Today we round out the outfield slots for my imagined 1970 sub-set celebrating the "All-Decade" team of the 1960's.
As with the other two outfield entries, this one doesn't disappoint, as it presents another two future Hall of Famers: Al Kaline and Roberto Clemente.
Take a look at the card I designed:
What a quiet legend Kaline was. Buried under names like Aaron, Mays, Mantle, etc, he just went about his business year in and year out and paved the way for his eventual induction into Cooperstown's hallowed halls in 1980.
The 1960's saw Kaline make eight All-Star teams, win seven Gold Gloves, and receive solid M.V.P. support seven of ten years, finishing as high as second in 1963.
Though he only lead the league in a primary offensive category only once (doubles in 1961), Kaline's consistency was his strength, as he topped .300 four times, 20 homers five times, and a .500 slugging percentage five times.
Over in the National League, who else could fill out the outfield but the Pittsburgh Pirate legend?
Gee, let's see…
All Clemente did was win four batting titles, have four 200-hit seasons, win an M.V.P. in 1966, and win nine Gold Gloves (which was part of a 12-year run of the award).
In nine of ten years during the 1960's Clemente received considerable M.V.P. votes, finishing in the top-10 seven times.
When you look at Clemente's performance throughout his career you see a guy that could pop a homer, slap a double, leg out a triple, whatever you needed.
Just look at his power numbers by the time his career was tragically ended in that fateful plane crash in December, 1972: 440 doubles, 166 triples and 240 home runs.
Throw in his 3000 hits, 1416 runs scored and 1305 runs batted in and you see how the man was a lethal threat at the plate.
It comes as no surprise that Major League Baseball honored the man by waiving the five-year waiting period for Hall of Fame eligibility and inducted him by special election in 1973.
Well, there you have all the position players from catchers to outfielders.
Next up, we take a look at the left-handed pitchers representing their leagues for the 1960's: Jim Kaat and Sandy Koufax.