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Old 08-30-2018, 12:12 PM   #105
Big T
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MLB Batting Leaders by OPS (55 PA)
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MLB Pitching Leaders by ERA (20 IP)
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Facts and More Facts

The 1971 MLB HR's Totals in Real Life

Pittsburgh Pirates LF Willie Stargell led the NL and the MLB with 48 HRs in 1971. He was aided by a couple of 3-HR games in April when he belted a trio against the Braves on the 4th game of the season April 10th and 3 more against the same Braves on April 21st. Maybe he liked the head to head competition with Braves Hank Aaron. He had a total of 11 HRs in April which at the time was an MLB record for April. His 48 HRs was a career high for Stargell, and he made it over 40 just once more in his career when he hit 44 in 1973. Stargell's game changed when on he advise of Roberto Clemente he switched to a heavier 38 oz bat in 1969, he became a much more dangerous hitter. It also helped that the Pirates moved into a hitter friendly park in Three Rivers Stadium in 1971. Stargell did all this with chronic pain in his knee that would eventually require surgery.
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Atlanta Braves slugger 1B/RF Hank Aaron was right behind Stargell with 47 HRs in 1971. The 47 HRs was the closest that Aaron would ever get to the magical 50 in a season, his previous high was 45 in 1962. Aaron did not have the start that Stargell had when he hit 8 HRs in the month of April. Unlike Stargell, Aaron did not have any 3-HR games but hit 2 HRs six times in 1971. Aaron did the opposite of Stargell and went to a lighter bat that increased his bat speed early in his career that led to his HR prowess. On April 27th, 1971 in a 6-5 loss to the Giants in the bottom of the 3rd Aaron comes to the plate with Ralph Garr on 1st after his 1 out single. Aaron hammers Giants Gaylord Perry's pitch for his 8th of the season and 600th of his career.
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The Cincinnati Reds counted on 1B Lee May for 104 HRs and 341 RBIs over the past 4 seasons and he did not disappoint again in 1971. May hit 39 HRs and feel just a couple of RBI's short of 100. Even after missing the 1st couple of weeks while on the DL, and not getting his 1st HR until April 28 against the Padres he finished 3rd in HRs in the NL. May did struggle down the stretch though, he had 37 HRs on August 30th and only hit 2 more in the final month of the season. May is one of 11 MLB players to get to 100 RBIs with 3 different teams during his career and from 1968-1978 he had 11 straight seasons of at least 20 HRs and 80 RBIs. May was part of a deal that got the Reds Joe Morgan, Jack Billingham, Denis Menke and Cesar Geronimo at the end of 1971.

William Edwin Melton had a cup of coffee with the White Sox in 1968 playing in 34 games hitting .266 with 2 HRs and 16 RBIs but made the team in spring training in 1969 and showed them what was to come, albeit over a short career. In 1971 White Sox 3B Bill Melton matched his 33 HRs from 1970, but it was enough to lead the AL in 1971. Melton started the season with a bang, in a season opening doubleheader on April 7th, he hit a HR in each of the games, he never hit another until May 15th against the Twins. He finished the final 2 games of the season with 3 HRs to take the AL lead. It was the first time a White Sox player had led the AL in HRs. A back injury in the 1971 off season trying to break the fall of his son from a garage roof ultimately led to reduced numbers and the ire of White Sox announcer Harry Carry, particularly regarding Melton's poor fielding.

The Oakland Athletics could count on RF Reggie Jackson for power, RBIs and excitement on the field. Jackson finished 2nd in the AL with 32 HRs after he dipped to just 23 in 1970. It took 9 games into 1971 before Jackson hit his first and second round trippers of the season. He didn't hit 10th until the last day of May against the Yankees. Jackson hit 2 HRs in his final 3 games of the season that had him fall one back of Melton. Jackson was part of a 101 win season for the Athletics that were led by clubhouse leader Sal Bando that kept the A's personalities such as Jackson's in check.

Last edited by Big T; 08-30-2018 at 12:19 PM.
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