Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays Fall Short
Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays collected just one RBI and no home runs between them in the 1951 World Series. When they next opposed each other in earnest -- in the 1962 World Series -- they again had just one RBI and no home runs between them.
Yogi Berra is Named 1951 American League MVP
The 1951 baseball season was the first time that the MVP in each league was a catcher. Yogi Berra not only outdistanced all other American League catchers at the plate (.294 average, 27 home runs), but he also led them in assists and double plays. Apart from Berra and National League MVP Roy Campanella, no catcher in either league received a single MVP vote.
Bob Feller Posts .733 Win Pct.
Gone by 1951 was Bob Feller's legendary fastball. But what he had lost in speed he compensated with guile, finishing the season at 22-8. Feller gave up a lot of hits and a lot of runs in the latter part of his career, but remained a winner until nearly the end. His .733 win percentage in 1951 was his career-high.
A Teary Joe DiMaggio Departs
In a rare display of emotion, Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement after the 1951 season. Former Yankees teammate Red Ruffing, skeptical of DiMaggio at first, subsequently said, "You saw him standing there and you knew you had a pretty damn good chance to win the baseball game."
The 1951 New York Giants Take the Opening Game
Giants batter Bobby Thomson hurls himself out of the way, as Monte Irvin stuns the Yankees by stealing home in the first inning of the opening game of the 1951 World Series. Irvin's run, the Giants' second of the contest, was all the team needed, as Dave Koslo cruised to a 5-1 win
Eddie Gaedel Pinch Hits -- Once
Eddie Gaedel is the only player who had just one plate appearance in the major leagues. He pinch-hit for St. Louis Browns leadoff man Frank Saucier in the second game of a doubleheader against the Tigers on August 19, 1951. His name was Eddie Gaedel, and he stood about 2-1/2 feet shorter than his discoverer, Bill Veeck.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1951 baseball season.
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