Man, I love looking through stats of players long gone from the game. You know, I use to look at a player like Jose Canseco and marvel at his home runs out puts; 42 in ’88, 44 in ’91, 46 in ’98. Do you notice something about those stats? He could never do 40+ home runs back to back due to one injury after another. I know that he could have hit 500+ home runs if he could have stayed healthy but that is just a fantasy. How about a guy who put three seasons in a row of 40+ home runs way before the Steroid Era but does not get ANY of the Hobby love Canseco got in his heyday and even still today? His name is Ted Kluszewski and he was one hell of a slugger for Cincinatti.
You know, come to think of it, “Big Klu” and Jose had a very similar career! Ted only played in four full seasons in a fifteen year career due to injuries. From 1953 to 1955 he hit 40, 49, and 47 home runs, while driving in over 100 runs each time. He was also had a lifetime career average of .353 but because of his weak outputs in other categories he never landed in the Hall of Fame.
Here is a great excerpt from Wikipedia about “Big Klu”;
Soon after the 6′-2″ (1.89 m), 240-pound (108.8 kg) Ted Kluszewski joined the Reds, 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.
You can find some of “Big Klu’s” game-used and autographs in 2005 Upper Deck Legendary Lumber.