Antonio Rafael Armas Machado (born July 2, 1953) is a Venezuelan former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as an outfielder from 1976 to 1989. He is the father of pitcher Tony Armas Jr. and the older brother of outfielder Marcos Armas.
Armas Sr. was one of the top power hitters in the American League in the early 1980s. Twice he led the American League in home runs, and topped all of Major League Baseball in runs batted in during the 1984 season. He was, however, prone to injuries that affected his career. In his major league career, Armas went to the disabled list twelve times, missing 302 games.
Armas debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ Gulf Coast League affiliate in 1971 just shy of his eighteenth birthday. He spent six seasons in their farm system, batting .270 with 69 home runs when he received a September call-up in 1976. He appeared in four games for the Pirates, and collected two hits in six at-bats.
During spring training in 1977, Armas, Doug Bair, Dave Giusti, Rick Langford, Doc Medich and Mitchell Page were dealt to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Chris Batton, Phil Garner and Tommy Helms.
Armas was the opening day right fielder for the A’s in 1977, though by the end of the season, he was starting in center and saw most of his action there. Armas’ inability to stay healthy limited him to just 91 games in 1978 and 80 in 1979. For 1980, Armas became a full-time right fielder, and finally played a full season, batting .279 with 35 home runs and 109 runs batted in in 158 games.
In the strike shortened 1981 season, Armas tied for the league lead in home runs (22) and games played (109) to be named the American League Player of the Year by The Sporting News. In 1982 he set a pair of major league records with eleven putouts and twelve total chances in right field in a single game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Following the season he was traded, along with Jeff Newman, to the Boston Red Sox for Carney Lansford, Garry Hancock and minor leaguer Jerry King.