Senator Del Unser Talks Triples

Posted January 13th, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Al Unser, Del Unser, Washington Senators
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.