Tuesday, May 12, 2009

1976 Topps #72 - Hal McRae

He looks like he's having a good time!
Hal McRae was a s0-s0 outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds, but his career took off after he was traded to the Kansas City Royals before the 1973 season. He became one of the best designated hitters of all time. Here is a 1982 Sports Illustrated article about Hal's prowess as a DH.
Hal made three All Star teams (1975, 1976, 1982) and got a World Series ring with the Royals in 1985. He had a lifetime .290 average in a 19-year career with the Reds and Royals.
George Brett beat out Hal for the 1976 batting title by going 2 for 4 in the last game of the season. Brett's average was less than .001 higher than McRae's average. Here is a Sports Illustrated article about that race (written before the season was over).
After his playing days, Hal managed the Royals from 1991 to 1994 and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2001 and 2002. McRae is now the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Here is a memorable tirade Hal had with some reporters in 1993. (one of these days I'll learn how to insert videos into blog entries)

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