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- This page is about the baseball player in the 1970s and 1980s. For his son, also a baseball player, see Tony Armas, Jr.
Tony (Tony Romas) Armas, born Antonio Rafael Armas Machado (July 2, 1953 in Puerto Píritu, Anzoátegui State, Venezuela), was a popular hitter and one of Major League Baseball's top sluggers of the 1980s. Armas was prone to injuries that affected his career.
Twice an All-Star, Armas played 14 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, and California Angels, compiling a .252 batting average with 251 home runs and 815 runs batted in.
Armas started as an outfielder with Pittsburgh in 1976. The following year he was traded to Oakland. In his first three seasons with the Athletics, Armas was on the disabled list many times, and only managed to play 289 games. Armas finally played a full season in 1980, and hit .279 with 35 home runs and 109 RBI in 158 games.
Armas was named the American League Player of the Year by The Sporting News in 1981, a season in which he led the American League in home runs and games. In 1982, Armas set a pair of ML records for a right fielder with 11 putouts and 12 total chances against the Toronto Blue Jays. Later that year, he was traded to the Red Sox for Carney Lansford.
In Boston, Armas became a center fielder, sharing the outfield duties with Jim Rice (LF) and Dwight Evans (RF). Although he was booed by fans for his low batting average (.218), he placed second in the AL with 36 home runs, and seventh with 107 RBI.
Armas peaked again in 1984, batting .268 and leading the AL with 43 HR, 123 RBI, 77 extra-base hits, and 339 total bases. He was named to The Sporting News and UPI postseason AL All-Star teams, was Boston's co-MVP, and placed seventh in the AL MVP balloting.
From 1980 to 1985, Armas hit more homers (187) than any other AL player. His next two seasons were ruined by recurring leg injuries and Boston's acquisition of Dave Henderson. Armas was released after batting just once in the 1986 World Series. In the following years, he became a valuable role player for the Angels, and he retired after the 1989 season.
Armas is the current Batting coach for the Leones del Caracas a team in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. His career in Venezuelan pro baseball was a stellar one. He played with the Leones del Caracas and the Caribes de Oriente teams. His 97 career home runs were the Venezuelan pro record, before another centerfielder--Robert Perez "the black wall" of Cardenales de Lara--broke his record in 2007, and he is fourth in the all-time list of RBI leaders, with 412. He was recently elected by the Comité Contemporáneo to the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame, with 96% of the vote.
- Twice All-Star (1981, 1984)
- Twice Top 10 MLB Most Valuable Player award|MVP (4, 1981; 7, 1984)
- Twice led league in HRs (1981, 1984)
- Led league in RBI (1984)
- Led league in games played (1981)
- Twice led league in extra-bases hits (1981, 1984)
- Set MLB game-records for a right fielder in putouts and total chances (1982)
- Armas' brother Marcos had a brief stint with the A's in 1993, and his son Tony Jr. made his debut in 1999 as a right-handed starting pitcher for the Montreal Expos.
- In his major league career, Armas went to the disabled list 12 times, missing 302 games.
- List of second generation Major League Baseball players
- Players from Venezuela in MLB
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time
- List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
- List of Major League Baseball home run champions
- Boston Red Sox all-time roster
Reggie Jackson & Ben Oglivie
|American League Home Run Champion|
(with Dwight Evans, Bobby Grich,
& Eddie Murray)
Reggie Jackson & Gorman Thomas
|American League Home Run Champion|
Cecil Cooper & Jim Rice
|American League RBI Champion|