Originally written on Big League Stew  |  Last updated 12/1/11

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Stanford Routt #26 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball after an interception as George Foster #72 of the Detroit Lions defends during an NFL game on September 9, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Big League Stew honors a birthday boy per week by taking a longer look at his career. Please join us in lighting the candles. George Foster was one strong dude. He exploded for 52 homers in 1977 back when that actually meant something and was the only player between Willie Mays in 1965 and Cecil Fielder in 1990 to hit that mark. (For comparison's sake, there have been 24 seasons of 50 or more home runs between 1995 and 2011.) Still, 1977 was somewhat out of character for Foster. He hit 52 in 1977, 40 in 1978, 30 in 1979, and fewer than 30 in every other season of his career. After being drafted by the San Francisco Giants, who already had their corner outfield position occupied by Bobby Bonds, Foster was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. He'd spend the next 10 seasons as a key member of the Big Red Machine, batting a combined .326 in three World Series appearances. He then was traded to the Mets at the age of 33, who signed him to a five-year, $10 million contract, only to see him post...
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