In 1952, the Giants lost a key player to injury and the Dodgers lost one to the military. Here are some of the headlines from the 1952 baseball season:
Allie Reynolds Tops in Ks, ERA
Allie Reynolds was age 28 when the war-time manpower shortage forced Cleveland to issue him a major league uniform. Despite his belated start, he won 182 games and saved 49 others. In World Series play, he was 7-2 with four saves. Reynolds had his best season ever in 1952, collecting a 20-8 record, a league-high 160 strikeouts, and a circuit-best 2.07 ERA.
Monte Irvin Injury Hurts the 1952 New York Giants
The Giants were dealt a critical blow in their attempt to repeat as National League champs when Monte Irvin broke his ankle in a 1952 spring training game against Cleveland. Giants supporters falsely accused Al Rosen, the Indians third sacker, of causing Irvin to slide unnecessarily by faking a tag.
Ferris Fain: .327
Ferris Fain led the American League in 1952 with a .327 batting average. Fain was the first two-time batting champ to retire with a career batting average below .300 and one of the few players in this century whose on-base percentage was higher than his slugging average.
The 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers are an Arm Short
The Brooklyn Dodgers had the best offensive and defensive team in the majors in 1952, yet they were unable to fill the pitching hole Don Newcombe left when he was called into military service. Rookie Joe Black led the staff in both wins (15) and saves (15). Carl Erskine was the only member of the mound crew to work more than 187 innings.
Stan Musial Takes Six Honors
With the exception of the 1947 campaign during which he was plagued by appendicitis, Stan Musial had his poorest season in 1952 since his rookie year. Nevertheless, his .336 average still won the National League batting title by 16 points.
Musial also topped the circuit in hits (194), doubles (42), total bases (311), and slugging average (.538), and tied for first place in runs scored (105). Catcher Joe Garagiola, a one-time teammate of Musial's, once said, "What's the best way to pitch to Stan Musial? That's easy. Walk him and then try to pick him off first base."
Robin Roberts: 23-2 vs. Five Teams
Robin Roberts had a 2-2 record against the Cubs and a 3-3 record against the Giants in 1952. Against the other five National League clubs, including the pennant-winning Dodgers, he was 23-2 that season. With Roberts, the Phils posted an 87-67 mark in '52; without him, they would have finished below .500.
Check out more headlines from the 1952 baseball season on the next page.
To learn more about baseball, see: