Bobby Shantz Wins the 1952 MVP Award
The smallest MVP selection in major league history at 139 pounds, Bobby Shantz was also one of the best all-around athletes to win the award. He posted an American League-leading 24 triumphs and a .774 winning percentage in 1952. Shantz was so talented a hitter and fielder that, had he not been lefthanded, he might have been a shortstop.
Gil McDougald an Unsung Hero
Apart from Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra, Gil McDougald was the Yankees' most valuable player during the 1950s. Able to play second, third, and short equally well, he is one of the few players in this century to be a regular at three different infield positions. In 1952, McDougald hit 16 doubles, five triples, and 11 home runs.
Larry Doby Leads the 1952 American League in Slugging
Larry Doby was the American League's top slugger in 1952 with his .541 mark, yet he finished just 12th in the MVP vote. Two years later, when he again paced all American League sluggers, he climbed to second in the balloting. Most students of the era agree that Doby should have been the first black player in the junior circuit to cop the award.
Satchel Paige, 47, Best on the 1952 St. Louis Browns
Satchel Paige led the Browns in wins (12), saves (ten), ERA (3.07), and MVP votes (12) in 1952. In addition, he fanned 91 hitters in 138 innings and had the American League's second-best strikeouts-per-game ratio (5.9). He was 47 years of age at the time.
Duke Snider Shines in the 1952 World Series
Duke Snider slid across the plate with one of his five runs in the 1952 World Series. The Brooklyn center fielder collected ten hits, four home runs, and eight RBI in the fray. The Dodgers' other two slugging greats, Gil Hodges and Roy Campanella, accounted for only six hits and a mere two RBI between them.
Carl Erskine: 14-6, .270 ERA
Mainly a reliever early in his career, Carl Erskine continued to be used as an occasional stopper throughout the 1950s by both Chuck Dressen and Walter Alston. A Brooklyn rookie in 1948, Erskine was the only pitcher still with the Dodgers ten years later when they played their first season in Los Angeles. In 1952, he went 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA and four shutouts.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1952 baseball season.
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