Albie Pearson Named 1958 ROTY
Albie Pearson was the smallest Rookie of the Year honoree in history. The 5' 5"-recruit hit .275 in 1958, collecting 25 doubles, five triples, 63 runs scored, and 64 walks. A bad case of the sophomore jinx reduced Pearson to a benchwarmer by his third season. Expansion then saved his career. Drafted by the Los Angeles Angels, he turned into one of the American League's best leadoff hitters in the early 1960s.
Richie Ashburn a Whiz on D
Richie Ashburn was one of the best fielding flycatchers of all time. Six of the ten highest season putout totals in history by an outfielder were achieved by him. In 1958, Ashburn took the batting title with a .350 average and topped the loop in on-base percentage with a .441 mark, hits with 215, triples with 13, and walks with 97.
Del Crandall Scores in the 1958 World Series
Del Crandall scores the second run of game four of the 1958 World Series on a single by Warren Spahn. Crandall caught every inning of the fall classic for the Braves. Spahn won two games and nearly copped a third, which would have given the Braves their second consecutive championship. The Braves, however, lost the game 4-3 in ten innings.
Ernie Banks Powers Hapless Cubs
Ernie Banks played with the Cubs for ten years before the club had a season in which it finished above .500. In 1958, as Chicago finished at .468, Banks led the National League in home runs with 47 and RBI with 129. Even with his efforts, however, the team was so poor during most of those ten seasons that Jimmy Dykes remarked, "Without him, the Cubs would finish in Albuquerque."
Bob Friend's 22 Wins Lead National League
Bob Friend tied for the National League wins lead in 1958 with 22 victories. Three years earlier, he had been the first pitcher from a last-place team to cop an ERA crown. In 1959 and again in 1961, he topped the National League in losses. When he retired, Friend posted a .461 career win percentage, the lowest of any pitcher involved in 400 or more decisions.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1958 baseball season.
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