A popular power hitter, Tony Armas was one of baseball’s top sluggers until injuries took their toll. Developed in the Pittsburgh organization, he went to Oakland in a blockbuster, nine-player deal on March 15, 1977. Various injuries held him back until 1980, when he hit .279 with 35 HR and 109 RBI. He was named AL Player of the Year by The Sporting News in 1981, tying for the league lead in homers and games played, but leading the league in strikeouts. A year later, the free swinger was traded to Boston for the more consistent Carney Lansford in a five-player deal.
Armas peaked again in 1984 (.268, 43 HR, 123 RBI). He was named to TSN and UPI postseason AL all-star teams and was Boston’s co-MVP. From 1980 to 1985, Armas hit more homers than any AL player. The Venezuelan’s next two seasons were ruined by leg injuries. He was replaced by Dave Henderson in the Boston outfield and released after batting just once in the 1986 World Series. He became a valuable role player for the Angels.