Sunday, March 26, 2023


Up on the blog today, we head on over to the American League for their top three home run hitters of 1978, proudly displayed on a 1979 “expanded league leader” card in my long-running thread:


Of course we begin with the A.L. MVP himself, a man who not only led the league with his 46 home runs, but also mind-blowingly led the league with his 15 triples, Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Jim Rice, who had an all-world season in 1978.

Let’s see, all Rice did that year was score 121 runs, collect 213 hits, collect 86 extra base hits, drive in 139 runs and hit a cool .315 while becoming the only player in the decade to top 400 total bases, with 406.

The man was a complete stud, helping the Red Sox go to the wire before falling to the New York Yankees in their 163rd game for the A.L. East title. Certainly not any fault of his own!

While many think of Rice as a premier power hitter, they can often forget that over the course of his career he collected 200+ hits four times, while hitting .300+ seven times! Just an amazing player who rightfully got his spot in Cooperstown after retirement.

In second place with 34 home runs, the man who would end up taking home the league MVP Award in 1979, California Angels thumper Don Baylor, who also scored 103 runs while driving in 99, giving everyone a prelude to his monster 1979 campaign that would see him hit 36 homers with 139 RBIs and 120 runs scored.

I loved Baylor during his tenure with the New York Yankees between 1983 and 1985!

A great hitter who could also steal a base for you, as evidenced by his 285 career steals, including 52 in 1976 in his only season with the Oakland A’s. As a matter of fact Baylor would top 20 steals in a season eight times in his career, something you’d never think was possible seeing he was built like a tank.

Tied with Baylor with 34 homers in 1978, Milwaukee Brewers slugger Larry Hisle, who had a very nice first season for his new team after coming over from the Minnesota Twins.

Hisle also scored 96 runs while driving in 115, this a year after driving in a league leading 119 in 1977, while hitting a very nice .290.

Sadly for him, he would suffer a torn rotator cuff in 1979, effectively ending his career, playing only 79 games over the final four years of his career before retiring in 1982.

Well there you have it, the top-3 home run hitters in the A.L. for 1978, on an “expanded” 1979 league-leader card.


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