Ben Oglivie

Tall and slender with a strong-wristed lefthanded stroke, Oglivie spent 16 ML seasons in the AL’s Eastern Division, but didn’t blossom as a power hitter until the latter half of his career. He hit three home runs in a game for the Brewers three times, all after turning 30, and he lead the AL with 41 HR in 1980. The native Panamanian was a free-swinger who disdained bases on balls, yet he rarely flailed wildly, striking out 80 times in a season only twice.

Originally signed by the Red Sox, he could not crack Boston’s starting lineup in 1971-73, and was traded to the Tigers for second baseman Dick McAuliffe. Oglivie played more regularly in Detroit, but was still on the bench enough to lead the AL in pinch hits in 1976, and after hitting .262 with 21 HR as the Tigers rightfielder in 1977, he was traded to the Brewers for pitchers Jim Slaton and Rich Folkers. He hit .303 in his first season in Milwaukee, then belted 29 HR in 1979 before recording career highs across the board in 1980, batting .304 with 41 HR and 118 RBI. His batting average plummeted into the .240s in 1981-82, but he still hit 34 HR in 1982 to help the Brewers to their only WS appearance, and in the WS he homered in a losing effort against the Cardinals in Game Seven.

Oglivie’s HR production waned after the 1982 season, and after hitting only five in 103 games in 1986, he left the ML to play in Japan. He returned to the U.S. in 1989, and signed a minor league contract with the Brewers.