16 September 2013

a black armband for big klu

ted kluszewski passed away in march of 1988, and the reds honored their former slugger with a black armband on their right sleeves during their opening homestand a couple of weeks later.  here is a 1988 kahn's reds kal daniels card with the armband visible.
the hall of fame's website notes that the reds wore the armbands only during the opening homestand, and this photo comes from a game against their second and final opponent of that homestand, the astros.

kluszewski is best remembered for cutting off the sleeves of his jerseys and the undershirts he wore beneath the reds' sleeveless jerseys of the 50's.  he had some monster years for the reds in the mid 1950's, and later in the decade helped the white sox get to the world series.  in what would be his only career postseason appearance, he hit .391 with 3 home runs in that 1959 fall classic against the dodgers in a losing cause.

klu finished his career in 1961 as an original los angeles angel.  as an angel, he hit the first home run in franchise history as he went deep twice in their inaugural game.  after his retirement, kluszewski returned to the reds' franchise as a coach and later a minor league hitting instructor.  he had retired in 1987, and was 63 when he died.

No comments: