whatever you say, Mr Kluszewski, sir.

Okay, here’s another of my favorite old baseball cards.

ted sm

Ted. Of the Cincinnati Redlegs. Which is what they were sometimes known as during the Cold War. (God Forbid that there would be Reds playing America’s game!)

Ted looks like a guy you did not ever want to get angry.

Did the Redlegs ever play a game with sleeveless jerseys? Or is this just Ted being Ted? I suppose if Ted didn’t want to wear the under shirt, no one was going to say anything about it. Whatever you want to do, Ted. Er, Mr. Kluszewski. Sir. It’s a good look for you.

ted back sm

The card’s a little off-center, I suppose that decreases its value a bit. Oh, and there’s that big crease in it, too. Kind of makes it impossible to know for sure how many triples Mr. Kluszewski hit in ’47, ’48, and ’49. And I guess the corners are not quite perfectly square, really.

Still. It’s kinda priceless, I think.

Also, a pretty good baseball name.

later…

looked up Mr. Kluszewski on Wikipedia. The sleeves were just Ted being Ted:

Soon after the 6′-2″ (1.89 m), 240-pound (108.8 kg) Ted Kluszewski joined the Reds in 1947, he cut off the sleeves of his uniform, much to the chagrin of the Reds front office. He did it because the tight sleeves constricted his large biceps and shoulders and interfered with his swing. “They got pretty upset, but it was either that or change my swing — and I wasn’t about to change my swing”, said Kluszewski. Kluszewski became notorious for his strength; Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher was asked to name five of the strongest players in baseball, he complied. When it was pointed out that he’d left Ted Kluszewski off his list, Durocher said: “Kluszewski? I’m talking about human beings!”

Kluszewski was named to the National League All-Star roster 1953 through 1956, and was a career .298 hitter with 279 home runs and 1028 RBI in 1718 games. In ten of his fifteen seasons, Kluszewski walked (492) more often than he struck out (365). In 1955, he hit 47 homers while striking out only 40 times. No player since him has hit 40 homers and struck out 40 or fewer times in the same season.

I note that they don’t say anything like “as nice as he was big” or “known for being a gentle giant with a heart of gold.” Probably he was, though, at times.

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