Throwback Thursday: Ted Kluszewski

"This ain't the California penal league..."

Why we like him: His nickname was "Big Klu" and he was just 6-foot-2. If he played today, his nickname would've been "Klu." Or maybe just "Ted." Either way, this sleeveless wonder (He said the sleeves inhibited the movement from his bulging biceps. Why doesn't Prince Fielder just run around shirtless since the shirt would inhibit movement from his entire body?) was somewhat of an offensive dynamo for a short stretch in the middle of the 1950s. His impressive 1954 campaign (.326, 49 HR, 141 RBI) even saw him finish second in MVP voting behind some guy named Willie Mays. Even more impressive is that even with all that power, Kluszewski wasn't that much of a strikeout threat. He finished his 15-year career with 492 walks and just 365 Ks. Not too shabby.

Though his career was cut short by a seemingly constant stream of injuries, he still managed to put together a pretty nice career. Based solely on his '54 and '55 seasons, he also probably deserves to find a way into the discussion regarding the most feared hitters of that decade.

Ladies and gentlemen, Ted Kluszewski, ballplayer.

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