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1949-52 Rookie Prospects  St. Louis Cardinals 1949-52 Rookie Prospects St. Louis Cardinals

Some hidden talent among these young baseball players Baseball History

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St. Louis Cardinals (1949-1952) Rookie Prospects
In checking over our Archives-Database we note a list of hopeful rookies in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system during the years spanning 1949-1952. A few made the big-leagues, most did not. Perhaps some fans can look for their grandfather, a long lost uncle or maybe a long ago friend. Remember, too, in 1950 there were only 16 major league teams, 8 in each league; a total of only 200 position players for the whole major leagues, and around 180 pitchers. Currently the major league total rosters contain 900-1000 players. Surely some of the rookie prospects would be major leaguers- drawing big mega- dollars. Different time, different era that's all.

Here's the list of 'Rookie Prospects':

Steve Bilko, Right-handed, Ht. 6'1, Wt. 215lbs- 1949 Season - 1st Baseman, at Rochester, International League ... Bilko pounded 34 home runs, 125 RBI and batted .310 ... he's the top Cardinal prospect and considered a prize catch.

Larry Miggins, RH, Ht 6'4, Wt 195lbs - 1950 Season - First base rookie candidate for the Cardinals has had 4 good minor league seasons, last year for Columbus in AA hit .281. In 1951, Miggins was brought up to the Cardinals after driving in 108 runs for Houston AAA where he clouted 27 home runs and collected 273 total bases. Our special thanks to Mr. Miggins (after a ballgame in Wrigley Field in 1952) he autographed our manager's old 'Who's Who' magazine. Thanks again. Archives - Note: During this era, the Cardinals moved Hall of Famer Stan Musial to first base, so our hero Larry Miggins saw only limited playing time.

John Bucha, Catcher, RH, Ht. 6', Wt 215lbs - 1950 Season - This fine defensive catcher batted .289 for Rochester. The Cardinals have high hopes for this young backstop. Needs a couple more years of seasoning.

Willmer 'Vinegar Bend' Mizell, LH Pitcher; Ht.6'3 1/2, Wt. 205lbs, 1951 season - 'Vinegar Bend' Mizell was a big name star even before he joined the major leagues..... heralded as the greatest pitching prospect since 'Dizzy' Dean'. His command of his fastball enabled the young phoneme to strike out 257 batters in 238 innings for Houston, AAA. Mizell pitched 20 complete games and had a mere 1,97 ERA. If Uncle Sam doesn't get Mizell in the military soon, he'll probably rank as the King of the Rookies in 1952. Our special thanks go to 'Vinegar Bend' for the nice autograph in our old 1952 'Who's Who' magazine. Way to Go!

Earl Weaver, Infielder, Ht.5'7, Wt. 160lbs - 1951 Season - Played for Omaha in '51, fine base runner, rates as good fielder. Batted .279.... The Cardinals hope this promising rookie prospect will make the squad big-time soon.

Bill Howerton, Outfielder, Ht. 5'11; Wt. 180lbs. 1950 Season - A very promising outfielder from Americus, Georgia, batted .329 AA ball and joined the Cardinals late in '50. Hit .308 in 8 games for the major league team.

Ed Mickelson, First Baseman, Ht. 6'3, Wt. 202lbs- 1950 Season - Another great 1st base prospect for the Cardinals. Mickelson was one of the hottest hitters in the minors last year. Played 22 games for Lynchburg, hitting .393; was shipped to Montgomery and hit an awesome .417.

Rip Repulski, Outfielder, RH, Ht. 6'; Wt. 193lbs. - 1950 Season - An outfielder who has done quite a lot of heavy hitting the past 3 years. Rip hit .337 with Columbus, Georgia.

Jay Van Noy, Outfielder, Bats Left, T RH, Ht. 6'1; Wt. 200lbs - 1951 Season - Played in 97 games for Rochester, N.Y. in 1951. Jay lined 14 home runs and hit .225.

Solly Hemus, Second Baseman, Bats Left, T RH, Ht. 5'9; Wt 175 - 1949 Season - Solly hit 328 for Columbus AA ball, and batted .333 ford the Cardinals in 9 games. A very promising rookie prospect, looks like a sure major league star. A hustling 2nd baseman who may be a regular before long.

Tom Keating, Right-handed Pitcher, Ht. 6'2; Wt. 210lbs - 1950 Season - Rates high on the lists of baseball scouts. Started Last season as a pitcher for Houston (minors) going 4-1, advanced to Hamilton and drew big-league attention with record of 13-1.

Tommy Poholsky, Right-handed Pitcher, Ht 6'3; Wt. 205. 1950 Season - Most Valuable Player in the International League in '50 while hurling for Rochester. He pitched a 22 inning complete game win, led the league in complete games with 21, in wins with 18 and in ERA 2.17. Looks like a future major league pitcher.

Vince Moreci, Left-handed Outfielder, Ht 5' 10", Wt 170 lbs. Played for Rochester in 1951 and hit .248, should do better. Started in pro ball as a pitcher, switched to outfielder.

Octavio Rubert, Right-handed Pitcher, 6 feet, 160 pounds. Throws an outstanding fastball. Pitched in 1951 weith Houston (minors in this time). Posted a sterling 19-5 record, with a stingy 2.28 earned run average per 9 innings. Should move up to majors soon.

Ed Kazak, Right-handed Infielder, 5 feet 11 inches, 175 pounds. An all-around athlete, quick fielder... played a few games with Cardinals in '51, rest of season hit .304 with Houston ( minors in this time).  Scouts rate high range, scrappy, quick hands.

Les Fusselman, Right-handed Catcher, 6 feet 1 inch, 195 lbs. Strong, good worker. Could make Cardinals roster in 1952.

Jim Dickey, Infielder, Left-handed, 6 feet, 180 pounds. Power hitter, lined 20 round-trippers two straight years for Columbus, Georgia in '51.

Ralph Beard, Right-handed Pitcher, 6 feet 4 inches, 185 pounds. Tosses a very fast fastball. Went 13-4 for Allentown, with a miserly 1.69 ERA. Must learn to control fastball. Looks very promising.

Vern Benson, Right-handed, 5 ft 11 inches, 180. Third Baseman. In 1951 batted .308, with 18 home runs and 89 RBIs. Good all-around, but will have a hard time breaking into the majors with Cardinals because Ken Boyer plays third base.

Hal Coffman, Pitcher 6 ft 1 inch, 172 lbs. His pitch comes over home plate quickly. Was 11-7 with a 2.96 ERA for Ohama in 1951. Might be in majors soon. Only time will tell.

Jack Cullom Lefty Pitcher, 5 ft 7 1/2 inches, 160 pounds... compiled a sterling 15-8 record with Rochester in 1951, then joined St Louis Cardinals late in season... won 2 lost 1 with a 1.59 ERA. Looks impressive.

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