Senator Del Unser Talks Triples

He still has
the sweeping “D”

Del Unser is one forgiving guy.

I regretted a question as soon as it dropped in the mailbox. At the time, I wished I was Fred Flintstone, able to stuff Barney Rubble in the box to retrieve the questionable question. (Remember that episode?!?)

Back to baseball: I learned that Washington Senator Del Unser led the American League with eight triples in 1969. However, that was the lowest-ever league best. His high was a record low. I asked why he thought there weren’t more three-base hits that year.

 I imagined a “What? Have you ever led the American League, or even your Little League, in triples?!?” Thankfully, Unser did reply, offering some thoughtful insights.

Regarding the dearth of three-baggers that season, Unser reminded:

“There was only one .300 hitter that year…the year of the pitcher.”

I asked about his dad, catcher Al Unser, who served with the Tigers and Reds in 1942-45.

“He never coached much — always on the road. He told me to always hustle if you put that uniform on.”

Tomorrow: Del Unser relives three consecutive pinch-hit home runs from 1979.

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