Luzinski earned the nickname The Bull with his bulging arms, thick neck, massive body, and vicious righthanded batting stroke. As the Phillies’ left fielder in the 1970s, he teamed with third baseman Mike Schmidt to form a potent slugging combination and help the Phillies to four NL East championships in five years.
The 6’1″ 220-lb Luzinski reached the ML for good in 1972, with two minor league home run crowns, one minor league batting championship, and three minor league strikeout titles on his resume. He hit .281 with 18 HR as a rookie, and .285 with 29 HR and 97 RBI in 1973, the year Schmidt joined the lineup. From 1975 to 1980, the pair averaged nearly 66 HR a year. Luzinski was hobbled by knee surgery in 1974 but rebounded in 1975 to hit .300 with 34 HR and an NL-best 120 RBI. The Bull still routinely struck out 100 times a season, yet pushed his average up to .304 the following year as the Phillies won the first of three consecutive division titles, and in 1977 he logged career highs in all three Triple Crown categories, batting .309 with 39 HR and 130 RBI. In LCS play, Luzinski was just as dangerous, slugging home runs in Game Two in 1976, Game One in 1977, and Games Three and Four in 1978, but the Phillies lost all three series. Luzinski’s production fell off badly in 1979, and in 1980 his average dropped to .228, but the Phillies finally advanced past the LCS with a five-game victory over the Astros, as Luzinski homered to win Game One. In the WS, the Phillies used the clumsy-fielding Luzinski primarily as the designated hitter and he failed to get a single hit, but the Phillies beat the Royals in six games.
Luzinski was sold to the White Sox before the 1981 season and he immediately became Chicago’s full-time DH, where he no longer had to endure criticism for his wretched defense. He played four seasons in Chicago, helping them to the AL West title in 1983 with 32 HR and 95 RBI, then retired after hitting .238 with 13 HR in 1984. The Bull is fourth on the Phillies all-time home run list, behind Schmidt, Del Ennis, and Chuck Klein.