Friday, August 14, 2009

1976 Topps #175 - Ken Singleton

  • Ken Singleton was a major league outfielder from 1970-1984. He spent most of his career with the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Ken was raised in Mount Vernon, New York and lived in a house once owned by Ralph Branca. Si ngleton was drafted by the New York Mets in 1967 (3rd overall pick). He played in the Mets' system from 1967-1970 and was called up to the big club after batting .388 with 17 homers in 64 games for AAA Tidewater. Ken made his major league debut on June 24, 1970. He batted .268 in 198 at bats in his rookie season.
  • In 1971 Singleton batted .245 with 13 home runs in 115 games. Just before the 1972 season he was traded with Tim Foli and Mike Jorgensen to the Montreal Expos for Rusty Staub. Ken became the Expos' starting left fielder and batted .274 with 14 home runs. The Expos had to order special double-knit uniforms for Ken because he had a troublesome rash from the Expos' wool uniforms. He had his best year with the Expos in 1974 when he batted .302 with 23 homers, 103 RBI, and 100 runs scored. He also led the NL with a .425 on-base percentage.
  • Ken hit only nine home runs in 1974 -- the only season besides his rookie year and his last year when he didn't have at least double figures in that category. After the season he and Mike Torrez were traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Rich Coggins, Dave McNally, and a minor leaguer. The trade definitely worked in Baltimore's favor, and Ken spent the rest of his career as an Oriole.
  • From 1975-1983 Ken was a very consistent player for the Orioles. His best seasons for the Orioles were 1977 (.328, 24 HR, 99 RBI, 3rd in MVP voting) and 1979 (.295, 35 HR, 111 RBI, 2nd in MVP voting). He had a good post-season for the Orioles in 1979 as he batted .375 in the ALCS and .357 in the World Series.
  • Ken slowed down during the 1984 season and batted only .215 in 111 games. He retired after the season. After his retirement he became a broadcaster. Ken was an analyst for the Montreal Expos from 1985-1996. He then joined the MSG network in New York and now works as the game analyst for the YES network.
  • Singleton wasn't a Hall of Famer, but his name always came into the conversation when people talked about the top outfielders in the AL in the seventies. He made three AL All Star teams (1977, 1979, 1981), was in the top ten in MVP voting four times, was in the top ten in on-base percentage nine times, and won the 1982 Roberto Clemente Award.

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