Don Buford

The compact, switch-hitting outfielder-handyman was a key member of the 1969-71 AL champion Orioles. After four years as a regular infielder with the White Sox, he went to Baltimore in the 1968 deal for Luis Aparicio. The 5’7″ team player was a top leadoff man, drawing walks, stealing bases, and scoring runs (99 in three consecutive years, leading the AL in ’71). He was also the most difficult man in modern baseball history to double up, grounding into only 33 double plays in 4553 at-bats. Buford led off the 1969 WS with a homer off Tom Seaver. After a disappointing 1972 season, he left the Orioles to play in Japan. Known there as “the greatest leadoff man in the world” for his heroics on the Orioles’ 1971 tour of Japan, he hit .270 with 65 HR in 1973- 76.