecutive MLB All-Star Games (1953-1956). Big Klu ended his 15-year career as injuries took their toll on his big body. He had 1,766 hits including 290 doubles and 279 home runs, 848 runs scored and 1,028 RBI while batting .298 in 1,718 career games. Following his playing days, he served as a hitting coach under Sparky Anderson.


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