Tony Perez was not the prototypical Hall of Famer, but know that he belongs. “Doggie,” as he was known, drove in over 90 RBI a year for 11 straight years. By comparison Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron and Willie Mays never accomplished this feat. He was one of the leaders of “The Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds, considered one of the greatest teams of all time. Over a span of 6 years the team averaged 98 wins a year and won five National League West division titles. They also won four National League pennants and two World Series titles. Perez went on to play 23 seasons in the major leagues. He hit 25 home runs and drove in 105 runs at the age of 38 while with the Boston Red Sox. He also it the oldest man to hit a walk off home run, doing it against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the age of 42. Coincidentally and appropriately, Perez and his Reds manager Sparky Anderson were inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in July of 2000.
Perez is one of only two players to win three World Championships with the Cincinnati Reds. The other is Ken Griffey Sr.
July 21, 2012