Larry Hisle

Hisle, a soft-spoken orphan, was recruited for Ohio State University by the governor of Ohio, and signed with the Phillies while still enrolled. Despite tying the then-ML rookie record by striking out 152 times, Hisle was a Topps Rookie All-Star (.266, 20 HR) in 1969 even though he was still weak from a 1968 hepatitis infection. He had an abysmal sophomore season, batting .205 and fanning once every three at-bats. Traded and returned to the minors, he resurfaced with Minnesota in 1973 and blossomed. Fleet afoot, with a strong arm and excellent power, he became a top run producer in five seasons as a Twins regular, culminating in 1977 with a league-leading 119 RBI (.302, 28 HR). He didn’t get along with parsimonious Twins owner Calvin Griffith; as a free agent, Hisle signed a $3.2 million package with Milwaukee in 1978 and delivered 34 homers and 115 RBI to finish third in the AL MVP balloting. Brewer manager George Bamberger called him “the kind of player kids should look up to” and “without a doubt one of the nicest men I’ve ever known.” In April 1979, Hisle tore his rotator cuff making a throw and played just 79 games in four more ML seasons.