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Highlights... 1950s Highlights... 1950s

Popcorn, Peanuts, Cracker Jack - 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' Old Baseball HIstory

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The Ballpark was the place to be during the 1950s, and even though the Yankees won eight pennants and six World Series every team had their popular big name stars.

The Brooklyn Dodgers had Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider and Gil Hodges.

The Boston Red Sox had Ted Williams - The last .400 hitter in baseball

The St. Louis Cardinals Stan Musial, the Detroit Tigers had George Kell and Billy Hoeft, the Chicago White Sox, Nellie Fox and Minnie Minoso.

The Pittsburgh Pirates had home run hitting Ralph Kiner, and even the lowly Philadelphia Athletics had their main men, owner Connie Mack and Ferris Fain, and later they acquired slugger Gus Zernial in a trade with the White Sox.

Seven Hall of Fame rookies burst onto the scene during the 1950s

Willie Mays - Baseball's Superstar of the New York Giants, Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs, Al Kaline - Detroit Tigers 1953-1974  'Hammering Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves, Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford of the New York Yankees.



Ralph Kiner, Pittsburgh Pirates 47... Andy Pafko, Chicago Cubs 36... Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers 32... Hank Sauer, Cubs 32... Roy Campanella, Brooklyn 31... Duke Snider, Brooklyn 31...Del Ennis, Philadelphia Phillies 31

Stan Musial, St. Louis Cardinals 28... Sid Gordon, Boston Braves 27... Ted Kluszewski, Cincinnati Reds 25... Bobby Thomson, New York Giants 25... Willie 'Puddin Head ' Jones, Phillies 25


Al Rosen, Cleveland Indians 37... Walt Dropo, Boston Red Sox 34... Joe DiMaggio, Yankees 32... Vern Stephens, Red Sox 30... Gus Zernial, Chicago White Sox 29... Yogi Berra, Yankees 28... Luke Easter, Indians 28... Ted Williams, Red Sox 28... Bobby Doerr, Red Sox 27... Vic Wertz, Detroit Tigers 27... Larry Doby, Indians 25... Johnny Mize 25

In 1951 Stan Musial won another major league batting title and Ferris Fain captured his first of two straight AL crowns.



Stan Musial, St. Louis Cardinals .355... Richie Ashburn, Philadelphia Phillies .344... Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers .338... Monte Irvin, New York Giants .312... Johnny Wyrostek, Cincinnati Reds .311... Ralph Kiner, Pittsburgh Pirates .309... Alvin Dark, Giants .303


Ferris Fain, Philadelphia Athletics .344... Minnie Minoso, Chicago White Sox .326... George Kell, Detroit Tigers .319... Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox .318... Nellie Fox, White Sox .313... Johnny Pesky, Red Sox .313... Bobby Avila, Cleveland Indians .304... Gil Coan, Washington Senators .303... Elmer Valo, Athletics .302. 

Who among veteran fans can forget Ned Garver of the St. Louis Browns in 1951 winning 20 games of the last place team's 52 wins. Remember Jim Piersall who flew around center-field for the Boston Red Sox. In 1953 Piersall replaced Dom DiMaggio, Joe's brother... Dom had to retire early due to failing eye sight.

How about the year Cleveland's third baseman Al Rosen had in 1953 when he became the first-ever unanimous choice for the AL Most Valuable Player. Rosen led the American League with 43 home runs, led the league by scoring 115 runs, led in RBIs with 145, led in total bases with 367 and finished second to Washington's Mickey Vernon in batting by a half of a percentage point, with .336.

For a photo and bio of Al Rosen, please see All-Stars 1950s located on the Home Page. 


Mickey Mantle, Yankees .995... Larry Doby, Indians .994... Jim Piersall, Red Sox .993... Duke Snider, Brooklyn .989... Roy Sievers, Washington .988... Gus Bell, Reds .987... Jim Busby, White Sox .987... Del Ennis, Phillies .987... Bill Tuttle, Tigers .985... Frank Thomas, Pirates .984... Richie Ashburn, Phillies .983... Willie Mays, NY Giants .982... Hank Bauer, Yankees .981... Carl Furillo, Brooklyn .981... Jim Rivera, White Sox .981... Al Kaline, Tigers .979... Roberto Clemente, Pirates .978 

1950s Players' Bios:

Harvey Kuenn, OF, SS, 3B, 1B RH; Detroit Tigers 1952-1959 - Voted Rookie of the Year in 1953 by hitting .308, with 33 doubles and 94 runs scored. Kuenn won the American League's batting crown in 1959 with .353, played in six All-Star games, led the league in hits four times and three times in doubles. He hit over .300 seven times in his first eight major league seasons. Harvey Kuenn career stats: .303 BA, 2,092 Hits, 356 Ds, 56 Ts, 87 Hr, 951 Runs, 671 RBIs, 594 Walks, 404 Ks... Detroit 1952-59; Cleveland 1960; San Francisco 1961-65, Cubs 1966. Managed the Milwaukee Brewers and led them to the 1982 World Series. 

