Gonzalez spent his best years with the Phillies (mid-1960 through 1968). The Cuban
led NL outfielders in fielding average three times, including 1962, when he had no
errors in 276 chances. He was the first regular centerfielder ever to field 1.000,
and only the third outfielder overall.
In 1967 Gonzalez's career-high .339 batting
average was second in the NL and the majors. He was a reliable hitter for average,
drew walks, and at times showed good power. He hit a career-high 20 HR in 1962 and
in 1963 his career highs of 36 doubles and 12 triples tied for third and finished
second in the NL, respectively.
Gonzalez was taken by the Padres in the expansion
draft, but was traded to the Braves in June 1969 and helped them to their division
title with a .294 average, 10 HR, and 50 RBI in 89 games for Atlanta. He homered
off the Mets' Tom Seaver in Game One of the LCS but also made the final error of
the Braves' blunder-filled eighth inning. With two out and the bases loaded, he let
J.C. Martin's single get past him in centerfield and three runs scored to put the
game out of reach. Gonzalez's .357 average in the series tied him with Hank Aaron
to lead Braves batters, and his four runs scored tied him with Rico Carty. Gonzalez
was sold to the Angels in mid-1970, and when he dropped to a career-low .245 average
in 1971, it ended his major league career.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»June 15, 1960:
Philadelphia sends Wally Post back to Cincinnati, along with OF Harry Anderson and 1B Fred Hopke, for outfielders Tony Gonzalez and Lee Walls. Gonzalez will be a reliable starter for nine years in Philley and, in 1962, will be the first CF to field 1.000.
»August 18, 1960: Facing just 27 batters, Lew Burdette pitches a 1–0 no-hitter against the Phillies. Tony Gonzalez, the only Phil to reach base, is hit by a Burdette pitch in the 5th inning but erased on a DP. The Milwaukee pitcher also scores the only run of the game.
»June 27, 1963:
The Phillie Ray Culp (10-5) beats the Pirates 13–4, but CF Tony Gonzalez's streak of 205 straight errorless games ends with a 7th-inning muff. Johnny Callison hits for the cycle for the only time in his career. Callison adds a walk and a throw from RF to catcher Dalrymple in the 4th that nips a runner. Dalrymple homers in the 8th.
»April 17, 1965:
Don Drysdale ties a major-league record by striking out four Phils -- Wes Covington, Tony Gonzalez, Dick Stuart, and Clay Dalrymple -- in order in the 2nd inning, but also gives up two home runs to lose 3–2. It is the 8th straight time the Phillies have beaten big Don.
»September 15, 1967: There are just two runs scored in the Phils-Dodgers doubleheader, and Los Angeles scores both, winning 1–0 in each game. In game one, Phils OF Tony Gonzalez is 2-for-4, giving him 30 hits for his last 55 at bats.
»October 4, 1969: The first League Championship Series begin in Atlanta and Baltimore. New York survives home runs by Hank Aaron and Tony Gonzalez off Tom Seaver and scores five runs off Phil Niekro in the 8th to coast home 9–5. Paul Blair's 12th-inning squeeze bunt gives the Orioles a 4–3 win over Minnesota.