Scooter takes A.L. MVP; Reliever wins N.L. honor

Phil Rizzuto

Phil Rizzuto

Look back at the 1950 MLB season.

By Glen Sparks

  • The American League MVP award goes to the Scooter. Phil Rizzuto, shortstop for the New York Yankees, collects 200 hits and bats .324 with a .418 on-base percentage. He scores 125 runs and drives in 66. The 5-foot-6-inch Rizzuto, from the borough of Queens, gets voted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.
  • Jim Konstanty, a journeyman pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, goes 16-7 and earns National League MVP honors. He leads the league with 22 saves and finishes 62 games. Konstanty, a right-hander from Strykerville, N.Y., pitches 152 innings and posts a 2.66 ERA.
  • Cleveland Indians hurler Bob Lemon leads the A.L. with 23 wins and 170 strikeouts. The righty from Long Beach, Calif., wins at least 20 games for the third straight season. He retires as a seven-time 20-game winner, his ticket to the Hall of Fame.
  • Lemon’s teammate in Cleveland, Early Wynn, finishes with the lowest ERA in the A.L. (a rather high 3.20). The Alabama product goes 18-8 and wins at least 20 games five times. Like Lemon, he also goes to the Hall of Fame.
  • Warren Spahn, a lefty for the Boston Braves, wins 21 games to lead the N.L. He wins at least 20 games three times for Boston and does it nine times for the Milwaukee Braves. One of baseball’s all-time greats, the Buffalo, N.Y. native wins 363 games and goes into the Hall of Fame in 1973.
  • The New York Giants sign a good-looking prospect on June 20. He can hit, run, catch, throw. Everything. He is, of course, Willie Howard Mays from Westfield, Ala. The Say Hey Kid debuts for the Giants the following season. The rest is some of baseball’s greatest history.
  • The Brooklyn Dodgers’ Gil Hodges belts four home runs in a game on Aug. 31. He is the sixth MLB player to accomplish this feat. Hodges hits 370 homers in his career. The first baseman remains a Hall of Fame outsider. His fans deplore this “outrage.”
  • Stan Musial hits a robust .346 and leads the N.L. for the fourth time. Stan the Man tops the senior circuit seven times before retiring and finishes with 3,630 career hits (1,815 at home, 1,815 on the road.) A less likely candidate takes the A.L. batting crown. Coming off a .298 year in 1949 for the Boston Red Sox, Billy Goodman hits .354 in 1950. The infielder never approaches such a lofty number again, but he does retire as a career .300 hitter.
  • Al Rosen belts 37 home runs to top the A.L. He also leads the junior circuit in 1953, with 47. The third baseman for Cleveland slugs 185 homers in a 10-year career shortened by a back injury. The N.L. leader, Ralph Kiner, also plays only a decade due to injuries. He hits 47 homers in 1950 and tops the league seven times. He hits 369 homers and gets tabbed for Cooperstown in 1975.
  • The Yankees win the A.L. with a 98-56 record. The Phillies take the N.L. pennant, finishing 91-63 record. The Bronx Bombers hit just .222 as a team in the World Series, but the Phils manage just a .203 mark. New York, behind strong pitching (0.73 team ERA), sweeps the Series for its 13 championship.
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