Frank Baumholtz Outfielder LH, Reds 1947-49; Cubs 1949-55; Phillies 1956-57 - an All-American basketball guard for Ohio University, and then, was drafted into the military during World War II. A line drive hitter, Frankie Baumholtz debuted with Cincinnati in '47 and hit .283 with 32 doubles... in '48 he batted .296. He was traded in June '49 to the Cubs along with teammate Hank Sauer for outfielders 'Harry the Hat' Walker and Peanuts Lowery. From 1951 thru 1955, he batted .284, .325, .306, .297 and .289. After being traded to the Phillies in 1956 the 38-year Baumholtz was mainly used as a pinch hitter. Baumholtz career stats: .290 BA, 1,010 hits in 1,019 Games, 165 Ds, 51 Ts, 25 Hr, 450 runs, 275 RBIs, 258 W and 258 Ks.

For a photo and bio of Hank Sauer, please see All-Stars 1950s located on the Home Page



Billy Pierce, White Sox 1.97...Ed 'Whitey' Ford, Yankees 2.63... Early Wynn, Indians 2.82... Herb Score, Indians 2.85... Frank Sullivan, Red Sox 2.91... Billy Hoeft, Tigers 2.99... Bob Turley, Yankees 3.06... Frank Lary, Tigers 3.10... Tommy Byrne, Yankees 3.15... Dick Donovan, White Sox 3.32... Jack Harshman, White Sox 3.32

Jim Wilson, Orioles 3.44... Johnny Schmitz, Senators 3.71... Mickey McDermott, Senators 3.75... Bob Lemon, Indians 3.88... Virgil Trucks, White Sox 3.96... Ned Garver, Tigers 3.98... Steve Gromek, Tigers 3.98


Bob Friend, Pirates 2.83... Don Newcombe, Brooklyn 3.20... Bob Buhl, Milw Braves 3.21... Warren Spahn, Milw Braves 3.26... Robin Roberts, Phillies 3.28... Johnny Antonelli, NY Giants 3.33... Joe Nuxhall, Reds 3.47... Paul Minner, Cubs 3.48

Murry Dickson, Phillies 3.50... Bob Rush, Cubs 3.50 ... Jim Hearn, NY Giants 3.73... Carl Erskine, Brooklyn 3.79... Vern Law, Pirates 3.81... Art Fowler, Reds 3.90... Johnny Podres, Brooklyn 3.95

Dick Donovan, Pitcher Throws RH Bats LH, White Sox 1955-60 - born and raised in Boston, Donovan broke into the majors with the old Boston Braves but spent most of his first 4 years bouncing back-and-forth into the minors. He was traded to the White Sox in 1955 and became one the league finest pitchers. In his first year with the Pale Hose, Donovan started throwing a slider to go with his fastball and finished at 15-9, threw 5 shutouts in 24 starts and completed 11 games. In 1957 he led the majors in winning percentage with his 16-6 mark, .727 pct. In 1958 he was 15-14, 3.01 ERA. He pitched with the expansion Washington Senators in '61 and lead the AL with a 2.40 ERA, posted a 10-10 record for the last place Senators. He was traded to Cleveland in '61 and had a career year in '62 - 20-10, 3.59 ERA. Dick Donovan career stats: 122-99, 3.67 ERA, 345 G, 273 GS, 101 GC, 25 shutouts, allowed 1988 hits in 2017.3 innings... Boston (NL) 1950-52, Tigers 1954, White Sox 1955-60, Wash. Senators 1960, Indians 1962-65.

Billy Hoeft, Pitcher LH, Detroit 1952-59 - the 6'3"- 215-pounder broke into the majors at age 20 with Detroit Tigers in 1952 and was 2-7 in 125 innings, and by the mid-'50s, was one of the league's leading pitchers. In 1955 Hoeft hurled seven shutouts, went 16-7, 2.99 ERA and had a fine .229 opponents batting average. He followed that by winning 20 games the next year (1956) - a 20-14 mark and completed 18 of the 34 games he started, including 4 shutouts. After being traded in 1960, Hoeft was mainly used as a reliever. Billy Hoeft career stats: 92-101 W/L, 3.94 ERA, 505 Games, 200 GS, 75 GC, 1,847 innings, 17 Shutouts, 33 Saves, 1140 Ks, 685 Walks... Detroit 1952-59; Baltimore 1960-62; SF Giants 1963; Milw Braves 1964; Cubs 1965-66 

Bob Friend, Pitcher RH, Pittsburgh Pirates 1951-1965, Yankees 1966 - attended Purdue University and debuted with the Pirates in 1951... one of baseball's workhorses, in 16 major league seasons, Bob Friend hurled 3,611 innings - averaging over 200 per/year. After posting more loses than wins in his first four years with the second division Pirates, he was 14-9, 2.83 ERA in 1955, and became the only pitcher in history to lead the league in ERA for a team that finished in last place. In 1956, he followed with a 17-17 W/L record, a 3.46 ERA, and completed 19 of 42 starts, and led the NL with 314.3 innings. Friend again led the league in innings pitched in 1957 with 277. He won 22 games in 1958 (22-14, 3.68 ERA) for the Pirates, who finished in second place with a 84-70 record - 8 games behind the pennant winning Milwaukee Braves. Friend never walked more than 85 batters in a season even though he pitched over 200 innings in 11 seasons. Bob Friend's career: 197-230 W/L, 3.58 ERA, 602 Games, 497 GS, 163 GC, 36 Shutouts, 3,772 hits, 3,611 innings, 1966 Ks, 894 Walks, a nice .269 opponents batting average. For a photo and bio of Bob Friend, please see All-Stars 1950s located on the Home Page.

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