Oct 14, 1972: World Series power surge
Submitted by BTGrimes on Mon, 10/14/2013 - 7:00am
Must have had his Wheaties
CINCINNATI, OHIO - Oakland A's catcher Gene Tenace picked baseball's biggest stage to breakout as a power hitter on this date in 1972. He hit just 5 home runs during the entire 1972 regular season, but hit 4 in the World Series. Tenace hit 2 home runs on this date, driving in all 3 Oakland runs as the A's beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 in game one. Besides the 4 homers Tenace drove in 9 runs in the seven game series, and was named World Series Most Valuable Player. The A's won that World Series, and the next two ('73 and '74).
Born Fiore Gino Tennaci in Russellton, Pennsylvania, up until the '72 World Series, Gene Tenace was Dave Duncan's backup behind the plate. He hit a total of 20 home runs in his first four years with the A's. After his breakout World Series he became an every day player. He played a lot of first base, as Duncan - later Tony LaRussa's pitching coach for several teams - was a pretty good receiver and not a bad hitter himself.
Over the next eight seasons Tenace had home run totals of 24, 26, 29, 22, 15, 16, 20 and 17 playing for the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals in addition to the A's. He finished his fifteen year career with 201 home runs.
This baseball history story about Gene Tenace is brought to you by TODAY in BASEBALL.