American League's All-Star Heroes
The American League heroes of the 1954 All-Star Game are: Larry Doby, Ray Boone, Al Rosen, Bobby Avila, and Nellie Fox. Rosen nailed two home runs that day; Doby and Boone had one apiece. Boone, traded to Detroit in 1953, began his career with Cleveland as Lou Boudreau's much-maligned replacement at shortstop. The Tigers made him a third baseman, and for four years he was the best in the American League.
Larry Doby: Lots of HRs, Lots of Strikeouts
The rap on Larry Doby was that he chased bad pitches and struck out too often. In 1954, he led the American League with 32 home runs and 126 RBI. Upon retirement in 1959, he held the major league career record for the most strikeouts (18.9) per 100 at-bats; by 1990, Doby barely ranked among the top 50 in Ks per 100 at-bats.
Ted Williams is Robbed of BA Title
By today's rules, Ted Williams would have won the American League batting title in 1954. Although he had just 386 at-bats, his 136 walks would have given him well over the minimum number of plate appearances needed to currently qualify. He was, however, conceded the slugging crown, as his .635 slugging average was a full 100 points better than runner-up Minnie Minoso's mark.
Stan Musial is Real's Main Man
Real magazine, which polled all 16 major league managers, names Stan Musial the greatest player in baseball in 1954. That year, Musial played on a second division team for the first time. The Cards finished in sixth place despite topping the National League in runs and hitting.
Yogi Berra: Two Awards, Two Sons
Yogi Berra earns his second MVP Award -- he also has two sons, Tim and Larry. In 1954, Berra hit .307 and knocked home 125 runs; he also caught 149 games. Two years later, Dale -- the only Berra to follow in his father's footsteps -- was born.
Rhodes Homers Again
For the second day in a row, backup outfielder and pinch-hitter Dusty Rhodes of the Giants rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the 1954 World Series. His 280-foot fly ball in game two hit the upper facing of the right-field stands at the Polo Grounds, just inside the foul pole.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1954 baseball season.
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