Harvey Kuenn: All Hit, No Field
Harvey Kuenn was a polished hitter from the first day he played in the majors -- his 209 hits led both loops in 1953, his rookie season -- yet his offensive contributions were diminished by his lack of power and low walk totals. In the field, he was a liability regardless of where he played. Rather amazingly, he began as a shortstop.
Mickey Mantle Hits One out of Sight
Mickey Mantle hit a gargantuan home run in 1953 at Washington’s Griffith Stadium. In his third season with the Yankees, Mantle had yet to realize his full potential as a slugger. He collected just 21 four-baggers that year.
Preacher Roe Passes Torch to Podres
Preacher Roe had an 11-3 record for the Dodgers in 1953, giving him a three-year mark of 44-8. Rookie Johnny Podres was 9-4 that season and would replace Roe the following year as the club’s top southpaw hurler.
Eddie Mathews, 21, Clubs 47 HRs
In 1953, Eddie Mathews became the first third baseman since the end of the dead-ball era to lead the National League in home runs that year (47). Moreover, his 135 RBI set a 20th-century record in the Braves franchise. Only 21 years old at the time, Mathews never again matched his 1953 slugging figures.
Four 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers Score at Will
The Dodgers had six players who scored over 100 runs in 1953. The four club leaders were Junior Gilliam (125), Pee Wee Reese (108), Duke Snider (132), and Jackie Robinson (109). All four also finished among the top five in the National League in stolen bases, totaling 76 swipes.
Jackie Robinson Still Has Magic
Jackie Robinson was switched to left field in 1953 after Andy Pafko was traded to the Braves. He was 34 years of age and near the end of his career, yet he still managed to hit .329 and knock in 95 runs.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1953 baseball season.
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