I’m going to start a feature today that I’m going to try to do on a regular basis, and that is posting some interesting fact or event concerning Reds history.
My reference material will be Greg Rhodes and John Snyder’s fabulous book, “Redleg Journal” (see link for purchasing) and I am using it’s material with Greg’s permission. My selection process will be opening the book and finding something interesting on that page (and that can be done on every page in this book) and posting it.
So, here we go….
April 25th, 1948: The day after the start of the Berlin Airlift, Ted Kluszewski connects for his first major league homer in a 13-10 loss to the Pirates in the second game of a DH at Crosley Field. The blast came off Pittsburgh pitcher Hal Gregg with 2 men on base in the 5th inning. The Reds won the first game 7-6 on Hank Sauer’s 9th inning homer. Sauer added two more homers in the second game loss.
In his first 2 full seasons in the majors Klu hit .295 with only 20 homers in 910 ABs. But he struck out only 56 times, which was low even by late 1940’s standards. He was a line drive, contact hitter throughout his career, and beginning in 1950, many of those line drives frequently cleared the fences because of his tremendous strength. Few of his homers were high, arching tape measure blasts.
Klu was amonth the first players in history to extensively analyze his swing on film. His wife, Eleanor, shot home movies of Ted’s ABs. When Klu was the Reds batting coach in the ’70’s, the club was one of the first to use VCR technology to study batting strokes and pitching mechanics.
Thanks again to Greg Rhodes for permission to use his material.