In the Major Leagues, there are many players who have the statistics to make it in the Hall of Fame. As baseball fans, we often get caught up in the luster surrounding the superstars of the game and as a result, we tend to harp on them and thus forget about the other key contributors who stayed out of the spotlight. Here are the five biggest forgotten legends:
5. Pete Gray- St Louis Browns- Not many people remember his name, but Gray is known for being the only player in Major League history to play with one arm. He lost right arm in a childhood accident. Gray played one season with the St. Louis Browns for a single season during World War II. In his brief career, Grey hit .218 with 13 RBIs and five stolen bases.
Gray attained a minor league batting average of .333 and a stolen-base record of 63; as a result, he was named the 1944 Southern League Most Valuable Player. On May 19, he played in Yankee Stadium, collecting five hits and two RBI as the Browns swept the Yankees.
4. Denny McLain- Detroit Tigers- In 1968, he went 31-6 with a 1.96 ERA. The right-hander also tossed 28 complete games as he took home both the AL Cy Young and MVP Awards in leading his team to the World Series against the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals. You don’t see pitchers win 30 games in this day and age.
3. Mickey Lolich- Detroit Tigers- Another pitcher from the famous Tigers 1968 pitching staff. The lanky lefty went 17-9 with a 3.19 ERA that year, overall very respectable numbers. When the postseason rolled around, he gave his best performance. Against the Cardinals, Lolich went 3-0 in three World Series starts, posting a 1.67 ERA and tossing a complete game each time.
2. Jack Chesbro- New York Yankees- “Happy Jack” had the most memorable season ever in 1904. Chesbro went 41-12 with a 1.82 ERA in tossing an astounding 454.2 innings. His record still stands.
1. Dick Allen – For his career, he hit
.292 with 351 homers and 1,119 RBI. Allen was the African-American player in the state of Arkansas, where the Phillies Triple-A team played in Little Rock, a hotbed of racial tension. Allen did his best work amidst the tension, leading the International League with 12 triples, 33 homers, 97 RBI’s and a .289 batting average. His bad attitude was legendary on and off the field.