White: Ike’s bodyguards with the Los Angeles Angels

From SABR member Gaylon White at The Bilko Athletic Club on January 13, 2016:

Anybody that collected baseball cards in 1957 can vividly remember one showing Ted Kluszewski in a Cincinnati Redlegs uniform with the sleeves slashed to show the most powerful arms outside of a military installation. He was already known as “Big Klu” because of his size, 6-foot-2 and nearly 250 pounds. The card symbolized strength and raw power before that image was corrupted by sluggers on steroids.

Big Klu is one of 50 players eligible for election in 2016 to the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals. This stirs memories of his bulging biceps and the 1961 season when he shared first base duties for the Los Angeles Angels with Stout Steve Bilko, aka the Slugging Seraph for the Angels of the old Pacific Coast League (PCL).

The Shrine of the Eternals recognizes players who have altered the baseball world in ways that supersede statistics. Bilko was inducted into the Shrine of the Eternals in 2015. If Big Klu is one of the top three vote getters, he and Bilko will be together again.

The Angels were forced to leave L.A. in 1958 by the Dodgers. They were resurrected by the American League as part of its westward expansion.

Read the full article here: http://www.bilkoathleticclub.com/blog/ikes-bodyguards/

Originally published: January 13, 2016. Last Updated: January 13, 2016.