Dick Dietz of the San Francisco Giants was named National League Player of the Month over some stiff competition. Dietz was an obvious choice after his month of a .453 average with 6 home runs and 23 RBI in 17 April games. Tony Perez and Bobby Tolan would likely have won the honor any other month. Perez and Tolan have paced the newly-minted “Big Red Machine” in Cincinnati that ran over any and all comers in April to the tune of an 18-4 record, the best in baseball. Perez hit 9 home runs and drove in 25 in 22 games, but batted a mere .389 compared to Dietz. Tolan batted .394 with six homers and 23 RBI also in 22 games. This it the first monthly honor for Dietz.
In the American League, Detroit’s All-Star catcher Bill Freehan is also a first-time Player of the Month winner. Freehan is leading the way in what hopes to be a rebound season for the former back-to-back champions in Motown. Bill batted .448 with 5 home runs and 20 RBI in 18 April games. After finishing 20 games out albeit in second place last season, Detroit looks to stay in the hunt this season. The Tigers, with the help of Freehan and company, are only 2 1/2 games off the pace of Baltimore and Boston as the calendar turns to May.