Tony Perez is most famously known as a vital contributor to the success of the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine" teams of the 1970s. Finishing his career with 379 homers and 1,652 RBI, Perez also contributed his skills to the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. One of the premiere RBI men during his time, Perez drove in at least 100 runs on seven different occasions during his 23-year career. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
I completed this sketch card in August 2012.
Ten random facts about Tony Perez:
- Perez was selected to his first All-Star team in 1967, and was subsequently named MVP of the game when he hit a homer off Jim "Catfish" Hunter to help lead the National League to victory.
- He hit the first ever home run in Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium in 1970.
- He was converted from a third baseman to a first baseman in 1972.
- He hit 3 homers in the 1975 World Series, which helped propel the Reds to victory over the Red Sox.
- In an 11-year stretch between 1967 and 1977, Perez drove in 90 or more runs each year.
- During the 1970s, Perez was second in RBI (954), behind teammate Johnny Bench.
- In 1980, he won the Lou Gehrig Memorial award, which is given to players who best exemplify Gehrig's character and integrity both on and off the field.
- In 1983, Perez played for the Phillies alongside former Big Red Machine superstar teammates Joe Morgan and Pete Rose.
- Along with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Perez is also a member of the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.
- His uniform number (24) was retired by the Reds on May 27, 2000.