In 1954, the Browns moved from St. Louis to Baltimore, and Duke Snider had a top-notch season. Here are some of the headlines from the 1954 baseball season:
Bobby Avila, Willie Mays Hit .340-Plus
Bobby Avila came in second in the American League with a .341 batting average in 1954; Willie Mays topped the National League with his .345 mark that year. Avila was the last Indian to win a hitting crown. Two years later, he hit .224 and had just 115 hits in 138 games.
The 1954 St. Louis Browns Head East
Bill Veeck might have remained the St. Louis Browns owner if the franchise could have been shifted to the West Coast or even to Kansas City. The team's move to Baltimore after the 1953 season seemed against the grain to him, and events proved him right. Apart from the Browns and the ill-conceived Seattle Pilots, every franchise shift since 1954 has resulted in a move from a city east of the Mississippi to one in either the West or South.
Duke Snider Can't Carry the 1954 Brooklyn Dodgers
Duke Snider had his finest all-around season in 1954, as he finished at or near the top in virtually every major batting department -- a .341 average, 130 RBI, 120 runs scored. Dismal pitching and a year below par by Roy Campanella, however, doomed the Dodgers. Rookie skipper Walter Alston may have done his best managing job ever to get the club a second-place finish.
Willie Mays, Don Mueller Fuel the 1954 New York Giants
A look at the 1954 World Champion New York Giants. Willie Mays and Don Mueller finished first and second in the National League batting race. Mueller, who also paced the loop in hits, walked so rarely that his career on-base percentage was only 28 points above his batting average.
Gil Hodges Nets 130 RBI
Gil Hodges, like Duke Snider, also had his top season in 1954, racking up a .304 average, 23 doubles, 42 home runs, and 130 RBI. Between them, Hodges and Snider collected 82 home runs, 260 RBI, and 713 total bases, All three totals were easily the best in the majors that year by a pair of teammates. The Orioles, in contrast, got just 91 combined RBI and 14 home runs from their strongest duo -- Vern Stephens and Bob Kennedy -- who split time at third base. In 1955, Hodges would knock in 100 runs for the seventh consecutive season.
Early Wynn Dusts Off the 1954 New York Giants
Early Wynn maintained that he would dust off his own mother if she came up to bat against him with the game on the line. In game two of the 1954 World Series, he gave up just four hits, two of them to Dusty Rhodes. Cleveland fans waited in vain for Wynn to dust Dusty.
Check out more headlines from the 1954 baseball season on the next page.
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