1954 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1954 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
- April 11 – To make room for promising rookie outfielder Wally Moon, the St. Louis Cardinals trade longtime great Enos Slaughter to the New York Yankees in exchange for four minor leaguers, including future National League Rookie of the Year Bill Virdon.
- April 13
- April 15 – Clint Courtney of the Baltimore Orioles hits the first home run in Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. Following a 90-minute parade, the Orioles draw an opening day record of 46,354 in a 3–1 afternoon win over the Chicago White Sox. Bob Turley strikes out nine in besting Virgil Trucks. Vern Stephens also homer for Baltimore.
- April 17 – OF/1B Nino Escalera becomes the first black player in Cincinnati Reds history.
- April 23 – At Sportsman's Park, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hits his first Major League home run, off St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Vic Raschi. His first Major League hit, a double, had also been hit off Raschi, eight days earlier. Aaron will go on to break Babe Ruth's record of 714 career home runs in 1974 and retire with 755, a record that will stand until Barry Bonds breaks it in 2007.
- May 2 – At Sportsman's Park, Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals hits five home runs in a doubleheader against the New York Giants. He hits three in the first game, won by the Cardinals 10-6, and adds two in the nightcap, won by the Giants 9-7. Nate Colbert of the San Diego Padres will tie Musial's record by hitting five home runs in a 1972 doubleheader; coincidentally, he had been in attendance to watch Musial's feat.
- June 12 – At Milwaukee County Stadium, Jim Wilson of the Milwaukee Braves no-hits the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0, besting Robin Roberts in the one-hour, 43-minute contest. The Braves score both runs on solo home runs: in the first inning by Johnny Logan and the fifth by Wilson's catcher, Del Crandall. The no-hitter is the first in the Braves' Milwaukee history; the franchise had moved from Boston after the 1952 season.
- July 13 – The American League makes an eighth-inning comeback at Cleveland Municipal Stadium to win the MLB All-Star Game, 11–9. Washington Senators rookie left-hander Dean Stone is the winning pitcher without officially facing a batter, as he throws out Red Schoendienst trying to steal home in the top of the 8th, ending that half of the inning.
- July 19 – Mickey Owen of the Boston Red Sox hit a two-out, walk-off grand slam off Mike Blyzka to cap a five-run ninth inning and beat the Baltimore Orioles, 9–7, in the first game of a double header at Fenway Park. The Red Sox also won the night game 8–5.
- July 25 – Jack Harshman of the Chicago White Sox set a team record by striking out 16 in a 5–2 complete game victory over the Boston Red Sox. The previous White Sox 15-strikeout mark was shared by Eddie Cicotte, Ed Walsh and Jim Scott. At the time it was the most strikeouts in Fenway Park history. The park record would stand for 32 years until Roger Clemens strike outs 20 Seattle Mariners and becomes the first pitcher in major league history to strike out 20 players in a game.
- July 31 – Joe Adcock of the Milwaukee Braves hits four home runs successfully in a game, becoming the seventh player to do so in Major League history. The Braves beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 15–7.
- September 5 – During what turned out to be the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League's final game, Kalamazoo Lassies' June Peppas pitches a complete game and drives in four runs in an 8–5 victory against the Fort Wayne Daisies, to clinch the championship title. The league folds after twelve years of uninterrupted activities.
- September 6 – Cuban outfielder Carlos Paula becomes the first black player in Washington Senators history.
- September 29 – In Game One of the 1954 World Series, with the score tied 2–2 and two base runners in the 8th inning, New York Giants center fielder Willie Mays makes one of the greatest catches in series history, when he races back in the Polo Grounds to make an over-the-head catch of Vic Wertz' 462-foot drive. Wertz, who had driven in the Cleveland Indians' two runs in the first inning, would finish the day 4-for-5, including a double and a triple. The Giants went on to win the game in extra innings, 5–2, thanks to a pinch-hit three-run home run by Dusty Rhodes off Bob Lemon in the bottom of the 11th inning. Since then, The Catch is a term used to refer to the memorable defensive play executed by Mays.
- October 2 – The New York Giants defeat the Cleveland Indians, 7-4, in Game 4 of the 1954 World Series to win their fifth World Championship, four games to none. Cleveland finished the season with an American League record 111 wins which they will hold for 44 years, but failed to win a Series game. This is the first title for the Giants in 21 years. They would not win another World Series until 2010, more than 50 years after they moved to San Francisco.
- October 28 – The Major League owners vote down the sale of the Athletics to a Philadelphia syndicate. A week later, Arnold Johnson buys a controlling interest in the Athletics from the Connie Mack family for 3.5 million dollars and moves the team to Kansas City.
- November 22 – The Pittsburgh Pirates draft outfielder Roberto Clemente from the Triple-A roster of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Although Clemente hit only .257 for the Montreal Royals, he will become a Hall of Fame member with the Pirates.
- December 1 – The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles complete the largest trade in major league history which include 17 players. The first phase of the transaction began November 18 and will conclude today after the major league draft. Baltimore send pitchers Mike Blyzka, Don Larsen and Bob Turley; catcher Darrell Johnson; outfielder Jim Fridley, and infielders Billy Hunter and Dick Kryhoski to the Yankees, in exchange for pitchers Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald and Bill Miller; catchers Hal Smith and Gus Triandos; infielders Don Leppert, Willy Miranda and Kal Segrist; outfielder Gene Woodling, and minor leaguer Ted Del Guercio. Del Guercio, an outfielder who played 12 minor league seasons, was the only member of the group not to make the Majors.
- January 5 – Rabbit Maranville, 62, rambunctious shortstop who set a career record with 2,153 games at the position and was MVP runner-up on the 1914 "Miracle Braves".
- January 11 – Sumner Bowman, 86, pitcher for two seasons: 1890 with the Phillies and Alleghenys, 1891 with the Philadelphia Athletics.
- January 20 – Bunny Madden, 71, catcher for the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies between 1909 and 1911.
- February 16 – Red Parnell, 48, All-Star left fielder in the Negro Leagues, most notably with the Philadelphia Stars.
- March 12 – Bob Quinn, 84, executive who owned the Boston Red Sox from 1923 to 1933 and also ran three other franchises.
- May 22 – Chief Bender, 70, Hall of Fame pitcher who won 212 games, starring for 3 Philadelphia Athletics world champion teams.
- July 13 – Ed Porray, 65, pitcher for the 1914 Buffalo Buffeds, who is best known as being the only Major League player born at sea.
- July 13 – Grantland Rice, 73, sportswriter.
- July 15 – Chris Mahoney, 69, pitcher/outfielder for the 1910 Boston Red Sox.
- October 5 – Oscar Charleston, 57, star center fielder of the Negro Leagues.
- October 14 – Bill Swanson, 66, backup infielder for the 1914 Boston Red Sox.
- October 19 – Hugh Duffy, 87, Hall of Fame center fielder who batted a record .438 in 1894.
- October 22 – Earl Whitehill, 54, 200-game winning pitcher.
- November 27 – Nick Maddox, 68, pitcher who posted a 43-20 record and a 2.29 from 1907–1910, and the youngest pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter in major league history at the age of 20 years and ten months.
- December 9 – Bill McGowan, 58, Hall of Fame American League umpire who worked in eight World Series, and who did not miss a single inning between the 1925 and 1942 seasons.
- ↑ All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Record Book W.C. Madden. McFarland, 2000. Softcover, 294pp. ISBN 978-0-7864-3747-4
- ↑ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.42, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0