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Rico Carty – 1973 Topps #435

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   Ricardo Adolfo Jacobo CartyRicardo Adolfo Jacobo Carty (born September 1, 1939 San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic) Nicknamed Beeg Boy, he played mostly as an outfielder in Major League Baseball from 1963 to 1979. Carty played for the Milwaukee Braves, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs of the National League and the Oakland A’s, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers of the American League. Carty’s career was marked by battles with injuries, illnesses and with team mates. Carty signed a contract with the Milwaukee Braves as a free agent in 1959. While he was an excellent hitter, he had poor defensive skills. Originally a catcher, Carty was converted into an outfielder in order to lessen his defensive liabilities and to get his bat into the everday lineup. After four years in the minor leagues, Carty made an impressive major league debut in 1964, finishing second to Roberto Clemente in the National League Batting Championship with a .330 batting average and, finishing the season as runner-up to Dick Allen in the 1964 National League Rookie of the Year Award ballot. Carty had his best season in 1970 when he hit 25 home runs with 101 runs batted in and, won the National League Batting Championship with a .366 batting average, the highest average in the major leagues since Ted Williams recorded a .388 batting average in 1957. Despite not appearing on the All-Star ballot, he was voted to be a starting outfielder for the National League as a write-in candidate in the 1970 All-Star Game, playing alongside Hank Aaron and Willie Mays in the outfield. Carty also compiled a 31-game hitting streak in 1970 (the longest by a Brave in the franchise’s Atlanta history until it was surpassed by Dan Uggla’s 33-game streak in 2011) and, finished 10th in the 1970 National League Most Valuable Player Award voting.

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