1977: Bob Watson
Bob Watson had called Houston home since his debut in 1966 at 20 years old. In 1966, in only their second season as the “Houston Astros”, the franchise finally got over the 70-win mark (72-90). Watson’s nickname was “Bull,” and he came up through the minor leagues as a catcher.
He was a great overall hitter, and one has to wonder how his home run totals were affected by playing in the spacious Astrodome for his Houston career.He appeared in two All-Star games during the 1973 and 1975 seasons.
Watson was used at first base, the outfield, and even at catcher. In 1976, Bob Watson finally settled into a set position of first base after 9 years of being a utility player. With Lee May at first base from 1972-1975, Watson played sporadically at first base. Throughout Watson’s early career, he hit for average, 20-25 home runs, above 90 runs batted in, while scoring runs at a good clip.
In 1977, Bob Watson appeared settled in at first base after Lee May went to Baltimore. He had his best season that year while playing first base.
His stats (from Baseball Reference):
- .289 BA/.360 OBP/.498 SLG/.858 OPS
- 160 hits
- 76 runs
- 38 doubles
- 3 triples
- 22 HRs
- 110 RBI
- 57 walks
- 5.4 WAR
The 1977 season was Watson’s best. He set career marks in home runs and runs batted in. He finished 5th that season in doubles hit with 38 and in runs batted in with 110. Bob Watson finished his career with a career WAR of 28.2.
Did You Know: Bob Watson was the GM of the Yankees when they won the World Series in 1996. He served as vice president of major league baseball over discipline until 2010.
Next: 1986: Glenn Davis