Friday, December 13, 2013
Best Seasons: Buddy Bell - 1979.
Coming in at number 34 is Buddy Bell, shown here on card number 1 of the 1985 Fleer Limited Edition set. Bell makes the list on the strength of his 1979 season.
In his first season with Texas, Buddy played in a league-leading and career high 162 games. That gave him a career high 720 plate appearances. He took advantage and posted a .299 batting average and a .327 on-base percentage. Neither were career bests but his 200 hits were. So were his 42 doubles, 89 runs scored, and 101 RBI. His 18 home runs were within two of a career high.
In the field Bell had a significantly higher range factor than other third basemen. He committed just 15 errors in 495 chances over 1210.2 innings. That gave him a .970 fielding percentage, that was 16 points higher than the league average at third.
Bell had amazed in his first season for Texas. He earned a Gold Glove and MVP consideration. He also started to build his reputation as possibly the best defensive player outside of catcher to ever suit up for Texas.