Saturday, July 15, 2017

NICKNAMES OF THE 1970'S: "BIG DOG" TONY PEREZ

So how can you be underrated, with over 2700 career hits, 1600 RBI’s, 379 home runs AND a Hall of Fame inductee? When you’re Tony Perez, aka “Big Dog”, on a team that also boasted the likes of Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan!
Here’s my nickname card for the RBI-machine during the 1970’s:


Perez was just about “automatic” during the “Big Red Machine” years. Year in and year out you could pencil him in for 20+ homers, 90+ runs batted in, and between 60-70 extra-base-hits.
For eleven straight seasons, between 1967 and 1977, Perez topped 90 RBI’s, with a high of 129 in 1970, when he also hit a career-high 40 home runs for the beginning of what was to be a dominant team on it’s way to two championships and four World Series appearances.
By the time he was done after 23 seasons on a Major League diamond in 1986, Perez hit .279 with 2732 hits, 1272 runs scored, 1652 runs batted in and the aforementioned 379 homers, with “only” seven all-star nods, often overshadowed by his more well-known teammates.
I’ll always remember a statement former Reds’ manager Sparky Anderson made years later, one that I’ve mentioned before here on this blog, when he said that when the Reds traded Perez to the Montreal Expos after the 1976 season, it killed the “Big Red Machine”.
Think about that for a moment.
Just an awesome player who had the (mis)fortune to play alongside a handful of other all-star players who ruled the decade and took home SIX MVP Awards!

3 comments:

  1. Great card! His clubhouse presence was the oil that kept the Big Red Machine running smoothly. A truly classy guy, he kept players, reserves and stars alike, in line. He was also known as "Doggie" and "The Mayor" during his time in Cincinnati.

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  2. There's a great video clip on an old Reds History video from the mid-80's. Joe Morgan is recalling a story where he and Pete Rose were hitting around .400 early in the season. They were giving Perez a hard time because he had struck out the night before with a chance to win the game. Perez's reply was that "you and Rose hit .400...you don't make us win. When the Big Dog hits...we win". And that was the truth.

    Glad to see he was recognized during the All-Star Game pre-game ceremonies.

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